Hornets’ Nest R&D: E-Flight Initiative News & Developments

News & Developments for the E-Flight Initiative

What is E-Flight?

In 2006 Sonex, LLC’s research and development team began work on what is now called the “E-Flight Initiative.” E-Flight is a push to explore viable alternative energies for powering sport aircraft and improve the efficiency and performance of current products and technologies to keep aviation affordable for the average pilot, and to keep recreational aviation available to future generations of pilots.

Although E-Flight has been shrouded in strict secrecy to ensure intellectual property protection of its more cutting-edge components, public unveiling of E-Flight at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2007 has been a vital key to the Initiative since it’s inception. E-Flight is not only intended as a “push” for the Sonex R&D team, but also to help push the rest of the recreational aviation industry toward similar goals in the interest of preserving the future of our sport.

Electric Power
Development of a proof-of-concept electric motor powerplant, controller, battery pack and charging system with the goal of determining the feasibility of a marketable line of Sonex and AeroConversions products. This project represents the most significant portion of E-Flight, in terms of investment, risks, challenges, and possible gains.

Our endeavor is to not just assemble "off the shelf" components, as others have done before us, to prove that electric flight is possible. Our mission is to develop a truly integrated eco-friendly alternate power system that combines efficiency and safety for our line of existing aircraft, and the future of sport aviation.


E-Flight News & Development Updates:

July 13, 2011: E-Flight Webinar Update [video archive]

Webinar: Sonex E-Flight Update See More Sonex Aircraft Webinars! Return to the Hornets’ Nest/E-Flight Archive

April 20, 2011: Electric Waiex Flights Continue [new flight videos]

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The Sonex Aircraft, LLC E-Flight Initiative proof-of-concept electric-powered Waiex aircraft began longer duration flight testing with a second flight of the aircraft on March 30, 2011 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, WI. During the March 30th flight, the E-Flight Waiex acheived a full circuit of the airport traffic pattern, as planned. A third flight… Read More

E-Flight Electric Waiex Achieves First Flight

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PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE E-Flight Electric Waiex Achieves First Flight December 3, 2010, Oshkosh, WI 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… Read More

July 12, 2010: E-Flight Webinar [video archive]

Webinar: Sonex Electric Aircraft Update See More Sonex Aircraft Webinars! Return to the Hornets’ Nest/E-Flight Archive

March 24, 2010: E-Flight Electric Sport Aircraft (ESA)

The e-Flight Initiative research and development project to develop electric powered flight continues to make steady progress in the Hornets’ Nest. Although the e-Flight electric system is being targeted as a replacment for any internal combustion aircraft installation producing approximately 80 horsepower, several new Sonex Aircraft airframe configurations are being considered for electric power, including… Read More

December 16, 2009: New LiPo Battery Pack, and Motor & Controller Refinements

Three steps forward, two steps back. The E-Flight Team continues to move ever closer to flight while turning setbacks into E-Flight system enhancements. The integrated system testing shown in the September update provided the team with a substantial amount of information and excitement. The full power motor runs turning a Jabiru 3300 propeller at 2800… Read More

September 8, 2009: High Power Runs in Integrated Aircraft System

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The biggest challenge the E-flight team currently faces with the project is the battery pack/power supply. A number of battery manufacturers have been approached as potential suppliers of the 15kW-h of power desired for the system. The goal of the E-Flight team is to forge a partnership with a battery company or companies that can… Read More

Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine: “The Electric Airplane”

Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine “The Electric Airplane” by Peter Garrison Sonex Aircraft LLC’s own Pete Buck received major recognition for his part in the E-Flight Electric aircraft research & development project in a feature article appearing in the August 1, 2009 edition of Smithsonian Air & Space magazine! The article, “The Electric Airplane” by… Read More

JetWhine Aviation News Blog: “Jet & ESA Fly From Sonex Hornet’s Nest”

JetWhine Aviation News Blog “Jet & ESA Fly From Sonex Hornet’s Nest” by Scott Spangler Scott Spangler of the JetWhine aviation news blog paid the Sonex Aircraft facilities a visit to learn more about our Hornets’ Nest Research and Development projects unveiled at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009. The August 31st blog post covers the E-Flight… Read More

July 22, 2009: Development Timeline; Aircraft System Integration

The Sonex Aircraft, LLC E-Flight Initiative proof-of-concept electric-powered Waiex aircraft will be on display in the Aviation Learning Center during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009, located on the flight line, East of the AirVenture Forums Plaza. There will be an informational update regarding the progress of E-Flight given during the “Sonex and AeroConversions E-Flight Alternative Power… Read More

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