In the middle of a frigid Wisconsin winter, the team at Sonex Aircraft has decided it’s a great time for yet another first flight. With plenty of snow on the ground and cold air over the wings, company president Jeremy Monnett completed the first flight in the all new Onex, a single seat sport aircraft with folding wings (visible in video after the jump) and designed to cost less than $25,000.
For the same price as a small boat or a nice motorcycle you’ll get some impressive performance including a top speed of 170 miles per hour and aerobatic capabilities. And all this with just 80 horsepower which means the fuel bill will be a fraction of that for other aircraft, just like the purchase price.
The flight of the Onex is the second first flight Sonex has made this winter after a short first hop in its electric airplane in December. The Onex first flight lasted about 20 minutes and gave Monnett time to assess the initial handling qualities which he says are very good.
“What we’re looking for is a very responsive and high fun factor type of aircraft” Monnett says of the airplane, “and we can very accurately characterize it as sporty, the roll rate is very good.”
Company president/test pilot Jermey Monnett taxis back to the hangar after first flight of the Onex.
The Onex is looking like the single seat, fighter aircraft type of experience many pilots have dreamed of, but were lacking the hundreds, if not millions of dollars to fulfill. Okay, this is no P-51, but only the Vans RV-3 comes to mind as far as fighter-like fun on a budget.
Like the other designs from Sonex, the Onex uses the AeroVee engine. The 80 horsepower, four-cylinder motor is based on the VW racing core, and is air cooled. But it has been completely redesigned and modified for aviation use including an all new crankshaft and dual ignition. Essentially it’s a new motor that looks like the VW it was built upon.
Both the airplane and the motor can be purchased as a kit. The AeroVee 2.1 requires about 12 hours to assemble according to the company. The airplane itself will also be sold only as a kit. Build times for kit aircraft vary wildly depending on the budget, experience of the builder and the level of finish, but Monnett expects builders to spend 500-1000 hours completing the Onex.
The Onex during its first flight in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Flight testing is continuing and the company will continue to expand the flight envelope of the Onex. Monnett says he hopes to confirm the performance figures for the airplane in the coming months.
Photos/Video: Sonex Aircraft