July 26, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - Kit
aircraft manufacturer Sonex unveiled a surprise at the open house at its
Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) headquarters on Sunday: A single-place jet.
Photo by James
John Monnett presents Sonnex's entry into the world jet aviation
with their proof of concept single place jet.
"We call it Sub-Sonex," said John
Aircraft founder, owner, and president. "The genre is entirely
different from anything we've done so far. The idea is to have a kit jet
that's well under $50,000."
The single-place jet weighs 330 pounds and
has a 750 pound gross weight. The engine, a modified version of a turbine
used to power RC (radio controlled) aircraft, will generate 170 to 200
pounds of thrust. The aircraft has the boxy look of the rest of the Sonex
line, the small engine positioned atop the fuselage just forward of the
"How fast will it go?" someone
from the crowd of 100-plus people on hand for the open house asked.
"How fast do you think?" Monnett
"Two-hundred," someone said.
"If it was only 200, why would I
bother building a jet?" Monnett said, laughing in response.
The projected numbers, Monnett said, are
for a cruise of about 250 mph and a VNE (never exceed speed) of 300 mph.
The aircraft has not flown nor has the engine been fired up as of yet.
"It just needs programming on our ECU
(Engine Control Unit) and completing all the ground engine tests,"
Monnett said, emphasizing that the Sub-Sonex is "not something you're
going to be flying from here to California. It's just a sport
The concept aircraft features simple
construction, and with a 32-gallon tank, has about one hour of endurance,
and "enough fuel to have some fun," Monnett said.
The aircraft will be on display at the
Sonex booth, No. 622, during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009.