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Sonex Aircraft News Archive
May-June, 2007

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 Attending Baraboo Dells Air Show

Weather permitting, one or more Sonex Aircraft from the Sonex Aircraft, LLC factory will be flying-in to the Wings Over Wisconsin Dells air show on June 30. One or more Sonex staff members will be on-hand throughout the day to show-off Sonex Aircraft, distribute free Sonex and AeroConversions literature and answer your questions.

If you are planning to bring your Sonex Aircraft to a local or regional fly-in, or you are planning a get-together for fellow Sonex builders, be sure to let everyone know about it using our Builders' Events Calendar.

Another Award-Winning Sonex Aircraft!

Congratulations to Dennis Burton of Greeley, Colorado, whose Sonex (S/N 691) won the Third Place trophy for Best Kit Built Aircraft at the Rocky Mountain EAA Regional Fly-In. The Fly-In was held June 22-24 at the Front Range Airport in Denver, Colorado.

"The Rocky Mountain Regional Fly In was a big success," reported Dennis. "A record number of people and airplanes were on hand to celebrate our common interest in

Sonex Aircraft, LLC owes extra thanks to Dennis for volunteering to distribute Sonex and AeroConversions literature at the event. "As the only Sonex at the event, I was very busy answering questions about the airplane and handing out sales info," commented Dennis.

If you are planning to bring your Sonex Aircraft to a local or regional fly-in, or you are planning a get-together for fellow Sonex builders, be sure to let everyone know about it using our Builders' Events Calendar.

Sonex First Flight: Dick Hein

Congratulations to Dick Hein of Fullerton, California, whose Jabiru 3300 powered, Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N 868) flew for the first time on June 10.

"Sonex N365SX leaped vigorously into the air," reports Dick. "The craft was piloted by the capable hands of Sonex Fighter Pilot Frank Silveira... Fellow Sonex builder Russ Clifford stood by with fire extinguisher in case of need. It was not needed. Thanks, Russ. Thanks also to Jim Pyle of EAA Chapter 1 and the guys at FarWest Aviation for all the help. And of course, Dick Woods for his contribution... All in all, a perfect day!"

Gold wings are on their way to Dick!

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Fourth Annual Homecoming a Success

The Fourth Annual Sonex Aircraft, LLC Homecoming Fly-In was a great success as we hosted approximately 100 visitors throughout the day and seven customer-built Sonex aircraft were on display along with six factory prototypes. Special thanks to Gus Schlegel, Roger Nienberg, Ken Irwin and Barry Weinzirl for flying-in with their Sonex aircraft! Thanks also to Wayne Daniels, Drew Waterworth and Kerry Fores for displaying their Wittman Airport-based Sonex aircraft! The Oshkosh chapter of Women in Aviation sold a lunch of Wisconsin brats at the event, providing a profitable fund raiser for their organization.

Kerry Fores makes a low pass with smoke on!


Ken Irwin flew-in his beautiful AeroVee powered Sonex with freehand-airbrushed eagle nose art (top and above). Ken talks to Fly-In attendees about his Sonex project (below).


Attendees swarm Gus Schlegel's Jabiru 3300 powered Sonex once the cowl is removed (above and below). A better view of Gus' outstanding Sonex (right).



Fly-In attendees were treated to dueling soaring demonstrations by the factory Xenos Motorglider prototype (top) and a local hawk (above). Observers called the competition a draw, concluding that the two competitors demonstrated roughly equivalent L/D capabilities.

Attendees admire Wayne Daniels' newly-painted "Purple Haze" (foreground), Roger Nienberg's shark-nosed Sonex and the Sonex factory's Xenos prototype.

John Monnett gives a ground demonstration of the Sonex Sport Acro's smoke system.
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Sonex First Flight: Bill Wood

Congratulations to Bill Wood of Granbury, Texas, whose AeroVee powered, Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N 775) flew for the first time on June 7. "Bill Wood, 78 years young, of Granbury TX saw his tri-gear AeroVee powered Sonex fly for the first time this evening!" reported local Sonex pilot and friend, Wes Ragle. "Kevin Ross did the honors. Kevin is becoming the Sonex test pilot for the region :-) Kevin gave the same glowing report for Bill's plane that he gave for mine. First flight was out of 0TX0 (Nassau Bay). A (wet) 2800' grass strip. The N. Central Texas fleet grows :-)" Gold wings are on the way to Bill!

