Rear Floor Covering

Time: 2.5 hrs

Today I covered the center section and the uprights of the rear floor area. This went without any issues and was pretty easy to do. I left some over lap on the floor that I may need to cut back a little later. I’ll be using some custom aircraft carpeting for the floors that I’ll hold in place with either velco or some or clips. I’m almost down with all the areas I wanted to cover. The rest I’ll wait to get the pieces in the upholstery kit from TAF. I also need to work on getting the materials to TAF SA by the end of the week.

After doing all the cuts for one side I use it as a template to make the piece for the other side. This piece will cover the center floor section. The holes for the rivnuts were made with a leather punch.

Both sides done on the center floor section. I put a little overlap onto the upright so the the corner is fully covered. I also put some overlap on the floor that I may need to cut back a little once I get the carpet for the floor.

Finished the carpeting on the uprights as well. I left some overlap on the sides of the uprights and the floor. I may need to cut these back a little so I didn’t glue them down yet. It’s starting to look a bit comfy now 🙂


Rear Floor Panels

 Time: 2.25hrs

Today I riveted the rear floor panels. The brake lines have been run for a while now. I still need to clean them out and then put the brake fluid in, but I think it’s safe to install the floors now. I did a few things to the landing gear bolt inspection covers. First I rounded the corners a bit and then I use the edge tool to put a bit of a raised edge so that the M4 rivets would fit well underneath the cover. The cover sits a little higher then the rest of the floor, but I’ll have some fairly thick carpet so I don’t think it will be noticeable. It would have been better to use M3 screws and rivnuts, but the predrilled holes were a bit too large so I think M4 worked better.

floors riveted and (3) M4 rivets installed in the floor for the inspection cover.

Inspection cover came out pretty good. Need to prime it though.

Yay both floors are in. Have to do the sides next and then a little more carpet covering

Close up of the inspection cover. The edges are beveled a bit so that the rivnuts can sit under it and I though the rounded corner looked a bit nicer then the squared off, plus the beveling comes out a bit better if there’s not a hard corner.

More Center Console Covering

Time: 2 hrs

Covered the lower panel and the rear floor center with carpet. The snort (Barge glue) worked very well on the carpet as well. Also the leather punches I purchased worked great to make the large holes for the rivnut heads. A few more pieces to cover.

Lower center console panels and rear floor center covered. This went much quicker then the leather. After gluing I just cut to the edge with scissors and utility knife. The holes for the rivnuts came out perfect using the leather punch.

I’ll have to cut the bottom of the rear center console cover. It’s fits a bit too tight with the floor piece in place. I’ll have to peel back some of the leather and take about 1/8″ of metal off.

Center Console Covering

Time: 2.25 hrs

Covered a few more parts for the center console. After looking at the Sling 4 at Torrance TAF it looks like this panel (the upper half forward from the cubby hole/arm rest) is covered in leather and the bottom is carpet. The piece in front (under the instrument panel is a split leather/carpet that will be done by TAF. Hopefully I’ll get the materials out to them this coming week so they can start making the upholstery. Once I have the front seats I can cut the control sticks and mount the stick controls.

It’s getting there. I can cover a few more pieces and then I’ll have to wait for the materials to come back from TAF. I was thinking of maybe doing the luggage area, but I think it will be easier with the precut pieces from TAF since there are a few difficult cuts to make.

Miscellaneous Work

Time: .75hrs

Did a few things on the plane today. First was I finished up the throttle assembly and put on the turbo boost handle and main throttle handle since I don’t think I will be removing the throttle assembly anymore. Previously I had made an error and reamed the hole on the throttle arm out a little too much so I had to get another one from TAF. The bushing that goes in the throttle arm should rotate freely so that the throttle cable can move back and forth, but the hole on mine was too small. I reamed it to 7mm and then just lightly filed around the hole to get a perfect fit with the bushing.

Second I did a bit more work getting the front seat straps to move freely between the canopy and the interior skin. I had thought that maybe I didn’t put the canopy on far enough back. However, after looking at another Sling 4 at TAF it seemed that it also had the same issue where the seatbelt strap cut out wasn’t back far enough to accommodate the way the seatbelt strap routes up from the spool to the hanger (mounted on the canopy). Even with the cut out not extending back enough the strap did still work, but it did seem to stick some times. After extending the cut out by around 1/2″ the strap doesn’t seem to bind up at all. I also added some low friction tape to the inside of the side skin just to help a bit more (but not really necessary). The side skins should be ready to rivet now so I may do that tomorrow.

