Category Archives: Workshop

Leveling the playing field

Not much progress, but I took a couple of closer looks at the tailcone of the Fuselage and ran some fishing wire through it for the VOR/LOC/GS wire from the tail.

Inside the Tailcone looking forward Inside the Tailcone looking aft

I also had an exchange with Matthew, one of the other Sling TSi builders, about the countersinking and fitment of the tips for the elevators and rudder. It looks like he is missing the reinforcement on the tips that adds material to allow the countersinking. I took some pictures of mine which shows the extra layers of fiberglass (in black) to allow enough material to countersink the tips:

Rudder and Elevator tips reinforced material for countersinking

Today is one of those few winter days with nice sunshine, so I went to the airport in the evening and did some pattern work and got a bonus moment when the Boeing Dreamlifter came in to land on the parallel runway.

Boeing Dreamlifter landing 34L at KPAE Boeing Dreamlifter landing 34L at KPAE

After getting home, I was doing some inventory and trying to figure out which part to put together next. I don’t want to close up the Rudder yet since I don’t have the light yet and want to fit that first. I got the Sealant I need to close up the Horizontal Stabilizer over the weekend, so I took that back out and put it on my workbench.

Then I got out my laser level to see if it all aligned and realized that my working surface is actually pretty slanted, so I spent some time to even out the tables. As it turns out, the garage floor has a pretty good slant as you can see below – 3 pieces of wooden shims on the far side, versus none on the near side.

Far side of the garage needed a few blocks of wood to level out the table Level table & Horizontal Stabilizer

Airplane Kit Arrival Day!

Hours: 6

My Sling TSi airplane kit has finally made its way to my garage and arrived yesterday from The Airplane Factory in South Africa. Since I ordered the entire kit in one go as a quick build, it was shipped in one large 20 foot container directly to my house. The container arrived about two weeks ago in the port, but then the Seattle Snowpocalypse happened and we had the heaviest snow in February for over 70 years. The Seattle area is very hilly and so the sudden large amounts of snow and the hills made for impossible driving conditions and so while I couldn’t get a truck to deliver the airplane, instead we went skiing on our road sometime last week since our hill has a pretty steep incline.
It's not every day you can ski on your own street

Luckily it stopped snowing by Tuesday and warmed a bit and the City managed to start plowing neighborhoods and we could drive again by Thursday, so I called the Freight company and told them they can now give it a shot to deliver and the scheduled the delivery for Monday, which worked out great.

Unloading an airplane from a container

I set up my GoPro to try to capture the unloading process, it worked out fairly well to capture everything, so here it goes:

If this wasn’t enough, then here’s the complete story:

The Truck with the 20 foot container arrived just as my friends, who graciously were on standby the past two weeks to help, were arriving to help me unload and we went to work. The first order of business was to figure out the order to unload the container.
Container ready to be unloaded

Happy Airplane unloading crew
After taking out the big box with the Finishing kit on the side, we juggled around a bit to see if we could take the boxes on the bottom out, but they were blocked by the Fuselage Tail support, so we figured that we should take out the Fuselage next.
The wood that the Factory used to build the framing is of some impressive quality and the heavy screws driven into them were very tight, so it took some loosening by hand before even my impact driver could undo the screws, so I grabbed my trusty Milwaukee M12 Hackzall and made due process so we could get on with unloading and then undo the rest of the structure later. That and heavy use of my Utility Knife to cut through the many support straps that held down the structure.

After we got the Fuselage out, it was time for the boxes that were stored under the Fuselage, followed by the Wings.
Unloading the right Wing Wings in their happy hammock

After all that was said and done, we took down the rest of the wood framing in the container so the container was truly empty in the end:
Container unloaded and wooden frames taken down

We moved the boxes into our basement multi function room, next to our LEGO collection – building your own airplane is kind of like LEGO right?

Boxes of Airplane parts stored next to our LEGO
And the Fuselage and Wings found their home in the Garage on one side, leaving me with the other side as work space, plus I can easily move the wings around since I have wheels on the wing rack.

Fuselage and Wings stored in the garage

Cleaning up and taking inventory

I felt like the tail should have some extra support, so I quickly built a small stool for the tail to rest on, in addition to the existing framing that it came in, here is a quick timelapse of me cleaning up the workshop and building the stool:

Stool for the Tail to rest on: I built a stool to balance out the load of the tail

After that was done, I asked Juliana to come down to the Garage as I was pretending to fly the airplane as any reasonable person with a new toy in their garage would do:
Obligatory pretend flying in the airplane

And then we opened the Empennage box and started taking inventory so I can stop building wooden tables and stools and start building an airplane:
Taking inventory of the Empennage Kit

Now it’s time to build an airplane!

Garage ready for the kit

This should hopefully be the last “waiting for the kit” post. The container with the kit has arrived at the port a couple of days ago. The logistics company is working through arranging the truck to bring the container to my house to unload. Hopefully I’ll have some good news tomorrow and have a firm date for the delivery this coming week.

Garage Ready

The garage is ready for delivery and I also picked up a wing stand to store the wings from the flying club I am a part of, as we just installed the wings onto the Cessna 150 airplane we are refurbishing for an upcoming charity raffle to fund college scholarships for kids that survived cancer. The wing stand is from a design by Tony Bingelis and can be found on the EAA website here.

I took a time lapse of the process of installing the wings on the Cessna. It took a little bit of lifting and then a lot of jiggling to get the bolts in place.

I also attended a discussion meeting at our local EAA 84 chapter last week about going to Oshkosh, which was very interesting as I haven’t yet managed to go to Oshkosh myself as I was busy last year finishing up my instrument rating, so I’m hoping this year might be my first. If I go, I will likely fly commercial and then camp there and I’d love to meet some other Sling Builders at the Sling Ding Party hosted by The Airplane Factory and Sling 2 builders Bob & Joan.

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: