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Sonex Aircraft News Archive
January-February, 2008

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 Celebrates 10th Anniversary!

Today is a special day for Sonex Aircraft staff, owners, builders, pilots and enthusiasts, as February 28, 2008 marks the 10th anniversary of the first flight of the Sonex design! Sale of the first set of Sonex plans quickly followed in August of 2008 and the rest, as they say, is history. Sonex Aircraft, LLC would like to thank the incredible group of builders, friends, family and supporters who have made the last 10 years such a pleasure. We can't wait to see what the next 10 years bring to the Sonex Aircraft and AeroConversions product lines!

Find out more about the history of Sonex Aircraft and other designs by John Monnett in the biography John Monnett: from Sonerai to Sonex

Optional Machined Angle Component Kit Upgrade Parts List Published

Due to popular demand, we have published the complete parts list for both Sonex and Waiex Optional Machined Angle Component Kit Upgrades. The parts list, along with the new full-kit photograph at right (Sonex kit shown), illustrate the tremendous amount of work this new optional Complete Airframe Kit upgrade saves Sonex and Waiex builders, approximately 200 hours or more!

Sonex in the News: Craig Jones' Xenos Featured in Sportsman Pilot Magazine

Craig Jones of Austin, MN and his Xenos #11, the first customer-built Xenos Motorglider to fly, are featured in the Winter, 2008 issue of Sportsman Pilot magazine. The article, "Craig Jones' Xenos Motorglider," begins on page 21 of the magazine and details Craig's history in auto racing and flying, and describes Craig's experiences building and flying his beautifully-constructed Xenos.

Find More Articles about Sonex Aircraft and AeroConversions Products!

Sonex Aircraft, LLC Issues Open Letter Regarding FAA Amateur-Built Aircraft Rulemaking Committee

Sonex Aircraft, LLC issued an open letter to the press and public today regarding the FAA Amateur-Built Aircraft Rulemaking Committee, Sonex Aircraft, LLC's involvement in the FAA ARC meetings, today's Federal Register notices regarding the Committee's findings and FAA's plans for the future.

We want to state with absolute certainty that all Sonex, Waiex, and Xenos Aircraft Kits will remain safely in the 51% Experimental Amateur-Built Kit category for builders using all available components from Sonex Aircraft, LLC.

We encourage everyone to read our Open Letter to the Press and Public regarding these issues facing our industry.

Sonex First Flight: Tony Lewis; Sonex Celebrates 200th Reported Completion!

Congratulations to Tony Lewis, with build partner Jim Newman, of Winter Haven, Florida, whose AeroVee powered, Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N 858) flew for the first time on January 30. First flight was made by Jim Newman. "No problems, the plane flew great just as a Sonex should," reports Tony Lewis. Gold Wings are on the way to Tony and Jim!

This first flight (reported to Sonex on Feb. 8) marks the 200th reported Sonex Aircraft Completion, however, the chronology of first flights on the Sonex Completions Gallery actually shows that Stuart Trist flew the 200th completion, with a first flight of February 2. Sonex would like to extend its heartfelt congratulations and thanks to Stuart, Tony and Jim for helping us ring-in "Number 200!"

We should also point-out that the AeroVee used in Tony and Jim's Sonex #858 is a freshly overhauled AeroVee used in Tony's original Sonex (S/N 447), which Tony flew for well-over 700 hours before installing a Jabiru 3300. Tony's experience with Sonex 447, the AeroVee engine, and reconfiguring his aircraft for a new engine are wonderful examples of the durability and versatility of the Sonex airframe and AeroVee Engine Kit!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sport Acro is Here!

Sport Acro ailerons are enlarged for greater roll rate.

Sonex Aircraft, LLC is pleased to announce that Sport Acro Ailerons for Sonex and Waiex aircraft are now available! All new Sonex and Waiex Complete Airframe Kits shipped after February 1, 2008 include SNX-Z02-01 58” Universal Aileron Skin* stock that may be trimmed appropriately to fit either traditional or Sport Acro aileron dimensions. Also included are all flap and aileron ribs required to perform either installation, along with all required documentation.

Sonex and Waiex Builders may retrofit their existing aircraft. The parts required for a Sport Acro Aileron and Flap installation may be found on our Sport Acro Page.

Scratch Builders who wish to fabricate their own parts may contact to receive the required supplemental plans documentation in the mail.

