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Sonex - Current Stories

scre80

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#1
Hi All,

New to the whole Flying scene (Still have to get my licence!!)

I really like the idea of building a sonex, but not sure I could tolerate a build from scratch. Also, have to convince the wife first!! I see they have a quick build option now.

Would love to hear some current build stories, especially from anyone who has completed a quickbuild. Was the extra $$ worth it?

Also, how bad was the import cost?

Thanks
Scott
 

rgmwa

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#2
Can't help you with a Sonex but based on my recently completed RV costs, I would allow about 10%-15% over and above the $US kit cost, plus whatever the current exchange rate is. In my case the exchange rate over 4 years of purchases varied from $0.82 to $1.05, but averaged out at about $0.98. In other words if your complete Aerovee Sonex kit supplied from the US costs say US$50,000, then based on the current exchange rate of $0.81, you will probably need to spend about $50,000 /0.81 * 1.13 = AUD$70,000 for a finished and painted aircraft. On top of that, you will need another $1,000-$1,500 for tools. I'd expect to take a loss of 15%-20% on my build price were I to sell it today. Building is a great experience, but realistically it's cheaper to buy a finished and flying aircraft locally if you can find a good one.
rgmwa
 
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aj_richo

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#3
Hi Scott,

There are around 31+ completed aircraft of the Sonex marque flying in Australia, (Sonex/Waiex/Xenos/Onex) out of 109 registered plans/kits.

Quite a few have been scratch built, mine started out that way until my wife took pity on me and suggested I purchase a kit.
I imported mine in 2006 when the US to Aussie dollar was around the same level, probably less. From memory my landed cost was around A$26k. That was a full kit, all hardware and a bunch of tools included.
You can get Wicks/Aircraft Spruce to deliver to the factory and they will pack it in the crate.
I'd have to go and dig out the invoices and payments to give an exact figure. The kits costs have gone up by about $2500 since then, so I would expect everything else has too.
I haven't heard of anyone bringing in a QB example to date.
My finished cost with engine, instrumentation, etc etc was around $50k
To be honest, as per rgmwa's post, it would be much cheaper to buy a completed and flying example (around $35-40k in todays market) but you would miss out on all the fun building and customising to your tastes :plane:

If you haven't discovered us yet we have a website for Aussie builders at http://sonexaus.wikispaces.com Quite a few projects to have a look at plus other bits and pieces.

Mine has been flying since October last year, 32 hours to date and I absolutely love it!

Regards
Tony Richardson
Sonex #813
 

scre80

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#4
Thanks Tony,

Yes, found that site and looked at your project, looks like a lot of fun. If I device to go down this path, I hope to see a few in person and get a good understanding of what is required before I commit, it will probably take a few years to get the wife's approval too!!.

Do you know if anyone at Gawler Airfield has one?

Thanks
Scott
 

aj_richo

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#5
Hi Scott,

I think there is a Onex on the field ready to fly, and there are a couple of builders in Gawler that I know. One scratchbuilder has pretty much finished his airframe. There is also another builder at Virginia currently building his wing spars.

I'm based at Callington, which would be a leisurely hours drive from Gawler... there most saturdays

Cheers
Tony
 

scre80

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#6
Thanks Tony,

If I get a free Saturday, will let you know. I will most likely be tied up with flight training on Saturdays for a few months.

Cheers
Scott
 

flyvulcan

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#7
Scott,

The Sport Aircraft Club of SA has a Sonex build going on as a club project. It is located on Portrush Road opposite Burnside Village. Check out their website and contact them to arrange to attend a build session where you can check out the kit and construction method.

Cheers,

Dave
 

Downunder

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#10
The various kit upgrades Sonex offers looks like good value to me.
If I was to build, I'd be going with as many factory upgrades as possible.
 

jeffd

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#13
hey tony im still training in qld for my certificate as well. when i do buy my own a/c im pretty sure i will be buying a completed 1.as i am learning in a highwing (lightwing) how do you find the lowwings temperature wise. 1 day i will be going for a flight in a low wing but thought i may as well ask .thanks
 

aj_richo

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#14
hey tony im still training in qld for my certificate as well. when i do buy my own a/c im pretty sure i will be buying a completed 1.as i am learning in a highwing (lightwing) how do you find the lowwings temperature wise. 1 day i will be going for a flight in a low wing but thought i may as well ask .thanks
Hi Jeff, not sure what you mean by low wing temperature wise, but I will assume cockpit temperature under a bubble canopy.
With the aircraft sitting on the ground on a sunny warm day it can get quite hot, especially with polished wings that focus sunlight on the cockpit like a big solar reflector!
Its get hot enough to shutdown the iPad in a few minutes, so I don't leave it in the cockpit during a fuel stop or chin wag session.
Once airborne I haven't noticed the reflections, or the glasshouse effect quite so much.
I have good cockpit venting which helps.
The warmest day I have flown was around 36C on the ground no cloud cover, quite comfortable airborne at height but a hat is a must for the noggin and a good dollop of sunscreen.
Some guys have fitted a Koger sun shade or the cheaper alternative of car stick on shades to cut down the sunshine.
I haven't flown in winter yet but I believe the solar effect is quite good to keep the cockpit comfortable if its a sunny day.

Cheers
Tony
 

Brett

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#15
I'm halfway through, I would estimate, building the first and only (at this stage) Quick build Sonex in Australia. This will be my second kit build plane as I'm currently flying my Aeropup while I build the Sonex. I have the Aerovee Turbo engine on the shelf ready to assemble. My current plane also is powered by an Aerovee so no surprises there either. I am extremely happy I bought the quick build option this time. Still deciding what instruments to use and will be the last thing I buy.
good luck in what you decide.

-Brett

p.s. oh and you'll need your wife's approval,,,,,,, someone has to help move wings around, hold onto spanners while you tighten hard to reach bolts and bits and bobs like that... I am forever needing 5 mins help here and there.