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Sonex Aircraft News Archive
March-April, 2014

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.

Sonex First Flight: Michael Madaris

Congratulations to Michael Madaris of Gold Beach, Oregon whose Std Gear Sonex (S/N 509) flew for the first time on April 26th! "My Sonex flew great and was very easy to fly although a bit touchy on the control which I am sure I will get use to as I fly off the hours," writes Mike. "A special thanks goes out to my wife Jackie for all of her support while building the Sonex, spending hundreds of hours in the shop and even more hours down at the airport getting ready for the first flight -- she was just excited as I was about the first flight, and to Kerry at Sonex Aircraft [Technical Support] for answering all the questions I had for him." Mike also expressed thanks to members of Sonex online discussion groups for their help and advice, as well as fellow Oregon builders Bruce Harrington (S/N 321) and Bill McWhorter (S/N 1486) for giving him some Sonex flight time to prepare for flying his aircraft. Gold Wings are on the way!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Onex First Flight: Dudley Foster

Congratulations to Dudley Foster of East Falmouth, Massachusetts whose AeroVee powered Tri-Gear Onex (S/N ONX0054) flew for the first time on April 11th! "If a Cherokee is the aerial sedan," writes Dudley, "this is the aerial sports car. Flew great and straight. Thanks to my wife for being a real supporter during the construction, to all those who corresponded during the build with help and suggestions, to Rich Desmond my EAA tech counselor, the guys at Falmouth Airpark for their help, and especially the Sonex staff for their great support." Gold Wings are on the way to Dudley!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Fly Along: New Xenos Motorglider Video Tour!

Sonex Aircraft is proud to present the first of a new series of "Video Tours" featuring each of our Sonex Aircraft models! Fly the sweetheart of the Sonex Aircraft fleet, the Xenos Motorglider, with Sonex CEO Jeremy Monnett. Jeremy gives a ground tour of the Xenos Motorglider, along with a quick flight in the pattern, including power-off operations.

Follow-Along with CloudAhoy!
You can also view real-time data from this flight, data-recorded via the CloudAhoy smart phone app!

Learn More About the Xenos Motorglider!

Onex First Flight: Herman Frentzel

Congratulations to Herman Frentzel of Greenbrae, California whose AeroVee powered Std Gear Onex (S/N ONX0026) flew for the first time on April 3rd! Herman reports benefiting from the help of both Dave Ward and test pilot Glenn Bashforth, and that the aircraft was modularly pre painted prior to final assembly with Stewart Systems aircraft finish. Gold Wings are on the way to Herman!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sun 'n Fun 2014 Report:
Another Good Year for Sonex Aircraft Forums and the Florida Sonex Association Fly-In!

FSA President Mike January visits with Xenos builder Phil LeBlanc and Australian guest Grantley Crocke during the Sping Sonex Fest.

John Monnett presents a forum to a full house during Sun 'n Fun 2014.

Sonex Aircraft had another successful showing at the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo in Lakeland, FL, conducting informational forums once again for the 2014 show, along with a very successful builder fly-in event hosted by the Florida Sonex Association!

Sonex founders John and Betty Monnett traveled to Lakeland along with General Manager Mark Schaible for the show, with John conducting four forums on Thursday and Friday that attracted interest from a wide-range of prospective Sonex Aircraft customers. Forums covered topics including the Sonex, Waiex, Xenos and Onex aircraft designs, the AeroVee and AeroInjector, and the SubSonex Personal Jet aircraft.

Sonex hosted a Sonex Builder Happy Hour event at Sun 'n Fun's Sunset Grill again this year. The Thursday afternoon event attracted several current and prospective builders and a great time was had by all.

The highlight of the week was provided by the Florida Sonex Association with their second annual "Spring Sonex Fest" held on Sun 'n Fun Saturday at the Dunnellon Marion County Airport. "In spite of being fogged in until 10:30 am the Florida Sonex Association's 2nd Annual Spring Sonex fest was a great success," writes FSA founder Mike January. "Along with our special guests John and Betty Monnett and Mark Schaible, we welcomed 88 attendees, One Xenos, 3 Waiex, and 5 Sonex plus 8 general aviation aircraft that flew in to look at the Sonex line or aircraft, including an R-44 helicopter. Many of our first time visitors have joined the FSA and promised to return again next year. We wish to thank all those who attended for making this a great event and wish to extend a special thanks to John. Betty and Mark for joining us at Dunnellon. We look forward to next year's Spring Sonex Fest and are hoping to expand our event to two days."

