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What is a Sonex?






I am building a homebuilt airplane called a Sonex. I have been working extremely hard to finance this project since August 2016. In April 2017, I purchased a partially completed Sonex. In February of 2018 I bought a Aerovee 80hp engine. I will still need to buy avionics and am such, working a million odd jobs to earn enough money.

What is a Sonex?


Well first we have to ask, are you talking about Sonex the company, or the Sonex Airplane?

Sonex is an aviation company, based out of wisconsin, that produces airplane kits for builders to make at home. A kit from Sonex includes the plans for making every single part in the plane and how they fit together, most of the hardware you will need (nuts screws bolts) , and a great deal of the material needed. With a kit, you can build realistically build a Sonex airplane in under 2 years in your garage. You are then left needing to buy certain customization items, instrument's, upholstery, and your choice of an engine.


The Sonex-A is a 2 seat, pilot and 1 passenger, small airplane. It is capable of performing aerobatics and has very responsive controls, akin to a fighter plane, or a sports car. Depending on what engine you instal its cruise speed is between 120 mph and 140mph, and it burns 5-8 gallons of fuel and hour in cruise flight.





For my Sonex (kit#1612) after a long period of sketching different ideas I have tenatively decided to vynll wrap my pane when it's done, this is my proposed color scheme.

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Build Update August 7th 2018: Brakes, and Glareshield

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I cut my 12' length of tubing into two pieces, one for each brake. In order for the brake lines to get from the master cylinder inside the plane, to the brakes on the wheels, I had to drill a couple holes in the firewall at the front of the plane. One of the worst things that can go wrong with these brakes is having a line break. If that happened I would loose all pressure and have no brakes. If the brake line touches something, it will likely vibrate against it in flight, if it does that, eventually it will break. To prevent my lines from breaking and loosing their fluid, I use a larger size tubing, that just barely fits the brake flu…

Build Update April 5 2018: Dissasembling the Aerovee

The engine I bought was already built, and had not been run. My dad and I planned to take it all apart to give me a better understanding of the engine, as well as to identify any problems before they got bad.

The Arovee engine was heavy and awkward to move. at the time it was sitting on the workbench with everything installed.

Going into this I had only enough sense to tell you which cylinder is the #1, 2, 3, and 4, and I knew some of the terminology, such as crackshaft. I frequently asked my dad "what do you call that part?"  we began unbolting stuff in roughly reverse order from the manual (if you're familiar with sonex plans, you're used to backwards) In under an hour we had stripped many of the external parts off and the engine had lost at least 20 pounds! A box was designated as the hardware box, so it'll be like legos trying to find the right bolts and nuts again when I reassemble it. the important part is that they're all together and not lost. After…

Build update: Reassembling the Aerovee Part 2 May 2018

This time I got plenty of pictures.

With the case halves joined and each throughbolt torqued according the manual I moved on to preparing my new cylinders.




The cylinders and pistons got cleaned with laquer thinner, then oiled and then assembled together.
I used a specially measured shim places at the base of the cylinder to change how much space there is between the piston and cylinder head, which changes how the engine will run.

The shim goes on first, liberally gooped up with sealent, then slowly lower the cylinder on and connect it up







Then one it's on I turned the crankshaft to help pull the cylinder down, seat it with a few taps of a rubber mallet and done.







Repeat with the other cylinder and we are good to go.
Next goes the gasket, then the pushrod tubes, the head, aaaaand torque it!