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Sonex Aircraft News Archive
September-October, 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 First Flight: John Lambing

Congratulations to John Lambing of Willmar, Minnesota whose AeroVee powered, Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N 498) flew for the first time on October 28. "Wonderful plane, great kit, and terrific people to deal with," writes John. Gold Wings are on the way!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex First Flight: Robert Kistler

Congratulations to Robert Kistler of Sedona, Arizona whose AeroVee powered, Standard Gear Sonex (S/N 895) flew for the first time on October 22. "Build time 2 years and 8 months," reports Robert. "Started when I was 79 years old and finished at 81 yrs and 10 months." Gold Wings are on the way!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Jabiru USA Deepens Discount on Engines for Limited Time Offer!

Sonex Aircraft, LLC is pleased to announce that Jabiru engines are now available at deeply discounted prices until December 14, while supplies last! Due to the current Australian exchange rate, a total of 50 Jabiru 2200 and 3300 engines are being contracted by Jabiru USA at a discounted price for shipment from the Jabiru factory in Australia:

Jabiru 3300 - Retail Price $18,400 - Discounted Price $15,500

Jabiru 2200 - Retail Price $13,900 - Discounted Price $11,500

Engines will be shipped from Australia in two separate shipments: the first arriving January 5, 2009 (full payment due November 14, 2008); the second arriving February 5, 2009 (full payment due December 14, 2008).

As always, ordering your Jabiru Engine through Sonex Aircraft, LLC gives you the added bonus of the Sonex/Jabiru Universal Cooling Baffle Kit and Sonex/Jabiru Installation Guide as well as Sonex Aircraft Technical Support for your Jabiru installation via telephone and email.

See Jabiru Engine Order Procedures

Sonex Aircraft in the News: Builder Bob McGrath's Sonex Story Featured in Local News

Sonex builder Bob McGrath (Sonex S/N 692) of Louisville, Ohio was recently featured in the Canton newspaper, The Repository. At 86 years-old, Bob fulfilled his life-long dream of building an aircraft with his Sonex project. Bob and his wife Eleanor plan to use the Sonex to visit family and friends in Vermont, Phoenix and Idaho.

Find more Articles about Sonex and AeroConversions products!

Sonex First Flight: Merle Reppert

Congratulations to Merle Reppert of Paradise, California whose Jabiru 3300 powered, Tricycle Gear Sonex (S/N 295) flew for the first time on October 22. "Thanks to my only helper, my wife RaeRae, for her  extra hands and pats on the back--and of course to the Sonex family for the AWESOME plans, kit, design and flying machine," writes Merle. Gold Wings are on the way!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex First Flight: Robert Frost

Congratulations to Robert Frost of Spartanburg, South Carolina whose Jabiru 3300 powered, Standard Gear Sonex (S/N 232) flew for the first time on October 19. "I can't wait to fly [the Sonex] again," writes Robert. "It's just not the same as the C152 taildragger I have been flying. Thanks for designing such a fun airplane." Gold Wings are on the way to Robert!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex First Flight: Douglas Smith

Congratulations to Douglas Smith of Tracy, California whose Jabiru 3300 powered, Tricycle Gear Sonex (S/N 801) flew for the first time on October 18. "I want to thank John Monnett and company for their hard work to develop this great plane," writes Douglas. "The building process was and is very rewarding. There are many friends that contributed their experience, advice, and help with this project. Special thanks to Gaylord Clark and Larry Auxter and my Dad, Joe Smith. Couldn't have done it without you!" Gold Wings are on the way!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

John Monnett to Give Keynote Address at 2008 EAA Hall of Fame Induction

Sonex Aircraft, LLC Founder and President John Monnett will be the Keynote Speaker at the 2008 EAA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held on Friday, October 24 at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, WI. John is a 2001 Inductee to the EAA Homebuilder's Hall of Fame.

Sonex Aircraft in the News: Sport Acro Featured in Aviator's Hotline Light Edition

The Sonex Sport Acro is featured in the Light Aviation Edition of Aviator's Hotline magazine. The Light Aviation Edition is an electronic e-zine, and test pilot Roger Tanner's article and Sport Acro video footage are both featured in abridged form on page 25 of the publication.

