High Wing Sling on Safari

The Sling High Wing follows one of the company’s low-wing TSIs for a morning flight.

Our man Paul Dye is in South Africa this week flying the all-new Sling High Wing airplane. The company has pulled out all the stops, offering Paul multiple days of flying and a rare look inside the design and manufacturing capabilities Sling brings to bear.

So what do you do when you’re visiting some folks who have a new airplane? You hop in for a sunrise flight to find some breakfast and maybe take in a few sights!

Breakfast in the reserve.

Yesterday we loaded up the new Sling High Wing and a TSI and launched out of their base on the south side of Johannesburg for a 45-minute flight to a game reserve north of Pretoria for breakfast on the veranda, followed by a Land Rover safari through the preserve to see what exotic (to this American) animals we could find.

The Slings got us to the reserve in style, landing comfortably on their entry road after chasing away a few wildebeests that were congregating at the touchdown point. A Land Rover was waiting to take us to the restaurant because “you don’t walk through the unfenced areas of the reserve.” There are very large cats about, you see. Any pilot knows the benefit of a hearty breakfast, and the lodge’s restaurant did a good job of feeding us before we set out.

No, we didn’t get to se the “big five” animals. We didn’t see any lions, tigers or cheetahs. But these zebra made an appearance, along with the ubiquitous wildebeests and impalas, the odd elephant and a trio of giraffes.

The wildebeest always looks angry.
Impala ready to run.

A fun time was had by all. Then it was time to load back in the airplanes for some sightseeing on the way home. With the power pulled back to 80%, which is where the Rotax 915is’ computer goes in economy mode, we we seeing a steady 135 KTAS, which is quite respectable for a four-seat high wing with a 141 hp. At that power setting, we could have gone 8 hours with full tanks, making the High Wing a nice cruising machine that can handle off pavement landings. So what’s not to like?

Look for the full report including a factory tour in a future issue of KITPLANES.

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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