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Sonex In The News!

Sonex Aircraft is enjoying some significant media coverage this month in two major sport aviation press outlets:

The July issue of Kitplanes magazine (hits mailboxes in June) features two articles relating to Sonex Aircraft, LLC: "Designer Spotlight: John Monnett" is a 7-page feature article packed with historical photographs covering Sonex Aircraft LLC Founder and President John Monnett's career from Sonerai to Sonex. Incidentally, "From Sonerai to Sonex" is the proposed title of a John Monnett biography, written by Sonex Builder Jim Cunningham, which is scheduled for publication later this year;

"Waiex, Y Not?" an article featuring Lou Pappas' award winning Jabiru 3300 powered Waiex, is also contained in July's Kitplanes. While the article contained a lot of positive information, Sonex Aircraft, LLC disagrees with some of the negative statements made by the author. See our Letter to the Editor, including reactions to the article from Sonex customers/pilots.

The June issue of EAA's Sport Pilot magazine features Sonex builder Jeff Shultz's article "Building a Sonex: A Lesson in Life" which can be downloaded from our web site: (820kb PDF File)

Find More Articles About Sonex and AeroConversions Products

Congressman Tom Petri Tours Sonex Factory

Congressman Thomas Petri (R) 6th District, Wisconsin, visited Sonex Aircraft, LLC on Tuesday, May 29 and met with Sonex owners and staff. Petri toured the Sonex facility and learned about Sonex and AeroConversions products and how the unique Sonex Aircraft, LLC business model offers the Best Performance Per Dollar to sport pilots worldwide.

Much of the discussion focused on the many jobs created in the state of Wisconsin, and nationwide, by Sonex contracts with domestic part suppliers. Sonex also illustrated for the Congressman an example of successful business on Wittman Regional Airport, showing the airport's tremendous value to the community and the nation's trade and tax base.

Sonex Aircraft, LLC also took the opportunity to lobby Congressman Petri for the rejection of the federal aviation service user fee proposals contained in the Bush Administration's proposed Next Generation Air Transportation System Financing Reform Act of 2007. To find out how you can make your voice heard on the issue of user fees, see EAA's General Aviation United Against User Fees information page. Congressman Petri serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

(Left to Right) John Monnett, Betty Monnett, Congressman Thomas Petri, Jeremy Monnett

Sonex Prices to Increase July 1, 2007

Sonex Aircraft, LLC will be increasing prices on all Airframe Kits and AeroVee Engines on July 1, 2007 by $500 each. This price increase has been necessitated by an increase in raw material costs for these products.

New Pricing as of July 1, 2007:
Sonex Kit: $13,995.00
Waiex Kit: $14,495.00
Xenos Kit: $19,495.00
AeroVee Engine: $6,495.00

Sonex First Flight: Elmer Smith

Congratulations to Elmer Smith of Pocatello, Idaho. Elmer and his building partner Mark Edwards flew their AeroVee powered, Standard Gear Sonex (S/N 179) for the first time today. "I would like to thank Sonex for all there help," writes Mark. "...and what a dream to fly." Gold wings are on the way!

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Sonex First Flight: Chris Tyhurst

Congratulations to Chris Tyhurst of Montague, California, whose Jabiru 3300 powered, Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N 581) flew for the first time on May 16. "Thanks to everyone there [at Sonex Aircraft, LLC] for making the building process as stress free as possible," writes Chris. "Pretty zippy little airplane. Loads of fun." Gold wings are on the way to Chris!

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Get Free Gas at June 9 Homecoming Fly-In

The Fourth-Annual Sonex Homecoming Fly-In event is set for Saturday, June 9. Once again this year, we are offering a free top-off of 100LL to all who fly-in with their Sonex Aircraft!

Hours: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Stop-by and tour the Sonex factory. See our Map to get here and view a listing of local accommodations.

For Fly-In taxi and parking instructions, download our Sonex Aircraft Fly-In Traffic Instructions (416kb PDF File)*

Memorial Day Weekend fuel prices getting you down? Be sure to read about how Sonex Aircraft superbly balance Fuel and Fun!

