July 14, 2014 - “Fast and smooth.” Those were the words test pilot Bob Carlton had after making the first flights in Sonex’s new SubSonex Personal Jet model JSX-2, which took place at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh on July 10. “She handles great and climbs well,” he said.
The maiden flight evaluated the systems, flight controls, gear and overall aircraft geometry, and handling through what were described by Sonex as “moderately high speeds.” The second flight evaluated the function of the retractable landing gear and explored higher speed ranges.
“With the gear retracted, the noise level is reduced significantly and she accelerates quickly to 150 mph,” Carlton said. “I added at bit of power and she quickly goes through 200. The feeling is glass-smooth.” Bob further accelerated to max continuous power to measure cruise speeds at an altitude of 3,000 feet where he described the flight was “like she’s on rails.”
The third flight explored handling characteristics at moderate speeds, even including a few barrel rolls. Carlton said the airplane characteristics were similar to Sonex’s proof-of-concept JSX-1.
Two additional flights on Friday helped prepare for demonstration flybys that will take place at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014.
The SubSonex design team will be working to collect and analyze flight data to finalize published performance numbers for the new jet, paving the way for SubSonex kit reservation deposit holders to place firm orders for 2014 kit production. After that orders will be opened to the general public for deliveries in 2015.
The quick-build kit will include virtually everything required to fly, spare avionics, and paint. Available options for the SubSonex Personal Jet include cabin heat, oxygen, MGL iEFIS touch screen avionics, and more. Power comes from the Czech Republic-built PBS TJ-100 engine, producing around 250 pounds of thrust.
The new jet features a larger, more comfortable cockpit, a larger instrument panel, fully retractable landing gear, a BRS full-aircraft recovery parachute, higher fuel capacity in a rotationally molded cross-linked polyethylene fuel cell, easily removable wings, and a more attractive nose section.
“It’s really rewarding to see a rough proof-of-concept prototype in JSX-1 turn into a very refined and capable product,” said John Monnett, Sonex Aircraft founder, president, and SubSonex designer.