Sonex Aircraft, LLC would like to extend a huge Thank You to Mike and Anna January, FSA members and all attendees for making this grass-roots annual Sun 'n Fun tradition such a success for the second year in a row!

Find More Sonex Builders' Events!

Sonex Builder Events: 11th Annual Northern California Sonex Fly-In Set for May 31st!

NorCal Fly-In at Rio Linda: See the Report from Last Year's Event!

Another grass-roots Sonex builder tradition, the Northern California Fly-In at Rio Linda CA, has been scheduled for May 31st as the 11th annual event! Event organizers expect as-many as 20 Sonex Aircraft examples to be in attendance with about 100 to 150 people. Read More

More Information Posted for Great Lakes Sonex Fly-In
In other Builder Events news, organizers for the June 28th Great Lakes Sonex Fly-In in Bollingbrook, IL have posted more information for our calendar, including a downloadable event flyer. Read More

Find More Sonex Builder Organizations and Events!

Sonex Flying Stories: Robert Barber Flies from Texas to Alaska - Read the Article Today!

Who says the Sonex is not a cross-country machine? Sonex Builder Robert Barber (S/N 271) sure doesn't, as he flew his Jabiru 3300 powered Sonex from his home in Bryan, TX to Alaska and back! The tale of his journey can be found in an article Robert wrote for the April, 2014 issue of Kitplanes Magazine. The article is now available for download, and we've posted it to our web site. "Northward Ho! Alaska and Back in a Plansbuilt Sonex," (1.7mb PDF file) is an 11-page cover feature detailing his journey, along with impressive photographs of the beautiful Alaska mountainscape taken along the way. In addition to the download link above, the article can also be accessed from the Kitplanes web site.

See More Sonex Flying Stories!

Waiex First Flight: Rodger Connolly

Congratulations to Rodger Connolly of Rothwell, Queensland, Australia whose AeroVee powered Std Gear Waiex (S/N W0155) flew for the first time on April 3rd! "Just before 10am on 3rd April, at Kilcoy Airfield in Queensland Australia, VH-YEX Waiex #155 left the nest on her first flight at the skilful hands of test pilot, Mark Galletly," writes Rodger. "Special thanks to my aviation mentor, John Lucas for his guidance, Mike Yarrow for engine build assistance and especially my wife Kay, for her patience and encouragement." Gold Wings are on the way to Rodger!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex Employee Anniversaries:
Jackie Schultz Celebrates 2 Years of Service!

Congratulations to Jackie Schultz, who celebrated her 2-year employment anniversary at Sonex Aircraft, LLC in March! Jackie is a member of our Customer Service Team, and her primary responsibilities involve the handling of your Complete Airframe Kit, Sub-Kit and engine orders, following them from order placement to fulfillment and shipping.

Read more about Jackie, and the rest of the Sonex Aircraft Team!

Sun 'n Fun 2014: Catch all the Sonex Action and Don't Miss the FSA Dunnellon Fly-In!

Sun 'n Fun 2014 is just around the corner. Don't miss the Sonex action!

The Florida Sonex Association will be holding their 2nd Annual Spring Sonex Fest on April 5, 2014 at Dunnellon. This event is a great opportunity for Sun 'n Fun attendees to get a break from the busy Saturday crowds and learn more about Sonex Aircraft!
Get Directions from Lakeland!

Note: Registration is Required at the FSA web site so that event organizers and airport management can have enough food, refreshments, shade and other facilities prepared. Get more details at our Builders' Events Calendar!

Sonex Aircraft, LLC will once again be conducting informational forums at the 2014 Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo in Lakeland, FL. Although Sonex Aircraft will not have an official exhibitor presence at Sun 'n Fun, the following forums and events will be held:

  • Thursday, April 3rd, 12:00 pm Room #6: "SubSonex Jet from Sonex Hornets' Nest Research & Development Team"

  • NEW! Thursday, April 3rd, 1:30 pm Paradise City Briefing Tent: "Current Sonex Aircraft Product Line, plus R&D Project Overview"
  • Friday, April 4th, 11:00 am Room #3: "AeroVee Engine & AeroInjector: Sport Pilot Power"
  • Friday, April 4th, 1:00 pm Room #11: "The Sonex, Waiex, Xenos and Onex: Sport Pilot Designs"

Sonex Happy Hour Thursday! Sonex will once again be holding their Happy Hour event for Sonex builders, Thursday, April 3rd, 3pm at the Sunset Grill on SNF grounds.

