Airplane Factory Guys Making Second 'Round the World Flight
By Melinda Wright, Intern – EAA Publications
Mike Blyth and James Pitman are flying around the world in their newest aircraft, the Sling 4.
August 18, 2011 – Two years ago, Mike Blyth and James Pitman, owners of the Airplane Factory in Johannesburg, South Africa, flew their prototype Sling LSA aircraft around the world, making a pit stop in Oshkosh for AirVenture 2009. The design duo is back in action, embarking on another around-the-world adventure - this time in their new Sling 4 four-place airplane.
Mods for the flight include larger fuel tanks aimed at providing 24 hours of flight capability, improved instruments, and a satellite tracker. Mike and James spent 3-1/2 years building, testing, and modifying the Sling 4. (Sling 2 only took two months to complete.)
Their 2011 route includes 16 legs and stops in 12 countries. They expect to put more than 24,000 miles on the aircraft, with the longest single leg a 21-hour nonstop flight from Réunion to Sri Lanka completed on August 11.
Mike and James are due to enter the U.S. next week on August 24, landing in Anchorage, Alaska. U.S. stops include Anchorage, Los Angeles, and Green Bay. For more information and to follow their progress, click here.