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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sonex Aircraft

I went to a local EAA fly-in on Saturday at the Springville/Spanish Fork airport and the subject was Sonex Aircraft. Two local builders flew their airplanes to the event and spoke about their experiences. One plane was scratch built (the red one) and the other was built from a kit (the yellow one).

I got to sit the in yellow one and it seemed to fit me just fine. There was sufficient headroom, even with a headset and the legroom was also adequate.

Contrast that with the Ercoupe that I flew in. It was a C model with the STC for Cessna 150 seats, which improved the legroom, but reduced the headroom. I had to lean my head over for the 20 minute flight and the turbulence made my head hit the canopy, but I had fun.

A complete Sonex kit, including engine is just over $25,000. I don't know of another LSA aircraft kit that is even close to that, except maybe for some fabric covered aluminum tube jobs that aren't "real" airplanes.

One of the benefits of the Sonex is the reliable and inexpensive Aerovee engine that the plane was designed to use. I am a great fan of the 80 hp Aerovee, because of the low cost and everyone knows I'm all about low cost. If it's not low cost, that means I can't afford it.

The Sonex kit builder completed his plane in 18 months of work, putting in a couple of hours each day. The Aerovee engine kit took him two days to complete and the cost of overhaul is quoted at $300 to $500. I doubt that you could buy a set of spark plugs for a Continental or Lycoming for that price. By the way, certification means absolutely nothing to me. Track record is what I look for and the Sonex and Aerovee both have a fairly long history with many examples flying.

I'm really tempted to buy a Sonex kit with my flying buddy and start building!

1 comment:

  1. I feel very good that you accepted my going to help Sophia and you going to the fly-in.