See the unabridged Sport Acro Article and Video.

Find more Articles about Sonex and AeroConversions products!

Sonex Logs 40th Builder's Workshop!

Sonex Aircraft hosted another large group of current and prospective builders at our 40th Sonex Aircraft Builder's Workshop on October 4-5. We enjoyed outstanding weather throughout the weekend allowing several opportunities for Sonex Aircraft fly-by's. The group constructed sample Sonex metalworking projects, received detailed informational sessions about Sonex, Waiex and Xenos Aircraft, engine options, AeroConversions products, and all other aspects of building, owning and operating Sonex Aircraft. Guest speakers included Charlie Becker, of EAA headquarters staff, and Bob Mackey, administrator of the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan.

The strong level of interest at this Fall's workshop confirms that the superior economy and performance of Sonex Aircraft allows builders to continue the pursuit of their dreams of flight, even in tough economic climates.

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 February 7-8, 2009. Sign-up Today!

Jeremy Monnett makes opening remarks to the workshop crowd.

Workshop attendees inspect the Sonex Sport Trainer.

Attendees watch the AeroVee powered Sport Trainer's impressive performance as it buzzes Sonex hangars with smoke-on.

John Monnett demonstrates the smoke system installed in the Sport Acro. Look for AeroConversions smoke system products to be coming soon!

A Jabiru 3300 powered fly-by from Kerry Fores' "Metal Illness."

The factory prototype Waiex streaks by workshop crowds.

Weather afforded an opportunity to demonstrate the entire Sonex inventory, including the Xenos Motorglider.

Workshop attendees crowd around Sonex builder Wayne Daniels and his Sonex to see and hear more about his experiences.

John Monnett demonstrates the Sonex technique for driving solid rivets in the Main Spar.

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

Learn More About Sonex Workshops!

A New Face at Sonex Aircraft, LLC

Sonex is welcoming a new member to our team, Stephanie Scherer. Stephanie is here to assist you with your orders, and will be the lovely voice you hear at the other end of the phone when calling. We ask for your patience as Stephanie gets up to speed.

Kristy Heiman has left Sonex to start her own business. We wish her well in her new endeavors!

Meet the Rest of the Sonex Team!

Sonex First Flight: Eric Witherspoon

Congratulations to Eric Witherspoon of Tucson, Arizona whose Jabiru 3300 powered, Standard Gear Sonex (S/N 815) flew for the first time on September 28. "Thanks to the team at Sonex for their support, and to my wife for supporting this project," writes Eric. Gold Wings are on the way!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex First Flight: Don Nienhouse

Congratulations to Donald Nienhouse of Downers Grove, Illinois whose Jabiru 3300 powered, Standard Gear Sonex (S/N 596) flew for the first time on August 18. "It flew well and landing was a breeze," commented Don. "Many thanks to Sonex for their help over the years, and especially to Kerry Fores for technical support.  Thank you also to Ken Irwin for giving me a ride in his beautifully built Sonex." Gold Wings are on the way to Don!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

E-Flight Initiative Electric Waiex Featured in GE AirVenture Video; Sonex Revered by GE Team

GE is sharing the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh story with hundreds of thousands of visitors to its website in a specially produced video now featured on the corporation’s home page (currently archived at: The 6-minute video describes the “innovation treasure hunt” conducted by several GE and Airbus engineers who visited AirVenture this past summer. Featured in the "Innovation" portion of the video is the E-Flight electric-powered Waiex, which was on-display in the EAA Welcome Center. The video is scheduled to remain on the GE home page until October 24th.

An article about the GE and AI engineers' AirVenture explorations published in the August 2 edition of AirVenture Today shows that the group found inspiration not-only in the E-Flight electric Waiex, but also in the Xenos Motorglider and in Sonex Founder and President John Monnett's role as an "inspirational pioneer" in aviation innovation.

