Sonex Aircraft, LLC is an American kit aircraft manufacturer located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, producing kits for four all-metal homebuilt monoplanes. The company was founded in 1998 by John Monnett, who has designed the Monnett Sonerai sport aircraft series, Monnett Monerai sailplane, Monnett Moni motorglider, and Monnett Monex racer. Monnett designs are displayed in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum near Washington D.C.

Sonex Aircraft, LLC
Company typePrivate
FounderJohn Monnett
HeadquartersOshkosh, Wisconsin, United States
Key people
Mark Schaible (owner and CEO from 2022)
Jeremy Monnett (CEO until his death in 2015[1])
ProductsHomebuilt aircraft
Number of employees
SubsidiariesAeroConversions engines

In June 2018, John Monnett announced his plan to retire and sell the company.[2] In January 2022, Sonex employee and general manager, Mark Schaible, purchased the assets of Sonex Aircraft LLC and Sonex Aerospace LLC, forming them into a new company, Sonex LLC. Schaible will be owner and president of the new company.[3]

Aircraft edit

In 2013, the FAA National Kit Evaluation Team (NKET) approved fast-build "51% rule" versions of the Sonex, Waiex, and Onex.[4]

In December 2019 the John Monnett-designed Sonerai was acquired by Sonex Aircraft.[5]

Summary of aircraft kits and plans by Sonex Aircraft
Model name First flight Number built Type
Sonerai 1971 family of single and two-seat aircraft
Sonex 2000 (customer built) 500 by 2014[6] the original aircraft design, incorporating a low-wing design, seats two, and has a fast build time.[7]
Waiex almost identical to the Sonex, but features a Y-tail.[8]
Xenos 2003[9] a motor-glider development of the Waiex with longer wings and the same engine selection as the other two Sonex models.[10]
Onex 2011 a single seat aircraft with similar construction to a Sonex that will feature folding wings that allow the aircraft to be stored in a standard garage.[11]
ESA the Electric Sport Aircraft is a modified Xenos.[12]
SubSonex JSX-1 Single seat, single engine jet prototype
SubSonex JSX-2 2011 Single seat, single engine jet
Teros 2015 UAV[13]
Sierra Hotel 2023 Two seat high-wing kit aircraft under development.[14]
Sonex Aircraft Sonex at the company display at Sun 'n Fun, 2004
Sonerai IILS
Sub Sonex JSX-1
Sonex Onex

Engines edit

Company subsidiary AeroConversions manufactures the AeroConversions AeroVee Engine, a custom aircraft implementation of the Volkswagen air-cooled engine.

Hornet's Nest edit

The Hornet's Nest is the research and development arm of Sonex LLC.

E-flight edit

At AirVenture 2007, Sonex Aircraft announced a project to work on innovative technologies in aviation. The E-flight projects includes using an electric motor, ethanol-based fuels, and other power plant alternatives.[15] In December 2010, an all-electric Waiex was test flown from Wittman field in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The aircraft was flown with a 54 kW (72 hp) brushless DC electric motor, managed by a newly designed controller. Power is from a collection of 14.5 kW-hour lithium polymer batteries, giving the aircraft an endurance of one hour at low-speed cruise or 15 minutes of aerobatics.[16][17] This was the beginning of the development of the Sonex Electric Sport Aircraft.[18]

Sonex at Cotswold Airport, Gloucestershire, England, 2016

References edit

  1. ^ Sonex CEO Jeremy Monnett Killed in Aircraft Accident AOPA, June 2015
  2. ^ O'Connor, Kate (June 6, 2018). "Sonex For Sale". AVweb. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  3. ^ Phelps, Mark (January 4, 2022). "Longtime Employee Acquires Sonex Assets; All Staff Retained". AVweb. Archived from the original on January 5, 2022. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  4. ^ "Sonex Offers Quick-Build Kits Featuring Prebuilt Major Assemblies". Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  5. ^ Cook, Marc (December 30, 2019). "Sonerai Kit Aircraft Comes Home". AVweb. Archived from the original on January 2, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  6. ^ "Sonex reports 500th completion". Sport Aviation: 14. January 2015.
  7. ^ Sonex Aircraft (2008). "Sonex - the Original Reality Check". Archived from the original on November 25, 2005. Retrieved October 9, 2008.
  8. ^ Sonex Aircraft (2010). "Specifications - Tail Configuration: Y-tail". Archived from the original on April 5, 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2010.
  9. ^ Xenos Archive, Xenos
  10. ^ Sonex Aircraft (2008). "Xenos". Archived from the original on April 5, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2008.
  11. ^ Onex
  12. ^ E-Flight ESA
  13. ^ "Sonex Aircraft and Navmar Applied Sciences to Collaborate on UAV Design". May 2015. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  14. ^ Cook, Marc (February 16, 2023). "Sonex Introduces "Sierra Hotel" Highwing". AVweb. Archived from the original on February 17, 2023. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  15. ^ "Another Secret Is Out". Retrieved July 24, 2007.
  16. ^ "Sonex electric-powered Waiex makes first flight". Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  17. ^ Pew, Glenn (December 2010). "Sonex Flies Electric Airplane". AvWeb. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  18. ^ "Sonex Aircraft Hornet's Nest Research and Development". Retrieved October 21, 2011.

External links edit