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Sonex Aircraft News Archive
November-December, 2010

Please note that links on older archive pages are often not active. These pages serve purely as an informational archive. If you have trouble obtaining the information you need from this site, please email the webmaster with your questions.

Happy Holidays from Sonex Aircraft, LLC

Sonex Aircraft will once again be shut down over the holiday break for year-end maintenance and inventory. We will be closed from Friday, December 24th thru Sunday, January 3rd. Reopening for regular business on Monday, January 4th. From all of us at Sonex Aircraft, we'd like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday season!

Special Sonex Workshop Opportunity:
Attend February 5-6, 2011 Workshop and
Dine with EAA President Rod Hightower!

Space is still available for the February 5-6 Sonex Aircraft Builder Workshop, so sign-up today to learn more about building a Sonex, Waiex or Xenos! Significant kit discounts are offered to those who attend.

February Workshop attendees receive a special treat: an opportunity to attend the EAA Chapter 252 annual banquet, held in the EAA AirVenture Museum's new Founders Wing. The guest speaker for this year's banquet will be none other than new EAA President Rod Hightower! This is a unique opportunity to meet the new leader of EAA.

The Banquet is held on Saturday, February 5th, includes a catered buffet, and features door prizes and a silent auction. Download the PDF Banquet Flyer for more information!

Read More about Sonex Builder Workshops!

Waiex First Flight: Ivan Castrillo

Congratulations to Ivan Castrillo of Malabar, Florida whose Jabiru 3300 powered standard gear Waiex (S/N W0136) flew for the first time on December 16th! "It was a very thrilling/awe filled flight," writes Ivan. "The flight was flawless and the aircraft exceeded all my expectations. Thanks to my lovely wife Theresa, daughters Lindsay and Carly and my whole family and friends for all their help and support. Thanks to the Monnett Family and the entire staff at Sonex for an outstanding product and support." Gold Wings are on the way to Ivan!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Where There's a Will, There's a Way:
Building Xenos 42 in a Jersey City Townhouse

Michael Jackson with Xenos #42's fuselage shoehorned into his Jersey City, NJ townhouse. Over Michael's shoulder, you can see a Xenos tail surface hanging on the wall.

When asked by prospective builders "how much shop space do I need to build a Sonex, Waiex or Xenos?" the staff at Sonex Aircraft will sometimes reply with "where there's a will, there's a way." Sonex Aircraft are routinely constructed in single-car garages and other small shop spaces. Through the years, we've seen customers building Sonex parts in mobile home trailers and apartment living rooms, and have seen assembled AeroVee's used as show-piece decoration under glass-top coffee tables while awaiting completion of an airframe, but Michael Jackson's Xenos SN X0042 project takes the cake for us.

Michael recently emailed Sonex Aircraft General Manager and CEO Jeremy Monnett with some photos showing his mostly-completed Xenos Motorglider fuselage and wings being extricated from his beautiful Jersey City townhouse to be transported to Blairstown airport for completion. These major subassemblies were not only complete, but they appear to be very well constructed and polished too!

Clicking further into Michael's online photo album, we saw amazing images of his Xenos fuselage and wings literally shoehorned into his house, with every available space taken-up by airplane parts, tools, or workbench surfaces. Michael reports that he hopes to have his Xenos completed within the next two months. Also amazing is that, despite the cramped workspace, Michael managed to build his Xenos in a very short amount of time. He attended our October, 2009 Sonex Builder Workshop with no previous metalworking or airplane building experience, ordered his Xenos Complete Airframe Kit, and took delivery in late November, 2009. Michael also missed-out on building during the entire month of February and part of March while on-location in Vancouver, British Columbia working with NBC to cover the 2010 Winter Olympics.

So the next time you stress about shop space or other practical considerations keeping you from pursuing a Sonex Aircraft project, just think of Michael Jackson and remember, "where there's a will, there's a way!"

Michael gives a "thumbs-up" while trying-out his Xenos cockpit in the hallway. Notice cardboard padding on the firewall fuel filler box (top, right of photo) to avoid scraping himself when descending the stairway.

