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Sonex Aircraft News Archive
September-October, 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.

AeroVee Turbo: Miss Last Night's Live Webinar? Video Archive Now Available Online!

Last evening's AeroVee Turbo Webinar was very successful, with many attendees and very high viewer ratings!

For those who missed last night's live presentation, or who just want to watch it again, the AeroVee Turbo Webinar is now available as a video archive on EAA's web site. Watch It Now!

Learn More about the AeroVee Turbo!

Reminder: Don't Miss the AeroVee Turbo Webinar Scheduled for October 29th!

On Wednesday, October 29th at 7pm Central Time, EAA will host the Webinar "AeroVee Turbo Engine." Sonex Aircraft CEO and EAA lifetime member Jeremy Monnett presents an update on the newest 100-hp VW engine, the AeroVee Turbo. Details will include the latest flight test data and developments. Using the latest technology, the AeroVee Turbo package builds on the success of the modern AeroVee, available since 2002, and over 40 years of VW conversion development by Sonex Aircraft. Sign-Up 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.

Learn More about the AeroVee Turbo!

SubSonex Update: FAA NKET Checklist Posted, SubSonex Gets New Gear and New Test Flight Video Footage is Available!

The three months since AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 has seen tremendous progress in the development and production of the SubSonex Personal Jet! SubSonex EAB Quick Build and SubSonex Ultra Quick Build kit production is well underway for our inaugural group of customers, and all of those customers have visited us here in Oshkosh since the first flight of JSX-2 to see more of the aircraft. The mutual excitement between Sonex personnel and this special group of customers is contagious as the project continues to develop!

FAA NKET Checklist Published
The FAA National Kit Evaluation Team (NKET) visited Sonex Aircraft once again in late August, this time with the task of auditing the SubSonex EAB Quick Build Kit for compliance with the "major portion" requirement of 14 CFR section 21.191(g) for experimental/amateur-built aircraft, commonly referred to as the "51 Percent Rule." The SubSonex checklist created during that visit was approved on September 15th and posted recently to the FAA's web site listing of audited kits. More information and links to the FAA NKET documents can be found on our Aircraft Certification web page.

SubSonex Gets New Landing Gear
Unsatisfied with the level of reliability and possible failure modes of JSX-2's original electric actuator landing gear system, the SubSonex development team began work immediately after AirVenture to convert the aircraft to a pneumatic landing gear system. The pneumatic actuators are simpler and more reliable with a longer service life, are available at lower cost, feature a simple and more reliable gear position indication system using hall effect sensors, and have a safer failure mode than the original electric gear -- loss of air pressure in the system causes the gear to deploy and lock due to gravity. A demonstration video of JSX-2's new air-driven landing gear system can be found on YouTube!

Another Round of Extensive Flight Tests Completed: New Video Posted!
SubSonex primary test pilot Bob Carlton was in-town again in late September during a perfect week of flying weather, allowing Bob and the SubSonex development team to conduct another round of very extensive flight testing with JSX-2. All aspects of performance were explored, as we continue to expand the SubSonex envelope. We're pleased to report that the aircraft performed flawlessly, and continues to exceed our expectations in it's performance and handling. A new video featuring excerpts from these flights has been posted to YouTube!

Learn More About the SubSonex!

Sonex First Flight: Dale Anderson

Congratulations to Dale Anderson of Cortland, New York whose AeroVee powered, Standard Gear Sonex (S/N 1288) flew for the first time on October 5th! "Sonex 1288 (N779SX) flew very comfortably and predictable," writes Dale. "It was an enjoyable build and a serious flying machine that I plan to enjoy for many years to come. Many thanks to the whole Sonex family for the practical design and support. [T-Flight] Transition training with Joe was just what I needed to begin the test flights myself. This has truly been an educational and recreational journey. Sonex Experimental 779SX proudly wears the Sonex 'Reality Check'." Gold Wings are on the way to you, Dale!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex First Flight: Keith Macht

Congratulations to Keith Macht of Colchester, Connecticut whose AeroVee powered, Standard Gear Sonex (S/N 554) flew for the first time on October 12th! "As the plane rolled onto the runway suddenly everything felt familiar," writes Keith. "The plane felt and looked exactly like it did when flying at the Sonex factory [T-Flight Transition Training]... I knew that all that time in the shop would eventually produce an airplane but it was always something that would happen in the future and something to dream about.  Well today that dream finally came true." Gold Wings are on the way to Keith!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Onex First Flight: Rick Basco

Congratulations to Rick Basco of Charlotte, North Carolina whose AeroVee powered, Standard Gear Onex (S/N ONX0087) flew for the first time on October 11th! "Did it! Wow, what a rush - and THAT'S an understatement," writes Rick. "Nothing like a first flight in an airplane that you built from a kit to get the adrenaline pumping! Thanks guys - and gals - for the wonderful experience of building the Onex. Control response was unbelievable and that little engine I put together from the bunch of parts you sent me, ran great." Gold Wings are on the way to Rick!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex First Flight: Peter Bakker

