To test the aircraft, to prove we stand by our designs and just for the fun of it, we put our aircraft to the ultimate test!
2013 July - September
Sling 4 to Oshkosh
In fact, so confident are we after our 2011 Sling 4 circumnavigation that we intend to fly our first production Sling 4 to EAA Airventure Oshkosh, leaving within a couple of weeks of her first flight, and return to Johannesburg via Greenland, Iceland, England, Europe and down the west coast of Africa. Construction of the production Sling 4 commenced a couple of months ago in our R&D department under the watchful eyes of Jean and MIke. Although the initial plan was for James and Mike to complete the trip to and from Oshkosh we have decided that its only fair to give others a chance. So... Mike and his son Greg will fly the first leg of the trip from South Africa to Oshkosh, with James flying out commercially. Then James and Tim Parsonson (yes the "Weather Guy" from the 2009 circumnavigation) will pilot ZU-TAD from Wisconsin over Greenland and Iceland to England. Andrew will then fly out to England, spend a couple of days with his Mum and complete the journey back to South Africa with James.
2011 JULY - AUGUST
Sling 4 Around The World
The newly-built Sling 4, a light 4 seat variation of the standard Sling, flew around the world in 2011.
This time Mike, James and Jean worked out a flight path circumnavigating the earth in an Easterly direction with James and Jean flying all the way to Los Angeles, and then Jean and Mike flying all the way back home.
This adventure proved to be quite different from the 2009 adventure, with red-tape causing a lot of frustration in many countries but concluded with Mike and Jean flying from Brazil non-stop to Cape Town in order to get home.
Sling 5577 To Poland
The Sling 5577 project was a new milestone in adventure for The Airplane Factory.
The 5577 project was about getting five technically superior men and five aesthetically pleasing women, build a Sling in seven days, and then fly it to Poland in seven days to deliver it to its eager new owner. A bit like Madiba's 46664, but with a considerably shorter period of hard labour.
2009 July - August
Sling Around The World
For the adventure of it, and also to prove the aircraft to themselves and the world, during July and August 2009 Mike Blyth and James Pitman, the company's founders, flew the production prototype Sling 2 around the world, via EAA Oshkosh, the world's largest airshow. The aircraft performed flawlessly, flying numerous legs over 2 000nm (3 600 km) over the world's oceans, east to west and with almost the entire route in the ITCZ. The only differences between the round the world aircraft and the standard production Sling were additional fuel tanks in the wings and an additional 15 layers of glass-fibre in the undercarriage.