Sonex First Flight: Anthony Forry

Congratulations to Tony Forry of Athens, Tennessee, whose Jabiru 2200 powered, Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N 409) flew for the first time on May 19. "Wow!!! No surprises here. N409SX hopped off the ground and flew very nicely! I'm looking forward to many exciting hours of flight in a great airplane," Commented Tony. "Many thanks to Mr. John Davis from Crossville, TN, my friend, fellow builder (S/N 0523), and technical advisor for the many hours of assistance and encouragment. Also, thanks to a pleasant and helpful team at Sonex headquarters when I had technical questions. Ya'll have been GREAT!" Gold wings are on the way to Tony!

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Sonex First Flight: Richard Binkley

Congratulations to Richard Binkley of Goodlettsville, Tennessee, whose Jabiru 3300 powered, Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N 566) flew for the first time on May 12. "N566RB flew beautifully," reports Richard. Gold wings are on the way!

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Sonex First Flight: David Schmelzer

Congratulations to David Schmelzer of Midland, Michigan, whose AeroVee powered, Std-Gear Sonex (S/N 867) flew for the first time on May 17. "It flys hands off," comments David. "A terrific aircraft and I am looking forward to many cross country trips." Gold wings are on the way to David!

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Sonex First Flight: Phil Duff

Congratulations to Phil Duff of Joliet, Illinois, whose AeroVee powered, Std-Gear Sonex (S/N 535) flew for the first time on April 22. "I am very impressed with the overall handling and performance of the aircraft," writes Phil. "In particular, I found the takeoff and landing characteristics of this taildragger very easy to get used to. I owe a great deal of thanks to Rich Kosi, my tech counselor, for all his help and encouragement throughout my project." Kosi built Sonex #659, which flew in September, 2005. Gold wings are on the way to Phil!

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35th Sonex Aircraft Workshop a Success

Oshkosh, WI was graced with beautiful, albeit windy weather last weekend as Sonex Aircraft, LLC hosted it's 35th Sonex Builder Workshop. Approximately 70 folks were in attendance building a hands-on metalworking project, learning volumes of information about Sonex and AeroConversions products, and seeing Sonex factory prototypes and customer-built aircraft show their stuff overhead. Eight Sonex Aircraft, including the new Sonex Sport Acro, were on display.

On Saturday evening, Joe Norris from EAA's Aviation Services department spoke to attendees about registering experimental/amateur-built aircraft with the FAA, issues relating to the Sport Pilot rule, as well as the rules governing self-launched gliders like the Xenos. Bob Mackey of Falcon Insurance, managers of the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan, was also on-hand to talk about insuring homebuilt aircraft. The next workshop is scheduled for September 6-7, 2007. Space is limited, sign-up today!

Find Out More about Sonex Workshops!

Sonex Workshop attendees received plenty of hands-on metalworking experience during the two-day workshop (above).

The weather permitted several flying sessions and Sonex Workshop attendees got to see Sonex Aircraft in action (above and below).

Attendees swarm around Sonex employee Kerry Fores' Jabiru 3300 powered Sonex, and even ask him to pose for a picture (above). There'll be no living with Kerry now!
Workshop attendees watch Jeremy Monnett taxi-out in the factory prototype Waiex (above, left). John Monnett gives several building tips using a partially-completed Sonex airframe (above, right).

Sonex First Flight: Robert Suter

Congratulations to Robert Suter of Bluffton, Ohio, whose AeroVee powered, Std-Gear Sonex (S/N 111) flew for the first time on April 30. "I very much appreciate the stability and yet responsiveness of that airplane! Prior to getting about 30 landings in a Champ a week ago it had been over forty-five years since I flew a conventional gear airplane," remarked Robert. "I much appreciate the gracious support that you and your staff have provided to me in getting N12RS into the air."

Like Many builders, Robert found that life sometimes gets in the way of airplane building, despite the best of intentions. "I'm embarrassed over how long it has taken me to complete this; it was in no way due to any complexity or unusual issues with the airplane," writes Robert. "The great thing is that I have always been able to quickly pick up where I left the project even if it was months since doing anything significant. That is testimony to the real ease of construction and clarity of the plans – and to the patience of your people when I needed advice or another part." Gold Wings are on the way to Robert for achieving his dream!

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