This would have been done a couple months ago but I’m still waiting on my parachute. So I find myself dragging my feet to finish up my last couple tasks. I suppose it’s a mixed blessing. It allows me to be a perfectionist and proceed very slowly.
I recently ran the radiator and oil hoses. I reran them a couple times to get it perfect. I kept changing the exact path to keep them away from the exhaust as much as possible and to eliminate sharp turns. I also used a different heat resistant wrap than comes with the plane. I used more of an automotive exhaust wrap. It is virtually the same. It is still a glass insulation weaved wrap. But it’s about twice as thick. The temperature resistance is much higher on the wrap I used. Not satisfied with simple published specifications. I did perform a heat test on the provided wrap and the new one I bought. I exposed to them both to a torch and and compared with an IR thermometer. And the automotive exhaust wrap did a lot better.
I found a hole from the interior of the plane into the parachute storage area. And the parachute storage area is not sealed tightly most likely because the top has to blow off. Anyway that little hole in the back of the compartment concerned me that the warm air from the interior of the plane would leak into it and out. So I plugged it. I made sure it is smooth on the inside so the parachute would not catch on it. Not in the pictures below but I ended up adding some filler over top of it and seeing it down to make it super smooth.
I didn’t feel like the factory solution was sufficient to prevent fire or carbon monoxide from penetrating through the firewall. So I created my own more airtight solution. All the wires going through the main hole, I did the following too…
I took all the wires and wrapped them in an extra wide zip tie. Standard zip ties are too small and I feel like it might pinch the wires. Then in the center where the zip tie would tighten up, I put red rtv in between the wires, so when I tighten the zip tie the RTV would squish out of the center of the wires. This whole zip tie contraption I positioned right in the hole of the firewall. Then I covered the rest of the zip tie in the red heat resistant rtv. It’s already pretty tight and almost filled up the entire hole. But I added a little extra rtv to seal the whole hole up completely. I then took more of the firewall, fire resistant, insulation and wrapped it around the wire attaching it to the firewall.
Sorry no pictures of this. My hands were too covered in RTV to use the camera.
One hates to give away their secrets but, I am going with a Mt propeller and rs flight system controller. That’s not the secret. The secret is how much better their support and lead times are over airmaster. I ordered my propeller and flight control system and within 3 months I received them both. Being one of the first slings to have the system on, I asked many questions and rs flight systems were extremely responsive they responded quickly and thoroughly answered my questions.
The next question is how easy is it to install…. Very easy! I’ve never installed an airmaster but comparing the instructions I believe this is way easier to install. The mt propeller is hydraulically controlled. It uses engine oil for the hydraulic pressure. So all you have to do is connect a governor with four bolts and plug in three wires that go to the brain/SCU and you are good to go. Versus Air Master where you have to install the slip ring on the propeller flange and the brushes to transfer the electricity. They seem like they’ve been problematic in wearing out at inconvenient times.
The wiring for the SCU does mean you’ll have to TAP into the two wires coming from the engine. You’ll have to tap into the HICa and the HICb. I tapped into those immediately behind the connector that way it was easy to make sure I have the correct wire. You need to tap into the can bus low and the can bus high for Lane a and b. So in total that makes four taps. The HIC connectors do have the low and high right next to each other. So I was able to find a single tap that will do two adjacent wires in one. Which makes it a really neat installation. Lane a connector will require power which is simply a positive and a negative and if you already had the airmaster power routed you can simply plug it into the SCU instead.
The wire for the governor only comes with a connector on one end. Seems like they could put the connector on the other end but they don’t. It doesn’t matter it’s a simple 15 pin serial connector and there are only four wires in the cable. So it is easy to do.
Mounting the governor to the back of the gearbox is tight but it does fit without any modifications. First you’ll have to remove the plate that sling attached to the back of the gearbox. Shown in picture. Getting the lower lower bolt is a bit of a pain but in one of my pictures I try to illustrate the approximate path I took with many connected sockets to get to it. In the picture my extension of my sockets are above the air box. But in reality my sockets were below the airbox. The picture is simply for illustrating the approximate path. The bolt supplied to the governor do not go all the way through the flange. Flange is approximately half an inch thick so I felt like that was okay. But I verified with the manufacturer and they said that was the way it was designed.
The SCU mounts inside of the plane. With the rest of the avionics sorry I did not get a picture of that but it’s pretty straightforward.
I didn’t want anyone to think I haven’t been doing anything….
I painted the plane at my shop. It wasn’t a sterile paint booth. I did have three to five fans running with air filters to reduce the contaminants in the air. But still dust managed to get into my clear coat. So now I’ve spent the last two weeks sanding and polishing to make it smooth. It ended up using 3M compound and polish ing chemicals along with the DeWalt polisher and a Bosch hand sander. And it has been working really well but sadly it’s a lot of work. The one picture below, has dust on the right hand side and the left hand side has been polished. My process has been to wet sand with 1200 grit, then wet sand again with 1500 grit, then wet sand again with 2500 grit. Then polish with rubbing compound. Then polish with Polish.
End of this month I am supposed to get my propeller and my parachute. I should be able to look at those installed during the month of December. Then January I can move to the hangar and get it inspected. Hopefully. That might be a bit optimistic but I’ll try.
