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Sonex Aircraft News Archive
May-June, 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 Flying Stories:
Celebrating Life with Music and Aerobatics!

People have a knack for finding reasons to celebrate through adversity. This is certainly true in the case of Sonex builder Aaron Knight, who took inspiration in the song "Every Good Thing" by The Afters, and produced a fun and inspirational music video featuring aerobatics in his Sonex. "Coming through maybe the toughest times to hit our family, EVER... I couldn't help making this music video," writes Aaron. "I think you'll find it as Thoroughly entertaining as it is true. Crank up the volume & full screen HD & enjoy!!!" Watch the video now on YouTube!

We're honored that our product could give Aaron an outlet to express his joy and appreciation for life, and we hope that it can do the same for you!

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Sonex Flying Stories:
Video Fun at Critters Lodge Fly-In!

Sonex Builder Robert Barber, most recently known for his exploits flying cross-country from Texas to Alaska and back, had a little formation video fun with fellow Sonex builder Mike Singleton and Onex builder Derek Hodges at the Critters Lodge Fly-in and camp-out, May 2-4. Watch "Critters Lodge Fun!" now on YouTube!

Find More Sonex Flying Stories and Videos!

Sonex Employee Anniversaries:
Mark Schaible Celebrates 10 Years of Service!

Congratulations to Mark Schaible, who celebrates his 10-year employment anniversary at Sonex Aircraft, LLC this month! Mark has been with Sonex Aircraft in a full-time capacity since June of 2004, and worked part-time and as a freelance contractor for Sonex beginning in 2003. Mark currently serves as General Manager for Sonex Aircraft and is responsible for most of the company's day-to-day operations while continuing to focus on sales, advertising, & public relations.

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

Sonex First Flight: Michael Smith

Congratulations to Michael Smith of Maynard, Massachusetts whose AeroVee powered, Std Gear Sonex (S/N 0439) flew for the first time on June 21st! "The AeroVee powered, standard gear, plans-built aircraft flew perfectly during it's 20 minute flight," writes Mike "The 5 hours of time I received in a factory Sonex [via T-Flight Transition Training] was extremely helpful in making the take-off, flight and landing a predictable affair. Thanks to all my friends who helped over the last five years, and especially to my wife Gail for her continuous support." A first flight video posted by Mike can be found on YouTube. Gold Wings are on the way to Mike!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex Builder Events:
11th Annual NorCal Fly-In Held at Rio Linda!

Sonex Aircraft builders and pilots recently held the 11th Annual Northern California Sonex Fly-In at Rio Linda Airport on May 31st. "Saturday was another fantastic gathering," writes event co-organizer Jeffry Larson. The fly-in attracted 13 Sonex Aircraft and approximately 130 attendees. "This year saw some new, recently completed as well as some of the longtime faithful returning," continued Jeffry. "This year’s arrivals covered a lot of territory, Coeur d’Alene ID, San Diego CA, Los Angeles CA, Livermore CA, Tracy CA, Colusa CA, California Airpark CA, Rio Linda CA, Eugene OR, Lake Oswego OR and Seattle WA just to name a few. Prospective builders also flew in commercially from Canada, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Southern CA among a few that I had the opportunity to meet."

Event co-founder and co-organizer Eric Scheppers provided a lunch of BBQ ribs for the large crowd. "Like everything he touches, they couldn’t have been better." writes Jeffry. Several other non-Sonex aircraft arrived at the event, including GA aircraft, RV's and other experimentals, and even several fly-by's by a jet powered Cozy!

As-always Sonex Aircraft would like to extend a huge Thank You to Jeffry Larson, Eric Scheppers, and all other organizers, volunteers and attendees for making this annual Sonex builder tradition a success once again in 2014!

Find More Sonex Builders' Events!

Onex First Flight: Loren Sievila

Congratulations to Loren Sievila of Kalama, Washington whose AeroVee powered, Std Gear Onex (S/N ONX0033) flew for the first time on May 21st! With that second image that Loren submitted, we have to wonder if he's cooking-up something special with fellow Washington State Onex builder Mark Edwards? Hmm, how many other Onex builders do we have in WA again? Gold Wings are on the way to Loren!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex Builder Events:
First North Central Sonex Fly-In a GREAT Day!

"The weather on June 7 at Buffalo, MN was CRUD, but the day was GREAT!!!" writes event organizer Wayne Flury about the inaugural North Central Sonex Fly-In held at Buffalo Municipal Airport. "Despite the weather, but recognizing the passion that Sonex pilots have for flying and showing their airplanes, we had two Sonex arrive at Buffalo," continues Wayne. The event attracted a total of 17 current and prospective builders and a great time was had by all.

