Today I sold the Sonex canopy cover and with that I only have 1 Sonex item left…my ‘builders pin’ which I plan to keep forever. It has been a relatively short and crazy journey with Sonex #0864, some ups and some downs. But isn’t that what airplanes do?
The Sonex A model was designed as a sturdy and predictable airframe that could be flown at incredibly low costs. It filled a niche that no other aircraft kit manufacturer could fill. It never competed against the RV12 or like. It didn’t have to because for $20-30k you had a great little bird to play around in. The B model is more of what you want but at a cost that takes this niche plane and puts it up against the likes of Vans. For those who want economy in aviation (two words that rarely go together), finding those unfinished A model kits uncompleted is a great way to fly.
I originally got into the Sonex airframe because it could be modified to fill my needs, a mid range, low-cost plane. I invested more into it than planned (don’t we all!?!), but the promise was there.
From March 2016 – June 2017, I logged the following:
- 129.9 hours
- 10,982 nautical miles
- Maximum speed of 191 mph
- Average speed of 118 mph
It was my first build and first time owning my own plane. I think back today on some of those highs and lows:
- The countless hours cursing in my garage building the kit, but somehow maintaining a smile
- The pride when I hit the master switch for the first time and the EFIS came to life
- The frustration of building the Aerovee Turbo engine when it was hot and humid and arrived with some broken parts
- The thrill when the wings were fitted
- Moving from the garage to the hangar late at night in the rain to obscure the obvious…moving a plane hanging off the back of a uHaul isn’t ideal
- Wiring hell
- The sheer mess of polishing
- Designing an awesome panel and interior!
- Receiving my special air worthiness certificate
- The absolute fear, excitement and thrill of lifting off in a plane that had never left the ground before, built by me
- Becoming a test pilot, again and again as things evolved
- Taking my wife on her first flight
- My first time flying into Oshkosh
- Our first long cross-country: Illinois to Pittsburgh non-stop
- Meeting FIFI
- Father-Daughter pancake fly-ins
- The absolute frustration from Aerovee Turbo (crack in the case version 2.0)
- The sadness of selling my first plane as an airframe, not a flying bird
With the end of this chapter in my life, I am already planning my next adventure! Because that is what life is all about…EXPERIENCES.
Enjoy the journey as you only get each day once!