Monnett Experimental Aircraft

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Monnett Experimental Aircraft
TypeExperimental Aircraft Kits and Plans
IndustryExperimental Aircraft Manufacturer
FateSold to INAV Ltd. 1986
SuccessorGreat Plains Aircraft Supply Company
HeadquartersElgin, Il
Key people
John Monnett
ProductsExperimental Aircraft Kits and Plans
Sonerai I

Monnett Experimental Aircraft was a United States aircraft manufacturer. Founded by John Monnett, a schoolteacher from Illinois who transitioned from a pilot of J3 Cubs and Aeronca Champs to building and designing tube-and-fabric racing aircraft built around the Volkswagen air-cooled engine.[1] The company was founded to produce plans and kits for the Sonerai I aircraft. The Sonerai I was specially built to be used as a Formula V Air Racing racer. The follow-on aircraft, the Sonerai II was a two-seat modification that made the aircraft more marketable for sport piloting.[2] In 1982, the company marketed its Moni motor glider. It was built of aluminum and featured bonded wing skins.[3]

Ownership history[edit]

In 1986 Monnett Experimental Aircraft was sold to INAV Ltd. INAV remained viable for only one year. The rights to the Sonerai series of aircraft were sold to HAPI, and were then again purchased by Great Plains Aircraft Supply Company, who still sells plans for the Sonerai aircraft.[4] John Monnett went on to found a new company, Sonex Aircraft. Sonex and its follow-on aircraft have a common lineage to the VW engines of the Sonerai and simple aluminum construction of the Moni and Monex.


Summary of aircraft built by Monnett Experimental Aircraft
Model name First flight Number built Type
Sonerai I 1971 400+ Single Seat Formula V Racer
Sonerai II 1974 50+ Two Seat mid-wing
Monerai 1978 25+ Glider
Sonerai IIL 1981 25+ Two Seat low-wing
Monnett Monex 1981 1 Single seat V-tail racer
Moni 1982 1+ Single Seat Motor Glider


  1. ^ Joe Christy (1985). ARV flier's handbook.
  2. ^ "Flying Twins your choice of one or two". Popular Mechanics: 108. Aug 1974.
  3. ^ Ben Kocivar (Feb 1982). "V tailed kit plane". Popular Science.
  4. ^ Gunston (1993). World encyclopaedia of aircraft manufacturers from the pioneers to the present day. pp. 209.