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African Aircraft Arrives in Oshkosh

July 20, 2015 - A group of South African aviation enthusiasts wait under a tent in the Homebuilts area, their site adorned with American and African flags, and with music blaring from a car stereo. The group excitedly waits to greet Mike Blyth, director of development, marketing, and operations, and Patrick Huang as they touch down in Oshkosh in their Airplane Factory Sling 4 from Africa.

Their most recent stretch had been about 17 hours.

They traveled from South Africa into West Africa, from West Africa the Bahamas, then to Key West, and from their straight into Oshkosh.

“It flew amazingly well, absolutely no problems,” Mike said. “We had no problems at all.”

The plane has maps on top of both wings with colored lines showing the routes Mike and Patrick flew on past flights. The map also offers assistance for the pilots in case their planned routes go wrong.

“This is the Sling ‘moving map,’” Mike said. “We put the map on the wing because if it fails, then we can look out the wing and see where we’re going.”

The Sling 4 is a wholly African designed and built craft and is available in kits for homebuilders. Similar to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014’s One Week Wonder, the Sling 4 was built in merely four days by 40 different people at the Africa Aerospace and Defence Show.

 “It’s on everybody’s bucket list to fly an airplane,” he said. “It’s an amazing machine.

“You can put anything into it, as much fuel as you want, and it flies.” Mike will be staying at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 while Patrick continues to fly the Sling 4 to Los Angeles, California, then will continue back to Africa.
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