Congratulations to Peter Bakker of Sellicks Beach, South Australia whose AeroVee powered, Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N 1430) flew for the first time on October 9th! "Thanks to Sonex especially Kerry Fores [Sonex Technical Support] for their support over the years and for their excellent Aircraft design," writes Peter. "I enjoyed the building process very much. I would like to thank my wife Ans for her support. In addition to that, I would like to thank the SonexAus group, The Sport Aircraft Club of South Australia and the Aldinga Aero Club for their support. I also like to thank Bob Meyers for his very good Sonex Building Log on the website." Gold Wings are on the way to Peter!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex Logs 58th Builder's Workshop Event!

Jeremy Monnett demonstrates the AeroVee powered Onex in a high-speed fly-by for the Workshop crowd.

Workshop attendees gained hands-on metalworking experience using Sonex construction techniques with their Workshop projects.

Sonex Aircraft held it's Fall, 2014 Sonex Builder's Workshop on October 4-5, the 58th 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.

The weather on Sunday afforded factory prototype aircraft fly-by's and several Basic Aircraft Familiarization Flights through our T-Flight Transition Training Program. The weekend's T-Flight activity marked the 100th T-Flight student to fly with us since the program began operations in May of 2013! 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 March 7-8, 2015. Sign-up Today!


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

Workshop attendees had the entire weekend to pore over every inch of Sonex factory prototypes, ask questions, and try them on for size!

T-Flight Basic Aircraft Familiarization flights are a popular option for Workshop attendees. Read More about T-Flight Transition Training packages!

Jeremy welcomes the Workshop crowd, lays-out the agenda for the weekend, introduces staff, and passes the microphone around for attendees to introduce themselves.

One Workshop attendee brought his friend and EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame inductee John Dyke, designer of the Dyke Delta. All paid Workshop attendees can bring a guest for free!

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

Kerry Fores gives a valuable presentation on use of the Sonex Aircraft plans system, the best plans in the business!

John Monnett gives Workshop project demonstrations with the aid of a closed-circuit camera large screen display to illustrate things in closer detail, and attendees get to work on their projects.

Sonex builder Bob Mika was in-town for the Workshop, and volunteered his time to help attendees with their projects and relay his experiences building, owning and flying his Sonex.

EAA Director of Communities Charlie Becker stopped-by on Saturday to speak about current EAA programs and initiatives. Sonex enjoys a very-close relationship with EAA leadership.

Saturday evening included a fun and informative presentation about the flying qualities of all models of Sonex Aircraft.

Several SubSonex Personal Jet customers attended this Workshop, and were treated to a SubSonex break-out session with John Monnett on Sunday morning.

Read More about Sonex Builder Workshops!

Check-Out the T-Flight Transition Training Program!

Waiex First Flight: Peter Henry

Congratulations to Peter Henry of Newborough, Victoria, Australia whose AeroVee powered, Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N W0149) flew for the first time on September 22nd! "Construction which took just over four years has been a great experience and very character building," writes Peter. "I would like to thank everybody who helped along the way in particular Janet, my patient wife, Chris Bishoff (Sonex 1147) a very generous man and Sonex. My little southern star (Epsilon Crucis) flew straight and true. You can only know how that feels if you have been there, right?" That's right Peter, and Gold Wings are on the way to you!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex First Flight: Tony Richardson

Congratulations to Tony Richardson of Strathalbyn, South Australia whose Jabiru 2200 powered, Standard Gear Sonex (S/N 813) flew for the first time on October 4th! "Everything went well with engine and airframe," writes Tony. "Thanks to Sonex for a great design and for the support over the years building. Also thanks to the great support from the Downunder SonexAus crew, Lynn Jarvis, Peter Anson, Doug McLean, Stuart Trist, Greg Jones and others whom I may have forgotten. It may have taken a long time and at times I never thought I'd get there, but with persistance and the support of a great Community of Sonex people, I did! Woohoo!" Gold Wings are on the way to Tony!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex Flying Stories: The Engine is Optional When You Fly with Ted Staton

Xenos builder Ted Staton, famous in Sonex circles for coining phrases such as "Cleco de Mayo" and "We don't need no stinking rivet gun," has been having a great time soaring in his AeroVee powered Xenos Motorglider, and proves in his latest video, "No Engine Needed" that the engine is purely optional when you have a Xenos! Notice the altimeter and variometer in the climbs, not to mention the easy AeroVee in-flight starting. Ted also posted new videos of Xenos Takeoff and Climb, & Approach and Landing operations, available on our Sonex Flying Stories web page.

Find more Sonex Flying Stories!

Learn More About the Xenos Motorglider!