Used the deems to extend the cut out for the seatbelt strap. This will all be covered by the side panels so the little missing paint isn’t too big a deal.

The seatbelt moves nice and smooth now and there’s no bend in the belt as it passes through the cut out now. Previously it did work OK, but now works without any binding.

I added a little low friction tape to the inside (that you can’t see) of the skin and then wrapped it around to the front.

Interior Rear Side Skins

1.5 hours

Today I got the interior rear skins ready to get riveted. I had to remove a few rivets from the rear seat floor area to get the skins to fit in. I also had to drill out a few holes for rivets. The skins fit pretty well. The only issue is that if I line up the top of the rear skins with the top of the front skins then most of the holes don’t line up so having them not even seems to work best. These will be covered with the more decorative interior panels so these will never be seen.

I noticed that the cut outs or recesses in the canopy for the seat belts don’t line up great. And since the parachute cable is right behind that area I can’t really even dremel it out more. It’s not that far off, maybe 1/4″ and the seat belt does seem to move OK, though it got a little slow retracting once while I was messing with it. I was thinking maybe the canopy isn’t far enough back (not much I can do about that now), but if that were the case then the upper hinge part of the seat belt strap would be farther back as well and so I’d have the same issue I think. It’s not that big of a deal, it would just be nice if it lined up a little better. Maybe I might need to loosen the seat belt spool and put a slight angle on it instead of it being so straight vertically. Will have to look at that.

I always thought the these flanges go in front, but I saw on the Sling at Torrance TAF that they sit behind the floor panel. Much easier to drill out as well. But now I need to remove these rivets.

OK rivets are out and had to drill one hole in the flange on the floor. On the floor I put the flange under the floor skin even though the Sling at TAF had it on top. I just think it looks better and maybe a little stronger this way.

Right skin, cleaned and clecoed. I’ll do the top row after I get all the other rivets in. Just need to rivet it when I get back from my hiking trip. I think I should be safe to install the interior skins now. I can’t think of anything else that needs to be done behind them.

And same for the left side.

Brake fittings installed

Time: .75hrs

I guess I’m getting pretty good at installing these fittings on the brake lines. Installing the two 45 deg. fittings on the brake line ends near the calipers only took 30-40 minutes. The spreader also helps a bit, but you still have to cut back the stainless steel braiding to get the olive to fit all the way onto the Teflon hose. The 45 deg. fitting also seems to work very well. The straight fitting put a hard bend in the hose and tended to pull the hose out of the channel, but now the hose sits into the channel much better. After I get the plane painted I’ll put some RTV in the channel and tap the hose into the channel with a rubber mallet to get it to seat in. I also found some nice plastic coated aluminum zip ties that I think I’ll use at the ends just to keep the hose in place. The zip ties will be hidden under the wing fairing and wheel pants so it will look clean.

The 45 deg. fitting works well to minimize the hard bend in the hose that the straight fitting would have had.

Hose run through the channel in the gear. The hose fits in fairly tight so it’s not completely seated right now.

Install Center Console (Cubby Hole)

Time: 1.5 hrs

Today I made the cubby hole/center console assembly a permanent resident of the plane. It’s been a long time waiting to install this piece so I’m happy it’s finally in. I also install the front seat belt buckles. I added 3 thick AN4 washers on the inside since the hole to mount the buckle is so large. The washers filled the gap well, a little bit of play in it, but much better then mounting without them. With the cubby hole mounted I was also able to install the inner seat rails.

Now I can double check that the brake lines are routed correctly and everything reaches. Next I can cut the lines at the clippers and put the -4AN ends on. I purchased some 45º fittings which look like they’ll work great.

Cubby hole and seat rails in. I will need to install the arm rest when I get that some day.

Rear cover for the cubby hole/center console. The stratus is mounted towards the bottom. This will be great for the kids and also can serve a 2 more USB chargers for the front. The Garmin GMA245R has one that I’ll need to bring up the the instrument panel with an extension, but it’s always nice to have a few more around. I’m thinking of also putting the rear LEMO plug here for the rear seat headsets.