Sport Acro Ailerons are intended to increase Sonex or Waiex roll rate for added fun and aerobatic capability. The standard Sonex or Waiex aileron provides a roll rate of approximately 80 degrees per second. Very preliminary test flight video footage has shown that Sport Acro Ailerons provide at least 105 degrees per second of roll at 125 mph.

Sport Acro flight testing will continue to progress with air show and competition aerobatic pilots Bud Judy and Mike Hoy as the Spring flying season approaches. Both Bud and Mike’s initial impressions of the Sport Acro are very enthusiastic and we are excited to complete flight testing for Primary and Sportsman-class aerobatic competition maneuvers. “It has all the roll rate and power needed to fly Sportsman acro!” remarked three-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion Bud Judy after his first flight of the Sport Acro.

Test flights are being video recorded with on-board cameras and we hope to have some video posted to in the coming months. Also to be released in the coming months will be Sport Acro Competition Mods, which are likely to include accessories for enhanced inverted fuel and oil capability for the AeroVee Engine and AeroCarb, single pilot rudder pedals, a center “bucket” seat with increased accommodations for a parachute, and a Sport Acro “Big Stick” for improved aileron control leverage.

*Note that SNX-Z02-01 41” Aileron Skin stock has been discontinued in-favor of the new 58” Universal Aileron Skin. Discontinued 41” aileron stock will not be accepted back to the factory for credit toward Sport Acro Aileron upgrade.  We have also discontinued SNX-Z03-01 42” Rudder and 37” Elevator skin stock, in favor of SNX-Z03-01 48” Universal Control Surface Skin stock. This control stock is used on Waiex Ruddervators, Sonex Elevators and Rudders.

Read More about the Sport Acro!



Sonex Aircraft Fuel Tank Straps Now Available

Sonex Aircraft, LLC is pleased to announce the availability of pre-fabricated Sonex Aircraft Fuel Tank Straps! SNX-G01-10 Fuel Tank Straps are laser-cut 0.063" thick 4130 steel straps, laser-cut, pre-bent, and poweder coated black. All Sonex Aircraft Complete Airframe Kits shipped after February 1, 2008 include Qty 4 Fuel Tank Straps. SNX-G01-10 Fuel Tank Straps may be purchased for $10 each.

SNX-G01-10 Fuel Tank Straps
$10 each ($40 set of 4)

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Read More about Sonex Aircraft Complete Airframe Kits

Sonex First Flight: Stuart Trist

Congratulations to Stuart Trist of Mordialloc, Australia, whose Jabiru 2200 powered, Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N 181) flew for the first time on February 2. Stuart has been a huge advocate for Sonex Aircraft in the country of Australia, independently publishing an Australian Sonex Builder newsletter. Gold Wings are on the way to Stuart!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

#38 Another Great Sonex Builder Workshop

The 38th Sonex Builder Workshop turned into another great weekend, February 2-3, as the newest enthusiastic group of current and prospective Sonex Aircraft builders immersed themselves in all things Sonex. Workshop attendees were treated to Sonex Aircraft fly-by's on Sunday, despite the snow and winter temperatures here in Oshkosh, WI. Attendees learned Sonex-specific metalworking skills with a hands-on metalworking project, and they were given information and instructional sessions on all aspects of Sonex Aircraft and AeroConversions products.

Special thanks again goes-out to Charlie Becker of EAA for speaking to the crowd about how EAA can help homebuilders get their projects off-the-ground, and to Bob Mackey of the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan who once again counseled attendees regarding insurance for their Sonex Aircraft.

Attendees also enjoyed the 2007 EAA Chapter 252 banquet, held in the EAA AirVenture Museum Eagle Hangar and featuring a very interesting and entertaining presentation by former Air Force One pilot Greg Cayon.

Space is available for the next Sonex Builder Workshop, May 3-4, 2008, so sign-up today!

Jeremy Monnett makes opening remarks, staff and attendee introductions.

Kerry Fores demonstrates his "Metal Illness" with a series of high-speed passes.

Jeremy beats-up the Sonex ramp with the AeroVee powered Sonex Sport Trainer.
A crowd gathers around for a solid riveting demonstration by Jeremy. "Look Ma, no rivet gun!"

Sonex Workshop attendees hard at-work on their hands-on metalworking projects.