Sonex First Flight: Bob Mika

Congratulations to Bob Mika of Overland Park, Kansas whose AeroVee powered, Standard Gear Sonex (S/N 178) flew for the first time on September 25. Bob, pictured above-right with his mother and father, named the aircraft "Katie" after his daughter. "This plane really has a solid feel," remarked Bob. "I have 12 hours in [Taildraggers] and this is by far the easiest to land and transition from flying to driving." Gold Wings are on the way to Bob!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sonex Represented at SAAA Australia Fly-In

Sonex Builder Jim Lewis joins other SAAA show attendees in trying-on Stuart Trist's Sonex for size.

Stuart Trist gives a forum about his Sonex project.

The Sport Aircraft Association of Australia (SAAA) held its annual convention and fly-in over the weekend of September 19-21.  The event was held at Cowra in New South Wales, about three hour's drive south west of Sydney.  The SAAA is Australia's equivalent to the EAA, and the Cowra convention is the Aussies' little "Oshkosh" - though not nearly as grand.  However, homebuilders from around Australia flew their creations from all points of the compass and there were a few unique examples of how creative some folks can get.
Stuart Trist flew his beautiful Jabiru 2200 powered, Tri-Gear Sonex (S/N 181) up from Melbourne and presented a few forums on building the Sonex.  His presentations were very well received and supported by an entertaining PowerPoint show.  After the presentations, Stuart invited participants to get a close look at his Sonex, and many took the opportunity of trying it on for size.  One of those was Jim Lewis, who is building a standard gear AeroVee powered Sonex (S/N 988) in Canberra. Jim wanted to make sure the lowered seat option (which Stuart has installed) provided his 6'2" frame enough head room - it does!!  Jim also handed out quite a few Sonex and AeroVee brochures provided by Sonex to those who showed an interest in the plane.  
Sonex stood out as an aircraft that delivers real bang for the buck.  Sonex Aircraft, LLC would like to thank Stuart, Jim, and all other Sonex Builders who continue to volunteer their time as the finest grass-roots sales force any kit aircraft manufacturer could ever ask for!

Sonex First Flight: Rex Kenny

Congratulations to Rex Kenny of Whitby, Wellington, New Zealand whose AeroVee powered, Standard Gear Sonex (S/N 690) flew for the first time on September 21. "After a 30 minute flight it was established that Sonex 690 needed no alterations to trim etc.," reported Rex. "The Aerovee performed perfectly and all temps and pressures were easily within the 'green.' The initial test flight was conducted by John Lanham one of New Zealand's most experienced general aviation and military pilots who seemed somewhat reluctant to hand the aircraft back (As you can see in the attached photo). Thanks to Sonex for the support that I and so many others confirm and enjoy... This fantastic aircraft continues to grow its deserved support here in New Zealand and around the world." Gold Wings are on the way to Rex!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Waiex First Flight: Larry McGillewie

Congratulations to Larry McGillewie of Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa whose Jabiru 2200 powered, Standard Gear Waiex (S/N 99) flew for the first time on September 21. Gold Wings are on the way to Larry!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions

Sport Acro Flight Report and Video On-Line!

Sport Acro flight testing continues to progress! We have now completed installation of the on-board video camera system in order to show the Sport Acro's capabilities to the world. Test pilot Roger Tanner, who previously conducted flight testing on the Xenos and Waiex aircraft, flew the Sport Acro in August, and has written a report about his impressions of the aircraft. We have edited a video showing clips of Roger's flight, along with some recent footage of Sonex Founder and President John Monnett flying the aircraft. More flying and more video footage will be coming soon!

See Sport Acro Flight Report and Video!

Jeremy Monnett to be Interviewed on UltraFlight Radio Regarding 51 Percent Rule

Sonex Aircraft CEO and General Manager Jeremy Monnett will be interviewed on the UltraFlight Radio Show today at 11:20 am Central Time (12:20 Eastern, 9:20 Pacific) regarding his participation in the FAA ARC committee examining the Experimental-Amateur Built rules, the proposed FAA policy changes, and the need for pilots everywhere to weigh-in with their comments before September 30th (see article below).

