Sonex Aircraft

Last updated

Sonex Aircraft, LLC
Industry Aerospace
Headquarters Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States
Key people
John Monnett (founder)
Jeremy Monnett (CEO until his death in 2015 [1] )
Products Homebuilt aircraft
Number of employees
Subsidiaries AeroConversions engines

Sonex Aircraft, LLC is an American kit aircraft manufacturer located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, producing kits for four all-metal homebuilt monoplanes. The company was founded in 1998 by John Monnett, who has designed the Monnett Sonerai sport aircraft series, Monnett Monerai sailplane, Monnett Moni motorglider, and Monnett Monex racer. Monnett designs are displayed in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum near Washington D.C.


In June 2018, John Monnett announced that he will retire and sell the company. [2]


In 2013, the FAA National Kit Evaluation Team (NKET) approved fast-build "51% rule" versions of the Sonex, Waiex, and Onex. [3]

In December 2019 the John Monnett-designed Sonerai was acquired by Sonex Aircraft. [4]

Summary of aircraft kits and plans by Sonex Aircraft
Model nameFirst flightNumber builtType
Sonerai 1971family of single and two-seat aircraft
Sonex 2000 (customer built)500 by 2014 [5] the original aircraft design, incorporating a low-wing design, seats two, and has a fast build time. [6]
Waiex almost identical to the Sonex, but features a Y-tail. [7]
Xenos 2003 [8] a motor-glider development of the Waiex with longer wings and the same engine selection as the other two Sonex models. [9]
Onex 2011a single seat aircraft with similar construction to a Sonex that will feature folding wings that allow the aircraft to be stored in a standard garage. [10]
ESA the Electric Sport Aircraft is a modified Xenos. [11]
SubSonex JSX-1 Single seat, single engine jet protype
SubSonex JSX-2 2011Single seat, single engine jet
Teros 2015UAV [12]
Sonex at the company display at Sun 'n Fun, 2004 SonexN232TM01.jpg
Sonex at the company display at Sun 'n Fun, 2004
Sonerai IILS 19-5409 Monnett Sonerai IILS (8543451673).jpg
Sonerai IILS
Sub Sonex JSX-1 Sub Sonex JSX-1.jpg
Sub Sonex JSX-1
Sonex Onex Sonex-Onex.jpg
Sonex Onex


Company subsidiary AeroConversions manufactures the AeroConversions AeroVee Engine, a custom aircraft implementation of the Volkswagen air-cooled engine.

Hornet's Nest

The Hornet's Nest is the research and development arm of Sonex LLC.


At AirVenture 2007, Sonex Aircraft announced a project to work on innovative technologies in aviation. The E-flight projects includes using an electric motor, ethanol-based fuels, and other power plant alternatives. [13] In December 2010, an all-electric Waiex was test flown from Wittman field in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The aircraft was flown with a 54 kW (72 hp) brushless DC electric motor, managed by a newly designed controller. Power is from a collection of 14.5 kW-hour lithium polymer batteries, giving the aircraft an endurance of one hour at low-speed cruise or 15 minutes of aerobatics. [14] [15] This was the beginning of the development of the Sonex Electric Sport Aircraft. [16]

Sonex Aircraft Sonex at Cotswold Airport, Gloucestershire, England, 2016 Sonex Aircraft Sonex (G-CIDX) at Cotswold Airport England 18Jun2016 arp.jpg
Sonex Aircraft Sonex at Cotswold Airport, Gloucestershire, England, 2016

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  2. O'Connor, Kate (June 6, 2018). "Sonex For Sale". AVweb. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  3. "Sonex Offers Quick-Build Kits Featuring Prebuilt Major Assemblies" . Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  4. Cook, Marc (December 30, 2019). "Sonerai Kit Aircraft Comes Home". AVweb. Archived from the original on January 2, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  5. "Sonex reports 500th completion". Sport Aviation: 14. January 2015.
  6. Sonex Aircraft (2008). "Sonex - the Original Reality Check". Archived from the original on November 25, 2005. Retrieved October 9, 2008.
  7. Sonex Aircraft (2010). "Specifications - Tail Configuration: Y-tail". Archived from the original on April 5, 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2010.
  8. Xenos Archive, Xenos
  9. Sonex Aircraft (2008). "Xenos". Archived from the original on April 5, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2008.
  10. Onex
  11. E-Flight ESA
  12. "Sonex Aircraft and Navmar Applied Sciences to Collaborate on UAV Design" . Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  13. "Another Secret Is Out" . Retrieved July 24, 2007.
  14. "Sonex electric-powered Waiex makes first flight" . Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  15. Pew, Glenn (December 2010). "Sonex Flies Electric Airplane". AvWeb. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  16. "Sonex Aircraft Hornet's Nest Research and Development" . Retrieved October 21, 2011.