EAA's Charlie Becker speaks about the EAA Amateur-Built Aircraft Certification Kit.
John Monnett demonstrates wing rib fabrication for attendees with the help of a projector so that everyone can see.
Attendee Kathleen Witman brought her tools in a wicker basket... We can honestly say this was a Sonex Workshop first!

Read More about Sonex Builder Workshops!

Stay Up-to-Date with New Sonex and AeroConversions RSS Feeds!

"Real Simple Syndication" (RSS) web technology is becoming an extremely popular way for people to keep-up with the latest postings on their favorite web sites. Sonex Aircraft, LLC is pleased to announce the creation of Sonex and AeroConversions RSS feeds. Now you can have all the latest Sonex and AeroConversions news and information sent directly to your computer! Find Out More...

Sonex First Flight: Uthai Khewraxawong

Congratulations again go out to Uthai Khewraxawong of Sunny Sport Aircraft in Bangkok, Thailand, whose 3rd Sonex Aircraft, AeroVee powered, Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N 1028) flew for the first time on January 23. Yet another set of Gold Wings are on the way to Uthai!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex Offers Machined Angle Components!


All parts shipped with a high-level of finish.
(Click for Enlarged Sample)

Sonex Aircraft, LLC is pleased to announce the introduction of another new labor saving Sonex Aircraft Complete Airframe Kit Upgrade Option: Machined Angle Components. The Machined Angle Component Kit almost completely eliminates the need to fabricate parts from raw 6061-T6 aluminum angle extrusion,* thus saving the builder approximately 200 hours or more of construction time! The Machined Angle Component Kit can be used in combination with the recently introduced Optional Pre-Assembled Main Wing Spars to offer a total build time reduction of approximately 200-300 hours. The Sonex Machined Angle Component Kit includes 72 parts (Waiex includes 83), including all pilot holes specified in the aircraft plans, deburred and finished using a tumbler (some touch-up finish work may be required prior to installation).

With these two new Complete Airframe Kit options, Sonex Aircraft are now easier to build than ever before, rivaling the build times of some competitors’ quick-build kits, while retaining full compliance with the FAA’s Experimental Amateur-built “Major Portion” regulations.

Sonex and Waiex Machined Angle Component Kits are available for order as of this announcement, and kits are expected to begin shipping next month (February, 2008). We expect strong demand for this option, and lead times for this new sub-component kit may reach several weeks. Only complete Machined Angle Component Kits will be available for sale at this time. In the coming months, as available stock increases and order lead times decrease, Sonex plans to make these Machined Angle Component parts available for individual sale.

Machined Angle Component Options
Sonex Complete Airframe Kit Upgrades:
  • Machined Angle Compenent Kit-Sonex Upgrade: $1,900
  • Machined Angle Component Kit-Sonex Upgrade when ordered with Optional Pre-Assembled Main Wing Spars ($2,200 Upgrade): $1,700
Waiex Complete Airframe Kit Upgrades:
  • Machined Angle Component Kit-Waiex Upgrade: $2,100
  • Machined Angle Component Kit-Waiex Upgrade when ordered with Optional Pre-Assembled Main Wing Spars ($2,200 Upgrade): $1,900

Sonex Scratch Bulding Kits:

  • Machined Angle Component Kit-Sonex: $2,000
  • Machined Angle Component Wing Kit-Sonex: $200 (not needed if using Pre-Assembled Main Wing Spars)

Waiex Update Kits (for customers who have already purchased and received a Waiex Complete Airframe Kit):

  • Machined Angle Component Kit-Waiex: $2,200
  • Machined Angle Component Wing Kit-Sonex: $200 (not needed if using Pre-Assembled Main Wing Spars)

*Parts not included in Sonex Machined Angle Component Kits: SNX-C02-03L&R, SNX-C04-07, SNX-D02-13, SNX-D02-22, SNX-D02-23, SNX-F03-04 (Qty 2), SNX-F15-08 (Qty 2), SNX-F26-02L&R, SNX-F26-03L&R, SNX-F26-08 (Qty 2), SNX-W11-03 (Qty 4), SNX-W14-02 (Qty 20).

*Parts not included in Waiex Machined Angle Component Kits: WIX-C04-04L&R, WIX-C04-06, WIX-D02-13, WIX-D02-22, WIX-D02-23, WIX-F03-04 (Qty 2), WIX-F15-08 (Qty 2), WIX-F27-02L&R, WIX-F27-03L&R, WIX-L05-05, WIX-W11-02 (Qty 20), WIX-W11-03 (Qty 4).

