We are getting our engine soon!
In this blogpost, we visit Rotax engine workshop, Sling Factory in Torrance, and describe our progress towards engine, wiring, and avionics.
Our last blogpost was fully dedicated to the custom upholstery (and we continue to put out videos related to it, for instance, a video about sewing zippers), but that is not the only thing that happened during the month of August.
Rotax Engine Workshop
We went to the Rotax engine Service seminar offered by Motive Aero! Motive Aero (along with Lockwood Aviation Supply and Leading Edge Airfoils) is one of 3 official Rotax distributors and education providers in the US. Fortunately for us, the classes were held in Petaluma – just an hour drive north from Bay Area. First day of class was a bit on a boring / theoretical side. We learned, for instance, that Rotax name comes from “rotating axle” – as Rotax invented and patented the first back-pedaling action brake for bicycles… Cool, but does not help much with our engine :) Day Two, however, was rather hands-on and fun! We got to crawl around Rotax 912,
as normally those come without slip clutch), do the oil change, oil filter cutting,
magnetic chip detector inspection (and then Peter and Yazeed were tasked with safety wiring the said detector, and it took us quite some time).
We also learned how to do compression test of the cylinders, and how / what for to use BUDS dongle (the special Rotax thingiemagik used to read ECU information).
The class was a great opportunity to network with other builders and A&Ps! A lot of us commiserated over the test (the test is quite hard and requires a lot of searches in the manual). Finally, we got to see a LOT of gyros (not to be confused with Mediterranean food item):
and started to appreciate their coolness and beauty :) Big shoutout to Mike, Lauren, and CEO of Motive Aero Marc for hosting the class!
Second visit to Sling Factory in Torrance
Second exciting update is our visit to the Sling Factory in Torrance! The initial reason was two-fold – we were visiting LA area for a mini-family reunion (Sasha’s granddad came to LA, so we joined, and had lovely time going to the beach together, hence the thumbnail picture), and also there were a couple of replacement parts that we ordered from the Factory (a window that Peter broke while cutting, as well as wheel fairing backing plate – we got an old version of it) that have not yet shipped, and we thought this a good opportunity to pick them up. Initally, we planned a visit to be in-and-out – we came to Torrance on Friday, both Sasha and Peter had work to attend to etc. However, the Sling Factory (personal shoutouts to Scott, Sean, Matt, and John) were SO nice in person! We ended up staying for ~three hours, asked a ton of questions / took a lot of pictures about how things are done in the Build Assist center, and overall learned a lot – ranging from using shaved-down bolts for help with the wing installation for taxi test (and to help hold wings in place when installing real bolts) to the best practices and tools for cutting the standard Rotax exhaust pipe (to be replaced with the Sling modified exhaust). As a bonus, we got to meet and chat a little bit with JP Schulze and look at his Sling High Wing (who happened to be doing maintenance in Torrance at that very moment).
Once back in the Bay Area, we learned that our engine will be coming in three weeks! So we decided to accelerate everything that is on critical path to getting engine installed – which means everything that is easier to be done with side skins off, such as wiring, autopilot servos, torque tubes, fuel lines, brake lines, center console etc. In other words, lots! Here is the latest picture of the airplane, with all the wires and fuel hoses sticking out:
Stay tuned for the further updates on the wiring, fuel lines, and engine!