Sonex Aircraft Sonex
|Primary user||private owners|
|Number built||311 (Sonex, Dec 2011)
1 (Onex, Dec 2011)
33 (Waiex, Dec 2011)
7 (Xenos, Dec 2011)
|Variants||Sonex Aircraft Onex|
The Sonex, Waiex and Xenos are a family of lightweight, metal, low-wing, two seat homebuilt aircraft. Kits are produced and marketed by Sonex Aircraft, a small manufacturer based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Sonex can also be built from plans.
Company founder, John Monnett was approached by an Italian business looking for an aircraft that would meet their Microlight category. A variation of Sonerai was initially proposed to meet the 40 mph minimum flight speed requirement. Eventually a clean-sheet design was built around a Jabiru or VW engine installation with similar all-aluminum box fuselage construction as the Monnett Moni. The Sonex can accept various lightweight – less than 200 lb (91 kg) – engines of between 80 to 120 hp (60 to 89 kW).
The Sonex plans contain several construction options, including conventional or tricycle landing gear, as well as a center or dual stick. Motor mount drawings are supplied for all three recommended powerplants: the 2180cc Volkswagen, 2200 Jabiru, and 3300 Jabiru. High performance is achieved through a clean aerodynamic shape and simple, light weight construction.
The Sonex can be built from scratch using factory supplied drawings or may be assembled in approximately 800 to 1,000 hours using the precut complete airframe kit. A complete kit based Sonex can be constructed for as little as USD$25,600.
- In production - The original aircraft design, incorporating a low-wing design, seats two, and a conventional tail. Available as plans or a kit.
- In production - Almost identical to the Sonex, but features a Y-tail. Although similar in looks to a V-tail, the Y-tail has a stub rudder in line with the aft fuselage. The company markets this version under the motto Just Because It Looks Cool. Available as a kit only.
- In production - motor-glider development of the Waiex with longer wings and the same choice of engines. Available as a kit only.
- (pronounced One-ex by the company) In production - All new design introduced at Airventure 2009. The design features a single seat with folding wings and an AeroVee Volkswagen air-cooled engine.
- Under development - A single place single engine turbine aircraft similar in design to an Onex, with a Waiex style Y tail. Introduced at Airventure 2009. Powered by a Czech-built PBS TJ-100 turbojet engine mounted above the aft fuselage, with the exhaust exiting between the Y-tail. The SubSonex achieved first engine test runs in December 2009. The engine produces 240 lb (109 kg) of thrust. Originally developed with only a central mono pod wheel, tail wheel and small wing tip outriggers. The prototype developed directional controllability problems during taxi-tests. The SubSonex now has a tricycle landing gear. and was flight tested by Jet-sailpane performer Bob Carlton in August 2011.
Data from manufacturer’s website
- Crew: one
- Capacity: one passenger
- Length: 18 ft 1 in (5.51 m)
- Wingspan: 22 ft 0 in (6.71 m)
- Height: 4 ft 8 in (1.42 m) with conventional landing gear, 74" with tri-gear
- Wing area: 98 sq ft (9.1 m2)
- Airfoil: NACA 64-415
- Empty weight: 620 lb (281 kg)
- Gross weight: 1,150 lb (522 kg)
- Fuel capacity: 16 US gallons (60.6 litres)
- Powerplant: 1 × Jabiru 3300 six cylinder horizontally-opposed aircraft engine, 120 hp (89 kW)
- Cruise speed: 170 mph (148 kn; 274 km/h) at 8000 ft
- Stall speed: 40 mph (35 kn; 64 km/h) flaps down
- Never exceed speed: 197 mph (171 kn; 317 km/h)
- Range: 400 mi (348 nmi; 644 km)
- Service ceiling: 23,000 ft (7,010 m)
- G limits: +6/-3 at aerobatic gross weight or +4.4/-2.2 at utility gross weight
- Maximum glide ratio: 11:1
- Rate of climb: 1,400 ft/min (7.1 m/s)
- Lift-to-drag: 11:1
- Vandermeullen, Richard: 2011 Kit Aircraft Buyer's Guide, Kitplanes, Volume 28, Number 12, December 2011, page 70. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
- Kitplanes Staff: 2008 Kit Aircraft Directory, page 72, Kitplanes Magazine December 2007 Volume 24, Number 12, Belvior Publications, Aviation Publishing Group LLC.
- Downey, Julia: 2008 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 24, Number 12, December 2007, page 72. Primedia Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
- Bayerl, Robby; Martin Berkemeier; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011-12, pages 119-120. WDLA UK, Lancaster UK, 2011. ISSN 1368-485X
- Jack Cox (Aug 1998). "The Sonex". Sport Aviation.
- Experimental Aircraft Association (2010). "Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft (E-LSA)". Retrieved 19 December 2010.
- "Affordable". Retrieved 2010-01-07.
- Aero-News Network (January 2007). "Final: ANN Names the 2006 Plane Of The Year--E-LSA Kit Category". Retrieved 2008-03-15.
- Sonex Aircraft (2008). "Sonex - the Original Reality Check". Retrieved 2008-10-09.
- Sonex Aircraft (2010). "Specifications - Tail Configuration: Y-tail". Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- Kitplanes, April 2005, Page 21
- Sonex Aircraft (2008). "Waiex - Just Because It Looks Cool". Retrieved 2008-10-09.
- Sonex Aircraft (2008). "Xenos". Retrieved 2008-10-09.
- "Onex Progress Update: January 26, 2012". Sonex Aircraft Onex. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- Sonex Aircraft (January 2010). "Onex". Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- Cook, Mark (July 2010). "Sonex Onex". Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- Grady, Mary (December 2009). "First Flight Expected Soon For Jet-Powered Sonex". Retrieved 2009-12-31.
- Sonex Aircraft (December 2009). "SubSonex Progress Updates". Retrieved 2009-12-31.
- Grady, Mary (June 2010). "Jet-Powered Glider Completes Test Flights". Retrieved 10 June 2010.
- SubSonex Jet Prototype Ready to Resume Testing
- "SubSonex Jet Completes Maiden Flight". Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- "Sonex". Sonex Aircraft. Retrieved 2006-04-14.