Keen to show off their new High-Wing variation of the well-regarded low-wing TSi, South African airframer Sling has done so in spectacular fashion by flying the prototype and production serial numbers one and two from Johannesburg, South Africa to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The trio landed at AirVenture yesterday afternoon.
The epic jaunt was flown in daylight in legs up the west African coast to the Cape Verde Islands, then the big jump westward across the mid-Atlantic to the Barbados, Bahamas, Florida and finally Oshkosh. The trio arrived to a hugely exuberant contingent of family, friends, the crew from the Sling Aircraft booth plus a phalanx of photographers and reporters.
While the official statistics will come soon enough, the first look at the numbers say the trip took 67.5 flying hours over 10 days. Fuel burn from the Rotax 915iS engines was guesstimated as between 29 and 35 liters per hour—in the 7 to 9 gph range—at 140 knot airspeeds. Winds were favorable over most of the route, save for 25 knot headwinds in the middle of the U.S. leg.
No issues were encountered on the flight and the crews said they were often ready for more flying. They were certainly energetic in their enthusiasm upon their AirVenture arrival.
Plans for the three aircraft vary. The prototype will return to South Africa while the two N-numbered production aircraft, which were flown by their owner/builders on the hemispheric-trotting ferry flight, will remain in the U.S.