We are thrilled to announce we are working with Sling Aircraft in developing our first fully fly-by-wire and easy-to-fly airplane: the Airhart Sling! Based on the Sling TSi, it will possess all the excellent features typical of a TSi: a turbo-charged Rotax 915iS engine, capacity for four people (including the pilot), a cruise speed of 148 KTAS, and a range of 800 nautical miles while only burning 7.4 gallons of fuel per hour. Additionally, the Airhart Sling will feature Airhart’s easy-to-fly controls, creating a safe and user-friendly airplane that anyone can fly.
Sling’s safety-first design philosophy makes them an excellent partner to work with. The TSi has been designed and rigorously tested against the FAR Part 23 requirements and standards, providing pilots and passengers with the assurance that the airframe is safe, while still delivering the benefits of being an experimental category aircraft.
While Sling is providing the base airframe and powerplant with the TSi, we are redesigning the airplane's interior completely with new and modern style, materials, and electronics. Our all-leather interior, high-quality trim, and modern displays will give the Airhart Sling a genuinely luxurious and modern feel.
The gorgeous full-width display is designed with redundant LCD panels and drivers, providing excellent situational awareness for the pilot and passengers. The user interface was designed from the ground up, utilizing AC 23.1311 and related documents as guidance for our design. With this new display, we provide all critical information about the airplane and its systems, utilizing modern UI/UX design techniques to make the interface modern, fluid, simple and intuitive to use. Interaction with the avionics displays can be either via touch screen or through a centrally located controller, taking the interaction between the pilot and the airplane to a new level. No more fussing with FMS knobs. Now, pilots can always focus on their most important task: flying safely.
The most important feature of the Airhart Sling is how pilots will fly the airplane. We have adopted an intuitive active side-stick design that is the primary point of interaction for the pilot. Simply push the stick left, right, forward, or back to fly left, right, down, or up, respectively, and our redundant and fault-tolerant flight computers, sensors, and servos will handle the rest. No more worrying about rudder pedals or “stick and rudder mastery”. The side-stick is actively controlled to provide feedback to the pilot so that they can feel precisely how the airplane is behaving while letting the Airhart control system keep the flight safe. In the center console is our innovative speed control system. Simply push it forward or back to speed up or slow down. No more fussing over reverse control during slow flight or the typical “pitch, power, trim” adjustments.
The brake control for taxiing is integrated directly into the speed control. On the ground, merely pulling the speed control all the way back will engage the brakes via a direct hydraulic link. Steering on the ground is as simple as pushing the side-stick left or right.
We are incredibly excited to work with Sling to make the Airhart vision a reality. Subscribe to this blog to stay tuned and receive more updates on the Airhart Sling as we continue to develop and test the world’s first truly easy-to-fly airplane!