Category Archives: Fuselage

Assembling the rear seat

Hours: 2

With the front seats almost complete apart from the lock pin mechanism, time to assemble the rear seat.

First order of business was to remove the protective plastic and do some inspecting and deburring of the edges and holes.

Laying out the ribs
Ribs deburred

With that out of the way, time to assemble the main rib structure.

Lining up the rib structure of the seats
Backside of the seats with ribs clecoed

On the bottom rib there was a minor misalignment of the rib. The rib extended a little bit beyond the skin, but the holes were all drilled fine.

bottom rib extended a bit too far

So I trimmed off the small part that extended too far.

Sanded it down to finish up with the skin

And on to more ribs to make it a really solid seat.

Complete rib structure clecoed to the back

The last part was to put on the front skin and make sure everything lines up. When I first clecoed it on some of the ribs didn’t align, so I unclecoed the skin again, then centered it and clecoed it again and everything fit well.

Both sides of the skin clecoed in place

Next step will be to rivet it all together.

Figuring out cabin air assembly

Hours: 2

Last week I finally received the cabin air parts after the lockdown in the past few months that put a hold at the factory for sending out new parts, but they are back up and running.

The cabin heat assembly for the TSi has a mixture of forced air from a NACA duct getting air from the outside when the plane is moving, together with an actual radiator heater, for those times where you don’t want cold outside air and instead heat it. To shut out the outside air, the TSi has a butterfly valve that’s operated by a handle from the panel.

I am planning to replace the manual handle with a servo instead and also replace the front standard plastic vents that come with the kit, with some ball vents typical in airplanes.

I got the Aveo Air Maxi Vents in black since the front is black leather, so it blends in nicely.

Aveo Air Maxi Vents

Butterfly valve servo

The servo I’m going to use is from TCW that comes with a linear servo from Actuonix, together with TCW’s control board with the control knob to operate the servo.

The first thing I had to figure out is the travel of the butterfly valve, it is around 40mm long. I made a small cardboard panel, clamped it to the bracket of the box that houses the butterfly valve. Based on the maximum extension I then mounted the back of the servo onto my cardboard panel. Then I tested that retracting and extending works correctly from that position and made small adjustments to the travel distance.

Here’s a small video of testing the operation:

With the operation figured out, then I went to check for alignments in the cabin.

First I had to figure out where exactly the vent box sits inside the cabin. Some quick measuring for the distance based on the construction manual.

Marked where the valve box attaches to the skin

Then I put in the channel that moves air to the rear passenger seats to make sure there is no interference wit the operation.

cabin box held in place, along with the channel that pulls air to the rear passengers

Looks all good. Next step will be to fabricate the bracket out of aluminum.

More front seat construction

Hours: 4

With one front seat assembled, time to complete the other one.

I got an AN3-6A bolt from a friend while waiting to get a replacement from TAF, so I was able to put together the seat locking mechanism for the seat.

Completely assembled seat locking mechanism, ready to rivet

EDIT: after reading the Sling 4 instruction manual, I now believe the cable goes on the other side, so I’ll move it down before I close it up and rivet it in.

Now having figured out the complete assembly, I also assembled the mechanism for the second seat, but unfortunately, the steel cable assembly for the second seat is too long, so I put in an order for a replacement.

Second seat locking mechanism put together, but unfortunately the cable on this one is much too long.

So one mechanism assembly completed, the other on hold.

Then I completed assembling the second seat itself. When I built the other seat I noticed that I was missing some screws for the hinges and put in an order to get the missing screws, but I also remembered that I got some various metric screws from boltdepot a while back and luckily I had some countersunk M4x12 screws . Ialso found that there’s a typo in the instruction manual, which says they are M4x10, but the part number is HW-CAS-412-X-X-0 and they are actually M4x12. So I was able to put together the side hinges with those.

Riveting the headrest
Riveting the seat hinge

Now I just need some upholstery to make them a bit more comfortable to sit on. I ordered the upholstery a few weeks ago, so they should arrive in a few weeks hopefully.

Building a Front Seat

Hours: 3

It’s time to replace the now empty box of parts in the Garage with another full one. I moved on to the Fuselage box to get started with the interior of the Fuselage assembly. First order of business was finding all the parts for the seats.

After a bit of digging I found all the parts for the seats based on the inventory checklist in the box.

Laying out parts for the seat assembly

Once I had all parts in order, I started laying out the headrest based on the manual.

Ribs for the headrest
Ribs for the headrest clecoed

Then I clecoed it all onto the seat back and started riveting from the seatback.

Riveting the front of the headrest

Following the backside, riveting the front side of the headrest.

Headrest riveted

With the headrest completed, time to make it look like a seat. I checked out the detail diagrams for the hinges and put everything together. The holes of the hinges needed a tiny bit of enlarging which I did using a simple hand deburring tool.

Seat hinges needed minimal enlarging to fit the linkage

Once I had the side hinges completed, I cleoed and riveted the bottom hinge of the seat in place.

Riveting the bottom seat hinge
Riveted the bottom seat hinge

Almost looks like a seat:

Seat almost completed

Assembling the bolt mechanism

The only thing left is the bolt mechanism that allows the seat to lock in place inside the Fuselage.

Laying out the bolting mechanism

Unfortunately, this is where I found out I was missing something. The bolt that allows the pulley to pull the cable wasn’t quite long enough. It should be a AN3-6A bolt, but as it turns out, it’s a 5A bolt, so it’s missing the mark by just a hair.

That bolt is unfortunately only -5 long

Also I only got one bolt, set of washers and screws for the hinges, which (if it was the right length) is only enough to complete one seat, so I put in an order for the few parts and will give them a call in Torrance to see if they can send they few screws so I can complete the seats.

Here’s a picture of test fitting the mechanism with the slightly too short bolt:

Half assembled mechanism to see how it functions.

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.