The day included two formal presentations, one about VW aircraft engines and the other about engine pre-heat systems, round table discussions by all builders in-attendance, door prizes donated by Sonex Aircraft and other vendors, and a fantastic lunch. The event was hosted in the hangar of West Metro Aviation, interesting in it's own right as the home for several airshow aircraft custom builds, including Kyle Franklin's Dracula and John Klatt's Screamin' Sasquatch.

A far more detailed newsletter report of the day's activities can be downloaded in PDF format! "Shall we do this again?" asks Wayne, "Everyone in attendance wanted to see this fly-in event continue, and I think there is a good representation of Sonex projects in the area of justify it." Sonex Aircraft would like to extend a huge Thank You to Wayne Flury, his family and volunteers for making this new grass-roots Sonex builder event a success!

Ken Woodraska from Oelwein, Iowa, with his VW powered Sport Acro. He says he likes doing aerobatics and is learning more.

Bob Krueger from Alexandria, Minnesota, with his 3300 Jabiru powered Sonex. Note the gray skies in both photos and the wet ramp!

Find More Sonex Builders' Events!

57th Sonex Builder's Workshop Event Filled with Great Weather, Flying and Fun!

Jeremy Monnett demonstrates for Workshop attendees on the ground the impressive performance of the Sonex Sport Acro with prototype AeroVee Turbo installed.

A T-Flight student prepares to experience a Xenos Motorglider familiarization flight during the Workshop.

Sonex Aircraft held it's Summer, 2014 Sonex Builder's Workshop on June 7-8, the 57th Workshop event since the company's founding in 1998!

The event hosted another 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. This workshop included attendees from as-far away the Netherlands and Guam!

Mother Nature smiled-down upon Wittman Regional Airport for the weekend, allowing attendees to get the full Workshop experience including factory prototype aircraft fly-by's and many Basic Aircraft Familiarization Flights through our T-Flight Transition Training Program. Part-time T-Flight instructor Tom Helm was on-board this weekend to assist Chief Flight Instructor Joe Norris in making sure that everyone wanting to fly was able to get a flight before the conclusion of the weekend. Workshop attendees also had the whole weekend to inspect every inch of Sonex factory prototype aircraft on the ground, 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 October 4-5, 2014. Sign-up Today!

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

Jeremy descends out of the morning sun to demonstrate the AeroVee powered Onex in a high-speed fly-by for the Workshop crowd.

The contrast of a 185 mph pass in the Onex immediately followed by a 50 mph slow flight pass is stark and impressive!

The Sport Acro fires-up with prototype AeroVee Turbo installation on-board!

Not a single inch of Sonex factory prototype aircraft escape the close inspection of Workshop attendees throughout the weekend.

Jeremy welcomes the Workshop crowd, lays-out the agenda for the weekend, introduces staff, and passes the microphone around for attendees to introduce themselves. Attendees arrived prepared with their building and flying thinking caps on!

John Monnett gives a walk-around tour of the technical design features that go-into the Sonex line of aircraft.

Workshop attendees receive a tour of the newly expanded Sonex Aircraft, LLC warehouse.

John Monnett gives Workshop project demonstrations and advanced building tips throughout the weekend with the aid of a closed-circuit camera large screen display to illustrate things in closer detail.

Workshop attendees get to work on their hands-on metalworking projects. The Sonex Workshop project represents all of the major different types of metalworking required to build a Sonex Aircraft, and gives a great orientation experience in using Sonex Aircraft plans.

Sonex Aircraft staff are available to help Workshop participants with their questions during metalworking project construction.

Jill Steenbergen, a STEM teacher at College Station Independent School District in College Station, TX tries her hand at solid riveting for the Sonex Aircraft main wing spar. College Station ISD will be working with EAA Chapter 1531 to build Sonex Education Initiative projects in the school!

Many Workshop participants had the opportunity to fly various aircraft in the Sonex Aircraft factory fleet as-part of the T-Flight Transition Training Program. More students were able to fly thanks to both favorable weather, and the addition of a second T-Flight flight instructor.

Read More about Sonex Builder Workshops!

Check-Out the T-Flight Transition Training Program!

