EAA Sportair Sheet Metal workshop

While the wait for the arrival of my Sling TSi kit continues, I got to do some sheet metal practice attending the EAA Sportair Sheet Metal workshop recently.

It was a two day weekend workshop that was held at the Seattle Museum of Flight Restoration Center, teaching the basics of sheet metal work with all sorts of various techniques used when building a sheet metal airplane.

Over the course of the two days each participant made two practice pieces. The first one was to get a feel for the different techniques, from drilling, to deburring, to dimpling and countersinking. Here’s the first piece:

The second practice piece was a cross section of an elevator, where we had to bend rib pieces, practice more match drilling and dimpling and then fabricate a flush inspection plate held in place using nut plates. Here’s some images I took during the process:

All in all, it was a great workshop, a lot of learning and building confidence in the skills required to build your own airplane. So if you’re toying with the idea of building your own airplane from sheet metal, but are unsure about the work involved, this workshop is a great entry point.
While I likely won’t need to use some of the riveting techniques I learnt in the workshop, since the Sling assembly mainly uses pop rivets, it was still great to get a good understanding of the different techniques.

Here’s a final picture of all the practice of the workshop put together (with an airplane drawn as a bonus).

Quickbuild Factory progress

I got an exciting progress update from the factory today on the coming along of my Sling TSi Quickbuild kit down in The Airplane Factory in South Africa.
The Fuselage is mostly assembled and here’s the pictures of it:

Aside from that, my tool collection is coming along nicely. I now have hundreds of clecos, various pliers, deburring tools, drill bits and countersinks. Just a few more tools to go from the list from TAF.
The project may also have been my excuse to buy a label maker, I ended up with the Brady BMP 21, so now I get to print nice labels, I started with some boxes for the clecos as seen below.

Another fellow Sling TSi builder received his Empennage kit today, so I look forward to following his progress until I receive my kit to start.

Tools, more tools and an expected ship date of my kit

Hours: 2

I got an update from Barry at The Airplane Factory in Torrance that the expected ship date of my Sling TSi Quick build kit is November 19th from South Africa. That means that I should be able to expect arrival here around year end.

My father was visiting the past two weeks and helped me assemble the second workbench and getting a rolling toolbox so I can keep my garage organized with all the tools.

Aside from that I am eagerly reading blogs from fellow builders to ramp up on the process, watching instruction videos, buying more tools and researching various primers and have created a small test sheet with the NAPA 7220 Self-etching primer, which is now dangling in the garage.

Building a workbench

Hours: 2.5

While it will be still a while until I can expect the kit parts to arrive, I can get started on acquiring the various tools I will need and getting my garage workshop ready.

Right now I have one workbench that is permanently mounted to the wall of my garage, so I decided to build another workbench that I can move around more freely.

As for the design, I decided to follow the tried and tested design of the EAA Chapter 1000 workbench, so after a trip to the hardware store and a couple of sheets of plywood and 14 two-by-four’s later I was ready.

Here’s a timelapse of the assembly:

Welcome

Hello and welcome.

The time has come and I have ordered the Sling TSi kit from The Airplane Factory.

After visiting them in Torrance, CA and having the opportunity to test fly the Sling TSi, I was happy that I found an airplane that satisfies my mission criteria and economic consumption.

This is going to be my build log in the journey of building the Sling TSi aircraft from the kit from The Airplane Factory.

While I wait for the parts to arrive I will have some time to clean out the garage and accumulate a healthy amount of tools and knowledge to prepare me for the project.

Here’s some images from my visit of TAF in Torrance, I also recorded the test flight and will post a link to the video once I’ve finished editing it.