Sonex Employee Anniversaries:
Steve Mitchell Celebrates 3 Years of Service!

Congratulations to Steve Mitchell, who celebrates his 3-year employment anniversary at Sonex Aircraft, LLC this month! Steve joined the Sonex staff in September of 2011 as a full-time Warehouse Associate, and was promoted to the position of Warehouse Manager in 2012. Steve manages all Sonex Warehouse activities, including incoming and outbound shipments, kit, engine and general order packing, and management of Sonex full-time and part-time Warehouse staff.

Read more about the rest of the Sonex Aircraft Team!

Rain Date Yields Better Weather for 6th Annual Northeast Sonex Fly-In

The 6th Annual Northeast Sonex Fly-In was held on it's rain date of Sunday, September 7th. Attendance was a little lighter because of the rain date change, but it was a great event nonetheless. "The weather was spectacular, and the ramp was full of aircraft," reports event organizer Mike Smith.

Approximately 55 people showed up throughout the day, with 7 Sonex Aircraft, including one Onex. Several rides were given to current and prospective builders, and builders Dudley Foster (Onex) and Mike Smith (Sonex) finished flying off their 40 hour phase 1 testing within days of the event, specifically so they could come to the event!

"Thank you to Sonex, Wicks Aircraft, and the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation for the door prizes!" writes Mike. "And thanks to all members of EAA chapter 1314 for all their help and support! As always it was great to see everyone again!"

Sonex Aircraft would like to extend a huge thanks to Mike, his attendees and helpers for making this 6th annual grass-roots tradition in the Sonex builder community such a success!

Find More Builder Organizations and Events!

Reminder: Sonex Builder's Workshop, October
4-5, 2014 Coming Soon, Sign-Up Today!

The Fall Sonex Builders Workshop, is coming-up fast, scheduled for October 4-5, 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. Sign-Up Now!

Read More About It!

Sonex Aircraft History Webinar Now Available as Online Archive Video

Watch the Sonex History Webinar Now!

Our latest Sonex Aircraft webinar, "History of Monnett Aircraft Designs" is now available as an archived video! The live presentation on September 10th was rated as a 4.7 on a 5.0 scale by it's 154 attendees, a very high score.

Sonex Aircraft founder and EAA Homebuilt Hall of Fame member, John Monnett presents a history of his aircraft designs from his very first homebuilt, a highly-modified Jeenie's Teenie called "the Mini Messaschidt" to the Sonerai I racer built in 1970 for $1,200 to the SubSonex very, very light Jet program and everything in-between. Details of John's design philosophy of affordability and simplicity along with matching an aircraft design to its stated mission is revisited throughout the presentation.

Don't Miss Our Nex Webinar on October 29th: AeroVee Turbo!
On Wednesday, October 29th at 7pm Central Time, EAA will host the Webinar "AeroVee Turbo Engine." Space is limited, so Sign-Up Today!

Read More about the history of John's designs in his official biography, "John Monnett: from Sonerai to Sonex"

Learn About the History of Sonex Aircraft:
Don't Miss Wednesday Night's Webinar!

Read More about the history of John's designs in his official biography, "John Monnett: from Sonerai to Sonex"

Sonex Aircraft is proud to present our latest Webinar, hosted by EAA, "History of Monnett Aircraft Designs" this Wednesday, September 10th at 7pm Central Time! Sonex Aircraft founder and EAA Homebuilt Hall of Fame member, John Monnett presents a history of his aircraft designs from his very first homebuilt, a highly-modified Jeenie's Teenie called "the Mini Messaschidt" to the Sonerai I racer built in 1970 for $1,200 to the SubSonex Very, very light Jet program and everything in-between. Details of John's design philosophy of affordability and simplicity along with matching an aircraft design to its stated mission will be revisited throughout the presentation. Space is limited, so Sign-Up Now!

Find More Sonex Aircraft Company Events!

Epic Trip, Epic Video: Aaron Knight's Latest!

The Sonex offices always buzz when Aaron Knight releases a new video that we can post to our Sonex Flying Stories page, and we've known that this one was coming for a long time. In July, 2014 Aaron made a trip from his home in Massachusetts to the Yukon Rockies and Denali Alaska in his Sonex, the second Sonex builder to make the trip since Robert Barber flew to Alaska from Texas (Robert's account of the trip was the April, 2014 cover story of Kitplanes Magazine). "14.5 hours of HD handheld & wingcam video condensed down to 5.5 minutes of Epic Insanity & a perfect film score," writes Aaron. "7000+ miles, 80+ hours, in only 8 days!" Aaron's latest video, "Denali Sonex Trip -- Hans Zimmer - Inception: Time" can be found on YouTube, and is featured here. This video even captured the attention of AvWeb, becoming the aviation news agency's top story on September 1st.

See More Sonex Flying Stories!


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