Waiex First Flight: Jure Lokovsek

Congratulations to Jure Lokovsek of Ljubljana, Slovenia whose Jabiru 3300 powered, Tri-Gear Waiex (S/N W0111) flew for the first time on June 7th! "Flight took place in Lesce-Bled airfield in Slovenia," writes Jure. "It lasted 15 minutes. Everything went well. Aircraft is very sensitive on controls, and with Jabiru 3300, climbs like a rocket. I must say thank you to many friends (whom I never met), previous builders of Sonex Aircraft, who well documented their building process on the net." Gold Wings are on the way to Jure!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Onex First Flight: Mark Edwards

Congratulations to Mark Edwards of Woodland, Washington whose AeroVee powered, Std Gear Onex (S/N ONX0035) flew for the first time on June 6th! "Thanks for designing an affordable sweet flying airplane," writes Mark. "The controls are well balanced, light and responsive, a real joy to fly. I'm happy it lives up to the the name I gave it, Nirvana, Buddhist word for spiritual bliss, in this case flying bliss. Can't wait to get back in the air. Thanks again to everyone in the Sonex Company for making it happen." Gold Wings are on the way to Mark!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Onex First Flight: Ronald Rasmussen

Congratulations to Ronald Rasmussen of Medina, Ohio whose AeroVee powered, Std Gear Onex (S/N ONX0030) flew for the first time on May 27th! "Much quicker than my 2200 Jab Sonex," writes Ronald. "Gonna luv it!" Gold Wings are on the way!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Onex First Flight: Thomas Ryan

Congratulations to Tom Ryan of Novato, California whose AeroVee powered, Std Gear Onex (S/N ONX0074) flew for the first time on April 3rd! "After a few hours of tweaking & tuning it's flying well," writes Tom. "Thanks to my co-builder & fellow geezer Richard Gaines, avionics guru Neil Cormia the patient techs at Sonex and the fabulous Air Ward... A very nice little airplane, fun to fly." Gold Wings are on the way to Tom!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex First Flight:
UltraSport/Marcos Arellano Venegas

Congratulations to Marcos Arellano Venegas of Santiago, Chile! We recently received word that his AeroVee powered, Std Gear Sonex (S/N 1273) built by Santiago, Chile business UltraSport flew for the first time on January 19th! Marcos describes his Sonex as "the best plane for fun!" See a video about Marcos' first 20 hours in the Sonex on YouTube.

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Reminder: Only Two Weeks Remaining Until the June Sonex Bulider Workshop - Sign-Up Today!

Our Summer, 2014 Sonex Builder Workshop will be held in only two weeks! Space is still available for the June 7-8 event, so Sign-Up Today!

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 and their guests. Don't miss your chance to save over $1,000 and a tremendous amount of build time. You can also fly a Sonex Aircraft via our T-Flight program!

Read More!

Sonex Builder Events:
Inaugural Mile High Sonex Fly-In Held in Colorado!

Sonex Aircraft builders in Colorado are reporting a very successful experience for the first-ever Mile High Sonex Fly-In, held on May 17th at Colorado Springs East Airport. Event organizer Jeff Shultz writes the following:

"The weather cooperated (for the most part) and temperatures and winds were mild all day.  A total of 4 aircraft were present.  John Lingwall had his 3300-powered Purple and Silver taildragger.  John Gillis brought over his red and yellow 3300-powered Waiex taildragger.  Dave Dooley and his wife flew their beautiful 3300 powered Xenos from Erie, CO, braving morning fog and turbulence to get out of their
home airport and on their way to the event.  And I pulled my Sonex out from the hangar and onto the ramp.
Approximately 20 people drove in for the event, including at least 5 or 6 active builders and many other interested potential builders.  Builders had plenty of time to look each airplane over and pilots answer thousands of questions along the way!  It was a great opportunity to exchange ideas and information.  Ron Sipple from the Kansas City crew got honors as the furthest traveled to attend.  He's making good progress on his kit and reported that he was hard at work starting his wings as soon as he got home! 
Dave Dooley's gorgeous Xenos was a big hit with the group, and I lost count of how many people said they wished they were building a long-winger instead!  If larger hangars were more common, I think there'd be many more Xenos's flying in Colorado!  Dave gave a short talk on his experience building and flying the Xenos.  He said building it was no more
challenging than a Sonex, but there was just more of it!  He clearly enjoys flying his motor-glider.
John Gillis talked through the process of converting his tri-gear Waiex to a taildragger.  He described flying his tri-gear as "Stupid Simple!", but said that he just wanted a tail dragger, and was happy he did it.  John also described his cowling modifications and his hydraulic brakes conversion.
I finished off the presentations with a discussion on Jabiru FWF installation tips and considerations.  I think all the presentations were informative and very well received.
We wrapped up the day with a BBQ lunch and hangar talk session, and all three visiting airplanes departed around noon to beat the building clouds in case they turned nasty. Overall we had a fantastic event, and look forward to building on our success next year."

As-always, Sonex Aircraft would like to extend a huge Thank You to Jeff and all of this helpers and attendees in making this first grass-roots Sonex builder event in Colorado a success!