See What's Included in Sonex Aircraft Complete Airframe Kits

John and Betty Monnett to Tour New Zealand and Australia

Sonex Aircraft, LLC Founder, President and designer John Monnett has been invited to speak at the SportAvex New Zealand Annual Fly-In and Air Show and therefore will be touring New Zealand and Australia February 13-28, accompanied by wife and Sonex CFO, Betty Monnett. John and Betty will be visiting the locations and attending the events in the following itinerary:

  • Wednesday, February 13: arrival in Auckland, NZ
  • Thursday, February 14: arrival in Tuaranga, NZ
  • February 15-17: Sport Aircraft Association New Zealand Annual Fly-In and Air Show: Tauranga, NZ
  • Saturday, February 16: John is speaking at Fly-In Awards Dinner.
  • Monday, February 18: arrival in Rotorua, NZ
  • Wednesday, February 20: arrival in Queenstown, NZ
  • Saturday, February 23: arrival in Sydney, AU
  • Tuesday, February 26: arrival in Bundaberg, AU (visiting Jabiru Pty Ltd and Microair Avionics facilities)
  • Thursday, February 28: arrival in Brisbane, AU

The Monnetts would like to connect with as many Sonex Aircraft builders as possible during their trip and they are openly inviting all interested New Zealand and Australian builders to contact them about opportunities to meet you:

Special EAA Eagle Hangar Banquet Opportunity for February Sonex Workshop Attendees!

Space is still available for the February 2-3 Sonex Aircraft Builder Workshop, so sign-up today! February Workshop attendees receive a special treat: an opportunity to attend the EAA Chapter 252 annual banquet, held in the awe-inspiring EAA AirVenture Museum Eagle Hangar facility. Dining in the Eagle Hangar, among legendary warbirds is a privilege usually reserved for EAA board members or other VIP guests!

2007 EAA Chapter 252/Steve Wittman Chapter Banquet Guest Speaker: Greg Cayon, former Air Force One pilot. Greg is a past Air Force One pilot and flies as a corporate pilot for Kohler Corporation. Greg will share his experiences and stories from his days as a pilot for Air Force One.

Catered Dinner by LaSure’s at 7:00 pm: Carved Prime Rib and Turkey and all the trimmings! Come & join us for a memorable evening with Aviators, Airplanes, Food & Fun! Win great Door Prizes, and participate in the “Silent Auction” of Aviation Items!

Master of Ceremonies: John Monnett. Invited guests and aviation legends include: Paul & Audrey Poberezny, Gene & Dorothy Chase, Norm & Loretta Petersen, Bill Brennand, Munsil Williams.

Download Banquet_Flyer_2008.pdf (212kb PDF File) for more information!

Read More about Sonex Builder Workshops!

Sonex Aircraft, LLC Featured in Marketplace Magazine

Sonex Aircraft, LLC is featured in the January 1, 2008 issue of Northeast Wisconsin Marketplace Magazine, including a cover featuring Sonex designer and Founder, John Monnett.

The article, "Flying High" includes interviews from John, Betty and Jeremy Monnett, Sonex Aircraft, LLC customers and some high praise from aviation journalist Tim Kern.

The full article can be accessed on the Marketplace Magazine web site.

See More Sonex Aircraft, LLC Articles

AeroConversions K-Type CHT Probes Now Available for Jabiru Engines!

AeroConversions K-Type CHT Probes, introduced for AeroVee and other VW-based Engines last month, are now available for use on Jabiru Engines!

Unlike traditional CHT probes which are installed under spark plugs, our new AeroConversions CHT probes are made to be attached to cylinder heads independently. For AeroVee, or any other VW head engines, the AeroConversions CHT Probe is screwed into the cylinder head with a small self-tapping screw. For Jabiru Engines, the probes are installed under cylinder head bolts.

AeroConversions K-Type CHT Probes are sold in sets of 2 probes for $30, for use on any CHT instrument compatible with K-Type senders.

All Sonex Stratomaster Instrument Packages now include AeroConversions CHT Probes as standard.

K-Type CHT Probes

$30.00 (set of 2)

Note: Grand Rapids EIS instruments require J-Type CHT senders, which are not available from AeroConversions.

View other AeroConversions Products

View all Sonex Aircraft, LLC Instrument Packages

Another Great Year: 2007 In-Review!