Check-out the report from Sun 'n Fun 2013!

Find More Sonex Builders' Events!

See the Sonex Aircraft, LLC Company Events Calendar!

Just a Few Days Remaining in the Sonex "Wings for Spring" Event: Buy Now and Save!

A reminder, just a few days remain to take advantage of our "Wings for Spring" savings event, with kit discounts available thru March 31st!

Aircraft Kit Discounts: Place a Complete Airframe Kit, Kit Minus Tail Package, or Quick Build Kit order with deposit by March 31st, and save $500 off your kit price. 

AeroVee Engine Kit Upgrade Offer: Place an AeroVee Engine Kit order with deposit by March 31st, and receive our Prop Hub/Crankshaft Assembly Service at no charge ($295 value).

All current pricing, online order links and order forms can be found on our Pricing web page, including our Sonex Aircraft Total Cost Worksheet, which will help you estimate your aircraft construction budget. Have questions? Contact us today!

Increase Your Savings and Knowledge With a Workshop!
You can take advantage of this Spring Sale Event, and still receive all of the discounts associated with attendance of our Sonex Builder Workshop seminars! You can buy a kit today, and receive Workshop discounts after completing the weekend program. Attending a Sonex Workshop will also set you up for maximum success with your project!

Learn More About the Sonex, Waiex, Xenos, Onex and AeroVee Products!

Sonex Builder Events:
Attend the First Annual Sonex Mile-High Fly-In!

Sonex Aircraft is excited to add yet-another grass-roots Sonex builder-organized event to our Sonex Builders' Events Calendar! The First-Annual Sonex Mile-High Fly-In will be held on May 17, 2014 in Colorado Springs, CO. Read More about the event!

Event organizers, be sure to send your event listings to Sonex Aircraft, LLC for posting to our calendar!

Find More Builder Organizations and Events!

SuperVee to AeroVee Engine History Webinar Archive Video Now Available Online!

Sonex Aircraft LLC's lastest EAA-hosted webinar, "SuperVee to AeroVee Engine History" is now available in a permanent video archive format! In this presentation, Sonex Founder and President John Monnett presents a history of his experiences converting Volkswagen engine components for aircraft use, sharing his 40 years of experimenting with air-cooled VW auto engines for powering experimental aircraft, which have lead to the AeroVee Engine Kit of today.

Learn More About the AeroVee Engine Kit!

Onex First Flight: Maurice Caudill

Congratulations to Maurice Caudill of Peoria, Illinois whose AeroVee powered Tri-Gear Onex (S/N ONX0107) flew for the first time on March 15th! "Today was the day," writes Morrie, "all the trials and tribulations ended here. Thank you [Sonex Tech Support] for being available to hold my hand and thank you Sonex for a great kit. The build was a pleasure and a great satisfaction even if I never got to fly it. I’m looking forward to many more hours in 107X." Gold Wings are on the way to Morrie!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex First Flight: Bruce Watkins

Congratulations to Bruce Watkins of Houston, Texas whose Jabiru 3300 powered Sonex (S/N 885) flew for the first time on March 13th! "Attached are some photos that my friend Mike Singleton [Sonex# 465] took of the aircraft last Thursday on the date of the first flight (by me) and the second flight (by him)," writes Bruce. "Mike has posted a nicely edited video (it makes my landing look good) on YouTube of the first and second flights." Mike Singleton serves as the EAA Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor for Bruce, and many other Texas builders. Gold Wings are on the way!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Xenos First Flight: Sigit Wiriyatmo

Congratulations to Sigit Wiriyatmo of Bandung, Indonesia whose AeroVee powered Xenos (S/N X0026) flew for the first time on March 16th! "It flies great, easy even," writes Sigit," I was low time pilot. Aerovee also is great engine. Thanks for Sonex team for the support and also thanks for Chris Dearden [Xenos# X0035] for the useful first flight tutorial." Gold Wings are on the way to Sigit!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex Aircraft to Present March 19th Webinar: SuperVee to AeroVee Engine History

Sonex Aircraft is proud to present a new Webinar, hosted by EAA, "SuperVee to AeroVee Engine History" on Wednesday, March 19th at 7pm Central Time! This webinar, presented by Sonex Founder and President John Monnett, will present a history of his experiences converting Volkswagen engine components for aircraft use, sharing his 40 years of experimenting with air-cooled VW auto engines for powering experimental aircraft, which have lead to the AeroVee Engine Kit of today.