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Sonex First Flight: Michael Beck

Congratulations to Michael Beck of Omro, Wisconsin whose AeroVee powered, Std Gear Sonex (S/N 1145) flew for the first time on May 18th! "After numerous delays due to starting a new career and the poor Wisconsin weather this spring," writes Mike, "the weather finally cooperated and I made the first flight of Serial #1145 on the evening of Sunday, May 18th with my wife Brenda, son Brandon and daughter Autumn witnessing the event! I can't wait to fly the 40hrs off and share the experience with my family and friends!" Gold Wings are on the way!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex Aircraft Expands Warehouse;
Prepares for a Busy Summer Season!

A 3600 square foot addition to the Sonex Warehouse has just been completed, as Sonex Aircraft LLC is preparing for an extremely busy summer in 2014. The season will be kicked-off by the June 7-8 Sonex Builders Workshop event, the 57th seminar since the company's founding in 1998! The production calendar is filling-up and SubSonex Jet & AeroVee Turbo R&D projects are heating-up! See today's Official Press Release!

You're Invited:
Sonex Builder's Workshop, June 7-8, 2014!


Interested in building a Sonex Aircraft? You're invited to attend our next Sonex Builders Workshop, scheduled for June 7-8, 2014 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 and their guests. Don't miss your chance to save a tremendous amount of money and time with these workshop discount opportunities.

Catch the Action from the Fall, 2013 Workshop:
Read a full report from our last Workshop, March 1-2, and learn what's in-store for your June, 2014 Summer 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 post-workshop kit and engine orders.

Experience the Sonex Workshop AND a Sonex Aircraft Flight with our T-Flight Program:
Sonex Workshop attendees may sign-up for a Basic Aircraft Familiarization package via our T-Flight Transition Training program. Limited space is available and flight slots are weather-dependant. You may also extend your travel plans to fly during the week before or after the Workshop. Learn More about T-Flight and Sign-Up Today!

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 the Sonex Builders Workshop!

SubSonex Progress Update: The Devil's in the Details — Prototypes Nearing Completion!

Ever hear the old homebuilt aircraft adage, "The last 10 percent takes 90 percent of the time?" Well it's fair to say that the Hornets' Nest team is working on the last 10 or 15 percent of the last 10 percent as the SubSonex Personal Jet JSX-2 prototypes rapidly approach completion in preparation to begin flight testing in June!

Check-out today's progress update, with multiple pictures showing all the little details we are working-on as the prototype construction wraps-up!

Learn More About the SubSonex Personal Jet!

Sonex Education Initiative: Pathways to Flight Foundation Seeks Funding for Sonex Project

A new youth aviation education organization, Pathways to Flight Foundation Inc., is seeking funding to build a Sonex Aircraft! Established by Waiex builder and Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation boardmember Eric Seber, Pathways to Flight hopes to introduce Southern Indiana area youth to aviation, aircraft construction, and career fields in aerospace by building an experimental Sonex kit aircraft.  This project will be designed to teach students not only aircraft construction and aviation concepts, but teamwork, business skills, relationship building, and will link concepts learned in the formal school setting to the real world. "Aviation desperately needs young people," writes Eric, "and young people need aviation."

Read more about the pending project in Eric's update to the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation, and make your tax-deductible donations today on the Pathways to Flight web site!

Learn More About the Sonex Education Initiative!

Sonex First Flight: John McIntire

Congratulations to John McIntire of Pittsfield, Illinois whose Std Gear Sonex (S/N 979) flew for the first time on April 28th! "Plane flew great," writes John. "Proud to say I own a Sonex. Thanks to Joe [Norris - Sonex T-Flight] for the help on the transition training." Gold Wings are on the way to John!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex First Flight: Howard Haymore

Congratulations to Howard Haymore of Kurtistown, Hawaii whose Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N 1454) flew for the first time on April 24th! "A very nice handling airplane," writes Howard. "Development is ongoing, mostly in the details. ...I love the landing gear. Makes my lousy landings seem nice." Gold Wings are on the way to Howard!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Daily Digest Email Now Available from Discussion Group!

Sonex Aircraft, LLC is excited to report that the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation has added "Daily Digest" functionality to the forums! For those missing the Daily Digest feature of Sonex Aircraft's former Yahoo hosted groups, you can now sign-up to receive daily email with all forum activity over the past 24 hours. A simple sign-up form can be found at the bottom of the home page!, hosted by the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation, has replaced the original Sonex Yahoo Groups, and uses modern forum architecture to host forums on many different topics including news from Sonex Aircraft, LLC, news from the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation, airframe-specific forums for all Sonex airframe models, the AeroVee Engine Kit, and much, much more! Peer-moderated by Foundation members, maintains a highly-positive and enthusiastic conduit for builders to share their passions and information.

Find More Ways to Stay Connected With Sonex Aircraft!


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