We are extremely pleased to report to our customers, friends, and family that 2007 was another banner year for Sonex Aircraft. Another record sales year followed strong growth for the company in every measurable category. This has been a regular and exciting trend for all 9 years the company has been in existence. We are extremely encouraged for a strong 2008. More people than ever are discovering that the Sonex and AeroConversions product lines deliver the Best Performance Per Dollar in the industry today.

There were many highlights and milestones achieved in 2007 that are worth noting. These include but are not limited to:

Sonex Customer and Employee Flight Achievements:

Sonex Builder Gatherings were held this year across the United States and around the world. These annual gatherings, which all reported increased attendance and interest in Sonex products, included:

  • Narromine, Australia (Natfly): 3rd annual Sonex gathering hosted by Lynn Jarvis and Stuart Trist in March.
  • Arlington, WA: 3rd annual Sonex gathering hosted by Dave Webber in July.
  • Ontario, Canada: 7th annual Sonex gathering hosted by Brian Heinmiller in August.
  • Crossville, TN: 4th annual Sonex gathering hosted by John Davis in October.
  • Conroe, TX: 5th annual Sonex gathering hosted by Mike Singleton in November.
Sonex Aircraft, LLC Company Launches and Successes:
  • Wisconsin SBA Small Business Award: Sonex was awarded the Wisconsin SBA Small Business Person of the Year-Honorable Mention. The SBA committee commented that Sonex has "Found success in a very difficult and competitive industry through the innovation and dedication of themselves, their staff and manufacturing partners."
  • Sonex Named ANN's Best Sport Pilot Kit: Aero News Network editors regarded the award for Sonex Aircraft as a "fairly easy choice this time, despite this category being populated by some truly outstanding aircraft," citing the aircraft's "simplicity of construction, playful nature and foremost -- its amazing affordability."
  • More Great Workshops: Sonex held its successful 34th, 35th, 36th, and 37th Builder Workshops in 2007. The schedule for 2008 includes 3 more workshops. If you’re strongly considering a Sonex or know someone that is, the very best first step they can take is to attend one of our Builder Workshops here in Oshkosh.
  • John Monnett: From Sonerai to Sonex: The new John Monnett Biography from author and Sonex builder Jim Cunningham debuted at AirVenture 2007. Autographed copies have continued to ship out of the Sonex factory at a steady rate.
  • E-Flight Initiative Launch: Sonex unveiled the E-Flight Initiative in a formal press conference and forum at AirVenture 2007. The three major focuses of the E-Flight Initiative: Electric Power, Ethanol Fuels and Efficiency Enhancement technologies for existing and future Sonex and AeroConversions products.
  • 150th Sonex Aircraft Completion: First flight of the 150th Completed Sonex Aircraft was reported early in the year. As of this writing, Sonex Aircraft Completions now total 197 with several more first flights being reported every month!
  • New Sonex Aircraft Ad Campaign: A fun new series of display advertisements for Sonex Aircraft begain running in EAA Sport Aviation, EAA Sport Pilot and Kitplanes magazines profiling various attributes of the Sonex Aircraft product line including: More Play for Less Pay; More Fun with Less Fuel; Your Sport Pilot Prescription. Look for more new ads in 2008!
  • More Ways to Contact Sonex Aircraft, LLC: To serve our customers better and maximize company efficiency, Sonex set up 4 new e-mail addresses:
    Sales and Information:
    - Orders:
    - Accounting (Billing Inquiries):
    - Technical Support:
  • Education Starter Packs: Sonex Education Initiative Education Starter Packs, designed to give youth an introductory aviation metalworking experience in schools, were also introduced. These are available for class sizes of 16, 30, and 50 Students. Sonex Aircraft is committed to continuing to cultivate young people's involvement and interest in aviation and aircraft construction through the efforts of the Sonex Education Initiative:

New Products Launched in 2007:

Coming Soon!!!

A heartfelt “Thank You!” to everyone who contributed to making 2007 the best year ever for Sonex! We’re all excited at the great things 2008 has in store.

Sonex First Flight: Art Holtzman

Congratulations to Art Holtzman of Boynton Beach, Florida, whose Jabiru 3300 powered, Standard Gear Sonex (S/N 356) flew for the first time on Christmas Eve. Art's test pilot reported that it "flew like a fighter plane." Gold Wings are on the way to Art!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions


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