You can listen live from the UltraFlight Radio web site, and the interview will be archived and posted to our Press Articles page next week.

Sonex Submits Comments to FAA on Homebuilding Rules, and You Should Too!

Sonex Aircraft, LLC formally submitted its comments to the FAA today, regarding proposed policy changes to the Experimental-Amateur Building regulations which empower Sonex Aircraft and AeroConversions customers in the United States with the privilege of constructing and flying their own homebuilt aircraft. The message, sent this morning by Sonex Aircraft CEO and General Manager Jeremy Monnett to the FAA was clear: Enforce the regulations already in-place, and do not place an undue burden upon builders complying with the spirit and intent of the Experimental-Amateur Built aircraft regulations by creating new regulation via changes in policy.

Sonex Aircraft has participated in an FAA-chartered aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) formed to study amateur-building issues which rendered recommendations from August 2005 through November 2006, and plans a presence at the next meeting, scheduled for October 22nd and 23rd, to discuss public comments submitted in response to the FAA’s proposal. The ARC, consisting of representatives from government and industry, was formed in response to abuses to the spirit and intent of the Experimental-Amateur Building regulations via excessive commercial assistance and “professional builders.”

Sonex Aircraft is joining the EAA and others in calling Sonex and AeroConversions customers to action, urging all to submit your own comments to the FAA regarding the proposed “51 Percent Rule” calculation and enforcement policy changes before the September 30, 2008 comment-period deadline. More information, sample letters and submission instructions can be found on EAA’s web site at:

Sonex Aircraft, LLC has been continuously committed to adhering to the letter, spirit and intent of the Experimental-Amateur Building regulations with all of our kit aircraft products, and can assure our customers the ability to retain full compliance with the new policies, even if passed as currently proposed.

See today's Sonex Aircraft, LLC Press Release and Comments to FAA

Sonex Video Tips Now Online!

Sonex Aircraft, LLC has recorded several video build tips for the EAA's "Hints for Homebuilders" online video series. You can find direct links to all EAA videos reflecting recommended Sonex Aircraft construction techniques on our new Sonex Video Tips page. New videos are being added all the time, so check-back often, or subscribe to Sonex RSS Feeds to receive automatic notification of new Sonex web site content!

Learn many of the video-featured Sonex building techniques and much, much more at Sonex Aircraft Builder's Workshops!

Announcing Fall Jabiru Engine Pricing Program!

Jabiru USA has just announced a Fall Engine Price Program. Due to the slight strengthening of the US Dollar, Jabiru USA has locked in a favorable exchange rate and is offering a fall price program to kit builders:
2200 Jabiru Engine Fall Price: $12,900 (Previously $13,900)
3300 Jabiru Engine Fall Price: $17,400 (Previously $18,400)

There are two monthly Jabiru Engine shipments to Jabiru USA from Jabiru Pty Ltd in Australia that will qualify for this pricing:

  • September Shipment with November Arrival-Full engine payment due Sept 12th.
  • October Shipment with December Arrival-Full engine payment due Oct 12th.

It is clear that the North American pricing on Jabiru Engines will continue to track the US Dollar-to-Australian Dollar exchange rate.

Read More about Sonex Aircraft Engine Options!

Sonex First Flight: Garth Knowles

Congratulations to Garth Knowles of Carp, Ontario, Canada, whose Jabiru 3300 powered, Standard Gear Sonex (S/N 832) flew for the first time on August 31. "At the controls was fellow Sonex builder Chris McNally," reported Garth. "After a 30 minute flight, ending with a text book landing, Chris reported that both the engine and aircraft performed flawlessly... Many thanks for their support to local builder (and test pilot) Chris McNally, local builder Ken MacLeod, and other builders who have responded to my questions through the Sonex groups.  And of course thanks to Sonex for designing a great plane supported by great plans and a responsive staff. And special thanks to Kerry [Sonex Technical Support] for his patience with my many e-mails over the last three years. But most of all ... I want to thank my wife, Judy, who supported my decision to undertake this project right from the start..." Gold Wings are on the way to Garth!

View the Latest Sonex Aircraft Completions


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