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!

Find More Sonex Aircraft, LLC Events!

Help Wanted: Seeking Research and Development Assistant in the Hornets' Nest!

Sonex Aircraft, LLC is seeking talented engineering/technical applicants with a love of homebuilt aircraft to compliment our industry-leading Hornets’ Nest Research & Development team! The right candidate will be a creative problem solver with hands-on aircraft & engine experience and CAD skills, among other qualifications & attributes. Download the full job posting details!

Sonex Aircraft, LLC Holds a Wintry 56th Sonex Builder's Workshop Event!

Sonex Founder and President John Monnett gives a walk-around tour, detailing the design features of Sonex aircraft.

Sonex Aircraft held it's Spring, 2014 Sonex Builder's Workshop on March 1-2nd, and the only thing missing was Spring! The event hosted a fantastic group of current and prospective Sonex Aircraft builders, as attendees from across the country and around the World traveled to Oshkosh to learn more about building, owning and flying Sonex Aircraft. The group constructed sample Sonex metalworking projects, received detailed informational sessions about all Sonex Aircraft designs, engine options, AeroConversions products, and all other aspects of building, owning and flying Sonex Aircraft.

Unfortunately, the record-setting unseasonably cold temperatures (into negative digits) and some IFR weather prevented any flying from taking place, where Workshop attendees would normally have the opportunity to experience our Basic Aircraft Familiarization training package via the Sonex T-Flight Transition Training program. Attendees planning to fly with us during the weekend took the situation in-stride though, as there is no arguing with Mother Nature, and all are making their plans to fly with us at a later date. Workshop attendees had the whole weekend to inspect every inch of Sonex factory prototype aircraft on the ground, however, and try them on for size.

The Sonex Aircraft Workshop continues to be an extremely valuable experience for our builders, saving them time, money and answering many frequently asked questions in the building process. Sonex Builder Workshops are held several times per year at the Sonex Aircraft, LLC facilities in Oshkosh, WI, and significant kit discount incentives are offered for attendees. Our next Sonex Workshop will be held June 7-8, 2014. Sign-up Today!

Workshop attendees gather for a group picture with Sonex Aircraft staff.

Sonex CEO Jeremy Monnett welcomes attendees, introduces staff, and passes-around the microphone so that attendees can introduce themselves to the group.

John demonstrates metalworking techniques to the group, which they will use in constructing their sample projects. A closed-circuit camera shows attendees close-up details.

Workshop attendees get to work on their metalworking projects! The Sonex Workshop project uses the Sonex Aircraft plans system and incorporates all major types of metalworking techniques used in the construction of Sonex kits.

Workshop attendees take a tour of the Sonex warehouse, not only giving them a glimpse of Sonex production operations, but also showing them the quality and finish of Sonex kit parts and packaging methods.

Jeremy demonstrates solid riveting techniques for constructing Sonex Aircraft main wing spars.

John gives an an-depth presentation showing the history and development of the AeroVee Engine Kit.

Read More about Sonex Builder Workshops!

Check-Out the T-Flight Transition Training Program!

February Sonex Employee Anniversaries:
Heather Zahner Celebrates 9 Years of Service!

Congratulations to Heather Zahner, who celebrated her 9-year employment anniversary at Sonex Aircraft, LLC in February! Heather joined us in February of 2005 and has grown in her responsibilities to become an increasingly vital and valued member of the Sonex team. Heather currently serves as Sonex Aircraft's Manager of Customer Service, Accounting and Human Resources.

Read more about Heather, and the rest of the Sonex Aircraft Team!

February Sonex Employee Anniversaries:
Ryan Grady Celebrates 2 Years of Service!

Congratulations to Ryan Grady, who celebrated his 2-year employment anniversary at Sonex Aircraft, LLC in February! Ryan is a full-time Warehouse Associate with Sonex, helping the Warehouse team to package and ship your kit, engine and parts orders every day.

Read more about Ryan, and the rest of the Sonex Aircraft Team!


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