Later in the project, you can see the Xenos fuselage in the same part of the house with fuel tank, glareshield, windshield and canopy installed, yet there's not enough space to open the canopy fully.

Working on the Xenos main wing spar on the townhouse's back deck in the narrow back yard typical of Jersey City and other urban neighborhoods. Note the workbench with vice and grinding wheel is moved outside too.

Hopefully Santa Clause takes note: everyone should have a 21.7 foot Xenos wing nestled in front of the fireplace! Note the wing leveling fixture built-in to the bottom stair tread (lower-left of photo) and door jamb (lower-right).

The move to Blairstown airport begins! Xenos 42's tailcone emerges from Michael's front door.

The polished aluminum fuselage structure is handled with care! Note the wing visible through the lower-level window.

Safely out of the house, but not safely down the stairs yet!

One of Michael's polished Xenos wings makes it through the window.

See more on Michael's Flickr photo album!

Find Out More about the Xenos Motorglider!

Onex and SubSonex Static Load Tests Complete

Sonex Aircraft, LLC recently conducted 3 structural load tests in the Hornets' Nest Research and Development center. The wing structures of both the Onex and SubSonex aircraft designs, along with the Onex horizontal stabilizer, all underwent static load testing using procedures prescribed by FAR part 23. Note: the SubSonex tail structure was not tested due to its similarity to previously-tested Sonex, Waiex and Xenos structures. Read more, including images and videos, in our full Hornets' Nest Progress Update!

Read More about the Hornets' Nest!

Subscribe to the Hornets' Nest R&D Mailing List!

E-Flight Electric Powered Waiex First Flight!

The Sonex Aircraft, LLC E-Flight Initiative proof-of-concept electric-powered Waiex aircraft achieved its first flight today, December 3, 2010 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, WI. Piloted by Sonex Founder and E-Flight team leader John Monnett, N270DC made a short hop on runway 27, intended to be a conservative non-pattern flight to break ground-effect and analyze in-flight system performance as the next step in testing. This short flight punctuates four years of development by the E-Flight design team in engineering, building and testing one of the most advanced electric flight packages ever conceived.

“We are very proud of this achievement. The core design team of Pete Buck, Andrew Pearce, John Monnett, and myself would like to thank our staff, families, business partners, and friends in all of their help and understanding through this incredibly challenging project.” Said Jeremy Monnett, CEO and General Manager of Sonex Aircraft. “We have a flight envelope expansion plan and will be working on this in the coming weeks and months. We have also already started our motor v4.0 design and motor controller v12.0 to be integrated on N270DC. Many more great things to come on this project!”

Read More and watch a video of the first flight in today's official Press Release.

Read More about the E-Flight Initiative!

Subscribe to the Hornets' Nest R&D Mailing List!


Notice: May, 2011 Workshop Date Change

Due to company scheduling conflicts including Mother's Day, the Spring, 2011 Sonex Builder's Workshop has been changed to April 30-May 1, 2011 (originally scheduled for May 7-8). In addition to resolving the Sonex company calendar, we hope this change will allow more prospective Sonex Aircraft builders to attend!

Read More About Sonex Workshops!

8th Annual Great Southern Sonex Gathering Another Big Success!

The 8th Annual Great Southern Sonex Gathering, held on November 6, was once again a big success with 7 Sonex Aircraft on display and over 100 Sonex enthusiasts in attendance! Event organizers Mike Singleton and Robert Barber reported that approximately 30 rides were given to current and prospective Sonex Aircraft builders by the pilots who flew-in. Mexican food was served-up along with building demontrations, door prizes, and plenty of flying.

"Robert and I would like to thank all those who came in their Sonex aircraft, those who helped with the work and those that came to visit," writes Mike Singleton. "These Sonex people and the great Sonex aircraft make this a highlight event in this part of the country every year!"

Sonex Aircraft, LLC would like to thank Mike and Robert for making yet another outstanding grass-roots Sonex builder event so successful!

