The Airplane Factory

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The Airplane factory (Pty) Ltd.
Privately held company
ProductsKit aircraft
OwnerMike Blyth, James Pitman, Andrew Pitman

The Airplane factory (Pty) Ltd. is a South African aircraft manufacturer based at Tedderfield Airpark, Eikenhof, Johannesburg South. The company specializes in the design and manufacture of light aircraft in the form of kits for amateur construction and ready-to-fly aircraft for the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale microlight and the American light-sport aircraft categories.[1][2]

The company has three shareholders: Mike Blyth, Director - Development, Marketing and Operations; James Pitman, Director - Corporate; and Andrew Pitman, Managing Director. Other key people include: Terry Musiker, Engineer - Aeronautical Engineering.[3]

The Airplane Factory utilizes numerical control manufacturing and computer-aided design in its aircraft design and production processes.[1][2][3]

The company produces the two-seat Sling 2, which was first flown in 2008 and the four-seat Sling 4, introduced in 2009[1][2][4] and the new Sling TSi which was first released in 2018[5].

In July 2013 a Sling 4 was flown by Mike Blyth and his son from South Africa to AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States. The flight included a 14-hour over-water leg using the modified Sling 4's 20 hours of fuel endurance.[6]


Sling TSi
Summary of aircraft built by The Airplane Factory
Model name First flight Number built Type
The Airplane Factory Sling 2 18 November 2008 60 (2012)[7] Two-seat, low wing microlight aircraft
The Airplane Factory Sling 4 2009 Four-seat, low wing aircraft
The Airplane Factory Sling TSi 2018 Four-seat, low wing aircraft


  1. ^ a b c Bayerl, Robby; Martin Berkemeier; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011-12, page 80. WDLA UK, Lancaster UK, 2011. ISSN 1368-485X
  2. ^ a b c Tacke, Willi; Marino Boric; et al: World Directory of Light Aviation 2015-16, page 83. Flying Pages Europe SARL, 2015. ISSN 1368-485X
  3. ^ a b The Airplane Factory (2013). "Team". Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  4. ^ Paul Dye (June 2014). "Sling goes big". Kitplanes.
  5. ^ "Sling TSi Makes World Debut". Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  6. ^ Pew, Glenn (2 August 2013). "South Africa To Oshkosh In The Sling 4". Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  7. ^ Bernard, Mary and Suzanne B. Bopp: The Airplane Factory: Sling 2 (and Sling 4), Kitplanes, Volume 29, Number 12, December 2012, page 22. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851

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