For the last week or two I’ve been doing a lot of body work and prepping for painting. Just refilling some rivet holes and make sure all of the fairings are fitting correctly. Did little to no body filler but there was a place here or there that I wasn’t happy with that required some touch up. I did not have my windshield in when I was painted nor did I have any gaskets on. When I’ve painted cars in the past, removing the gaskets was standard procedure so I thought leaving the windshield off would be essentially the same thing. I also still do not have my parachute so the parachute cover was painted before installed. I think that’s a good idea that way there’s actually paint underneath the cover and should help corrosion resistance and may even help the cover to detach easier.
I provided concept drawing of what I wanted to plan to look like to my painter. His reply was, “did you have your kids draw this with crayons.”. My response was, “no I drew it. Am I really that bad of an artist”. I took the sling dimensions from the poh and printed it out on a full size sheet of paper and colored it in. We then take off the entire plane and got the painting. We painted it in my shop and it took 3 days and made one hell of a mess. I had four fans with air filters attached going and it still wasn’t enough. So we’d have to take breaks painting occasionally to let the air clear out.
But it’s done now and I think the end result is well worth the effort.
I feel like I need to be further back to take to take a decent picture. So I will save most of the finished product pictures until later.
A couple times now I have heard that I need to be concerned with the Sling TSI s tail slamming against the ground. What can cause this is two people getting up on the steps at the same time. My Cirrus had a rubber bumper on the rear tie down. I looked at getting that exact bumper but it feels to hard to actually cushion the blow. I tried many different materials until I found the right hardness. This material is just right. It will act like a sponge and dampen some of the impact force from the above scenario. I plan to attach it with some low quality glue. It already fits on pretty tight and I want to be able to remove it if necessary.
If a tail strike happened during take off, this material would most likely not be hard enough to provide sufficient protection but it would help. Any material that would be hard enough to protect during take off would not likely protect from a stationery tip back. It if wears out over time, It is easy and cheap to replace, so no biggie if it comes to that.
I am trying to prep for paint. But I am still missing some important parts so it is a challenge. I am missing my parachute, my propeller and a bunch of interior upholstery parts. Unfortunately it appears that none of these parts will be here soon. I had to cut my cowling on speculation. I did a lot of measuring. I cut it 25mm from the front of the engine flange. So let’s hope. And 63mm from the top and bottom from the flange angled out to the outer edge of the cowling.
I also did my wing fairings this week. The Sling TSI wing fairings we’re tricky to fit around the wing. I started by slipping it over the unbolted step, then over the front of the wing and under. I had to trim some of the wing fairing on the front. I cut it back about half an inch so it wouldnt push against the landing gear. I noticed on some other slings that the fairing didn’t always lay flat against the fuselage. So I put in some extra rivnuts/screws to make it lay flat.
This weekend I am having the plane painted at my place. It will be blue with black on the leading edge of the wings. I can’t help but to think that black on the wings will help prevent ice build up. Not sure how much it will help, but it can’t hurt.
I figured I should know how to fly a TSI before I try to test pilot my own. I called around all the other build centers and TSI owners but the only TSI in North America that the FAA allows to train on is in Torrance. They operate just like any other flight School. You sign up on flight schedule pro, schedule a time, show up do your flight leave and that’s it.
I did actually have a lot to learn. The first day we did mostly touch and goes at Long Beach airport. The following days we did trips to places such as San Bernardino, flew over the shop Queen Mary. I’m used to a cirrus SR22 with 310 horsepower. That thing is always above the power curve. The sling flies like it’s always below the power curve. It is constantly closer to what I would call slow flight, Than what i would say cruise. I guess what I mean by that is, in the Cirrus you can just point the nose and go. In the Cirrus, if you want to go up (even if you’re just at cruise power) you can put the nose up and you go up. In the TSI you have push the throttle all the way forward and point the nose up to climb at all. The Sling’s cruise speed is about 40knots slower. At cruise , climb prop setting, 80% power and 5500rpm we were struggling to do 132k tas. Even after only a couple minutes of that, We had to pull back to 65% power because the egt were exceeding 1700f. I am used to 178k. But in other aspects, it’s a dream to handle. Very responsive to turns, easy to do a 360 at 60degrees and not lose any altitude. The interior is pretty tight. No extra elbow room.
After my flights I was able to walk around and look at the build center. They currently occupy half a dozen hangars. Most of the builds are done in two of them. Looking at the other build really helped a lot. I got a lot of questions answered just by looking. And found some mistakes I made. Special thanks to Shawn, the engine guy. He was very helpful.
Random info acquired that I found interesting,
Sling academy in Torrance uses 25% avgas and 75% costco 91.
Wayne’s 135wt has the Sensinch (sp) prop not whirlwind.
No one uses a nose wheel tug to move planes, they push down on the rear fairing and HS. And drag it around.
Final approach speed 75-80.
5400rpm holds level. More climbs, less drops/slows.
aileron trim really isn’t necessary. And elevator isn’t really either. It handles easily enough without them.
I am making my engine inspection hatches , latches. Not duz screws. I don’t wanna have to carry a screw driver for every pre flight. I tested this and it seems to work. But admittedly it hasn’t been air/flight tested yet. I think the pictures will convey more than my words….