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Happy Birthday, Sonex

By Ian Brown, EAA 657159, Editor and Canadian Council Board Member

March 2018 - It was 20 years ago today, as I write, that SX1, the first Sonex aircraft, took off from Wittman Regional Airport, piloted by John Monnet, founder of Sonex Aircraft LLC. A lot of air has passed under the wings of Sonexes since then. There are five models of kit aircraft from Sonex available today including the development of a personal jet as the first kitbuilt jet aircraft, if you exclude the half-million dollar Viper Jet, which can cost $5 a minute to fly.

I have friends who built Sonexes and loved them. John Monnet is one of the heroes of the homebuilt aircraft movement. We salute you, John. Happy birthday.

The Ranger 7 is a new aircraft, essentially developed in secret for the last five years by the owner of Dynon Avionics, who hired one of Van’s Aircraft’s best designers, Ken Krueger, EAA 349268. Not to take away from the incredible RV design legacy of Richard VanGrunsven himself, but Ken must have been very happy to have been given a clean slate to design this new high-wing, all-metal creation. I received a press release that was under embargo until March 1, 2018, so by the time you read this you’ll know as much as I do. See the separate article in this issue. Maybe I’ll see you at the Vashon Ranger 7 booth kicking tires.

We hope you will enjoy the article about the Velocity Twin in this month’s issue. It has all the elements of a homebuilder’s dream aircraft: unconventional, complex, successful, efficient, and beautiful. Thanks to Duane and Scott Swing for being such gracious hosts during our visit to Sebastian, Florida. We’ll see you at SUN ’n FUN! 

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