The Airplane Factory USA is now in possession of the first Sling LSA to land on US soil. It made it to the Port of Los Angeles from South Africa on February 5th, however, due to heightened port security and customs processes we had to wait until the 21st to receive the shipment. After much jubilation it was time to decide on the best course of action for offloading due to the lack of loading docks at Torrance airport. Matt and I had help from our friend Terry to disassemble the ingenious framing structure on the interior of the container (thanks Jean, you kept our baby safe on the high seas). Then we got her ready for the hard part, disembarkation. Many MacGyver-type solutions were entertained during the process but we all knew the best way was to use a flatbed tow truck. We procured a truck and had the plane down in no time.
Now comes the fun part…Airplane Assembly!
We laid out the Wings, Empennage, Wheel Pants, Spinner, Hardware, Trim, etc, and got to work. In just a couple hours we were able to get the Horizontal Stabilizer and Elevator in position and hooked up, including the elevator push rod. The process was very straight forward and simple. A few bolts here, a couple nuts there and bingo, Done! We also did a full inspection of the Rotax 912 engine to be sure nothing disconnected or broke during transport. Everything looks great! A few days later we connected the Vertical Stabilizer and the Rudder. Next we will install the Wings and any wiring that needs our attention. We have been documenting the whole assembly process for a Ready-to-Fly Sling and will make sure to show you in detailed pictures soon enough.
The Next Step…FAA Airworthiness Certification and US Registration!
Almost more important than assembling the Sling is the paperwork involved in importing, registering, and certifying an airplane. We have been very busy making sure to properly fill out the required paperwork and submit it to the correct people for review and processing. Currently, we are waiting on a couple documents to complete our registration and afterwards will be scheduling our appointment with the Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR) for our certificate to fly. The DAR will conduct an inspection and hopefully give us the go ahead.
The Future for the Sling…Anywhere its dreams may lead!
The Airplane Factory has many ambitions for the Sling and we would like to share those with our followers over time. To begin at the basic level, however, the Sling will be made available for flight instruction and rental soon after certification. Also, if you are interested in aviation, learning to fly, or maybe a test flight please let us know and we can put you on the schedule for whatever your heart desires. We are located at Torrance Airport at the base of Palos Verdes and to be honest, there are few places to fly that are more gorgeous than just offshore Los Angeles at Sunset. We will keep everyone informed of new developments and the exciting adventures to come, so please stay tuned!