Find more builders' events, or submit your own
event, at our Builders' Events Calendar web page!

Sonex First Flight: Oshkosh Aircraft Builder's Club, EAA Staff-Built Sonex

Oshkosh Aircraft Builder's Club members Barry Elk and Charlie Becker watch Joe Norris taxi-out in Sonex 450.

Congratulations to Charlie Becker and the Oshkosh Aircraft Builder's Club, Ltd., whose AeroVee powered tri-gear Sonex (S/N 450) flew for the first time on November 28th! The Oshkosh Aircraft Builder's Club is made up of a group of EAA staff members. The plane, N208GD, is dedicated to the spirit of Gregg Deimer, one of the EAA builders who died of cancer during the aircraft's construction.

EAA's Joe Norris conducted the first flight, and the group worked with EAA Technical Counselors Chuck Burtch, Dave Nason, and Brian Lee. EAA Flight Advisor for the project was our own John Monnett, who presented Charlie with Gold Wings personally. "This Sonex was a group project built by several members of the EAA staff over the years," writes Charlie. "The emphasis was on affordability. Hope you can take a look at it at AirVenture 2010!" See a story and video about this aircraft at!

L to R: Barry Elk, Charlie Becker, and Joe Norris celebrate a successful first flight!

John Monnett congratulates Charlie Becker on the Club's achievement.

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex First Flight: Miguel Mendez Ojeda

Congratulations to Miguel Mendez Ojeda of Malaga, Spain whose Jabiru 3300 powered standard gear Sonex (S/N 553) flew for the first time on November 25th! "Hands off, level, and FAST!" writes Miguel. "Thanks Sonex Team!" Gold Wings are on the way!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Chris Dearden and Steve Nelson's Xenos Wins 2010 SACSA Most Outstanding Aircraft

Australian Xenos builders Chris Dearden and Steve Nelson (Xenos SN# X0035) have won the "Most Outstanding Aircraft" award for 2010 from the South Australian Sport Aircraft Association (SACSA) for their workmanship!

Sonex Aircraft, LLC congratulates Chris and Steve for their achievement as their Xenos continues to draw attention to the growing fleet of Xenos Motorgliders worldwide.

Read More About the Xenos!

You're Invited: Sonex Builder's Workshop, February 5-6, 2011!

Space is still available for our next Sonex Builder's Workshop, scheduled for February 5-6, 2011 here at the Sonex factory in Oshkosh. The $200 registration fee is available for credit toward your plans or kit purchase. A number of kit discounts are also available only for workshop attendees. Don't miss your chance to save a tremendous amount of money and time with these workshop discount opportunities.

Special Opportunity for February Workshop Participants: February Workshop attendees receive a special treat: an opportunity to attend the EAA Chapter 252 annual banquet, held in the EAA AirVenture Museum's Founders Wing. The Chapter 252 banquet typically attracts interesting and entertaining key note speakers. Past speakers have included an SR-71 pilot Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Halloran, Air Force One pilot Greg Cayon, and Lockheed Skunkworks engineer & Sonex lead engineer Pete Buck. The Banquet is held on Saturday, February 5th, includes a catered buffet, and features door prizes and a silent auction.

Catch the Action from Our Last Workshop: Read a full report from our most recent Workshop, and learn what's in-store for your February Workshop experience, on our web site News Archive.

Beat the Rush: Buy Now! Note that there is no penalty for purchasing plans and/or kits in advance of the workshop. You receive the same discounts at the end of the workshop and you'll be first in line ahead of what we expect will be a strong list of kit and engine orders.

Get a 10 Percent Discount on Workshop Tools from Wicks Aircraft Supply! Wicks Aircraft Supply is now offering a 10 percent discount on tools purchased for use at Sonex Builder's Workshops! Just mention your planned attendance of the Workshop when placing your order. Wicks can even ship your tools directly to Sonex Aircraft, LLC in anticipation of your arrival! See the Workshop Tools List on our Workshops web page. Wicks can also fill your Sonex Aircraft Hardware Kit needs once you begin building.

Read More about Sonex Builder's Workshops!

Florida Sonex Association Holds First Annual Fly-In and BBQ

The Florida Sonex Association hosted its first annual Fly-in and BBQ on November 6th at Marion County Airport (X35), Dunnellon, Florida and it was a great success, according to event organizers. 88 Sonex enthusiasts and 21 aircraft were in attendance at the event despite unusually cool weather for a Florida November. 14 Sonex and Waiex aircraft flew-in, along with 7 GA aircraft. Wootten York flew his GT500 in from Washington, Georgia (a round trip of over 720 miles) just to get a look at Sonex Aircraft. Florida Sonex Association member Kip Laurie traveled all the way from Monroe, Georgia with his outstanding Waiex (SN# W0082) for a round trip distance of 743 miles!

"I wish to thank all the pilots, volunteers, and visitors that helped make this event  a success," writes FSA Fly-In organizer Mike January. "A special thanks goes out to John Helms III, the Airport Manager, for his support, Billy G. Fleming of NAPA for the golf cart use at the fly-in, Beth Leidenheimer and Joel Combee for the great photos, and Sonex Aircraft, LLC for providing door prizes and hand outs for the event and developing the great aircraft kits for all of us to enjoy. It is a great feeling to bring together such a fine group of pilots, builders and aviation enthusiasts. My wish is to be able to expand the FSA and its events throughout the year here in Florida." More event photos and FSA information can be found on the FSA web site:

Sonex Aircraft, LLC would like to thank Mike and the Florida Sonex Association for making yet another outstanding grass-roots Sonex builder event so successful!

You can find more builders' events, or submit your own event, at our Builders' Events Calendar web page!

AeroConversions AeroVee and AeroInjector Webinar Archive Available Online

On November 16th, Sonex Aircraft Founder and President, John Monnett, presented a Webinar on AeroConversions products including the AeroVee and AeroInjector through EAA's popular Webinar series. That Webinar is now available in video format on EAA's Webinar Archives.

Learn More about AeroConversions Products at!

EAA Members: Get Free Crating on Sonex Aircraft Tail Kits thru December 9th!

Sonex Aircraft Tail Kits are a great way to get started building a Sonex, Waiex or Xenos aircraft, which offer The Best Performance Per Dollar in the kit aircraft industry today. Through the EAA Deal of the Week program, we are offering free crating, a $75 value, to EAA members on Tail Kit purchases made by December 9, 2010!

Read More About This Offer!

Learn About the AeroConversions AeroVee and AeroInjector in our Webinar Next Week!

EAA is hosting a highly-successful program of Webinars (web based seminars) that feature expert presenters on a variety of aviation topics, and Sonex Aircraft has once again been invited to present. On Tuesday, November 16 at 7pm Central Time, we will present a Webinar about the AeroConversions AeroVee Engine Kit and AeroInjector. The presentation will last approximately 1 hour.

Webinar presentations use slides and live audio from the presenter, and audience members can ask questions or be polled for their opinion in the webinar's interactive format. Space is limited, so Sign-Up Now!

Learn More about AeroConversions Products at!

Sonex First Flight: Phil Steckler

Congratulations to Phil Steckler of Evansville, Indiana whose Jabiru 3300 powered standard gear Sonex (S/N 486) flew for the first time on October 29th! Phil persevered through the birth of all four of his children, job and address changes to fulfill his dream of building and flying his own aircraft. Gold Wings are on the way!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex Flying Stories: New Video of Crossville 2010 From the Huebbes; Xenos First Flight Video from Australia

Two new customer videos have been added to the Sonex Flying Stories page:

John, Mark, and Tom Huebbe (Sonex SN's #24 & #764) have produced yet another great video, this one featuring their experience at the 2010 American Sonex Association Fly-In in Crossville, TN. Read more about the 2010 ASA Fly-In in our News Archive.

Australian Xenos builders Steve Nelson and Chris Dearden took some nice video, including air-to-air footage, of the first flight of their Xenos# 35 in August, 2010.

See More Sonex Flying Stories!


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