SonexFlight is a monthly podcast where we talk all things related to the Sonex line of kit-build aircraft. Each show we interview a different Sonex builder or pilot and discuss technical topics, tips and tricks, flying adventures, news and current events.
Episode 29 - “Annual Condition Inspection"Fall is here, and for many people that means flying is slowing down and it’s time to conduct the annual condition inspection. We’ll review the areas typically inspected during a good condition inspection, and go over our best practices for Sonex-specific items that should be on your checklist.
Episode 28 - “2017 Reklaw Fly-in""Camp Sonex" was formed once again, this time at the 31st Annual Fly-in at the Flying-M Ranch in Reklaw, TX! This gathering is a special event, and it's hard to describe why it's so loved by those who attend. The cast and attendees attempt to put the magic of Reklaw into words as we catch up around the camp fire.
Episode 27 - “Sonex Handling Qualities”Captain Mike "Caveman" Neidenthal joins us again as we attempt to describe the feel and personality of flying a Sonex, and to give some insight to why Sonex has such a loyal following of pilots. Simply put, we love the way they fly, and we’re going to tell you all about it!
Episode 26 - “Vacuum Bending Leading Edge Skins”We discuss an alternate way to bend the leading edge skins using an ordinary shop vac, rather than the complicated process of press-bending the skins. The vacuum bending technique is great for scratch-builders, or for those kit builders that have to replace their leading edge skins and want to avoid the cost of buying (and shipping) pre-fabricated skins from the factory.
Episode 25 - “Alaska by Sonex”Waiex builder Jim Hicke is back from his 3-week Alaska trip. This was an epic trip, filled with spectacular sights and video, unexpected rewards, and a few unpleasant surprises. We discuss Jim's highlights and his challenges, the planning involved, and lessons learned from making a big trip in a Sonex.
Episode 24 - “Taking the Plunge and Becoming a Builder”The process of moving from Interested Outsider to Full-fledged Builder can be intimidating as the would-be-builder conducts research, builds support for the project, and works up his or her budget. Our guest this episode did just that and recently took the plunge into building.
Episode 23b - “Oshkosh Wrap-up”AirVenture 2017 is over, and it was a great show! The SonexFlight crew is back home, and we review the remainder of the show and reminisce on the interesting things we experienced.
Episode 23a - “Oshkosh 2017 - Camp Sonex!”AirVenture 2017 is under way, and 'Camp Sonex' is officially open! We report on the first couple days of the show, tell what we've seen, and what we're looking forward to seeing and doing. Oshkosh is off to a great start.
Episode 22 - “Preparing for the Unexpected”Preparing for unexpected situations starts before you even leave home. We discuss the prep that we conduct before venturing out of the local flying area, the tools and supplies that accompany us, and how the right mindset allows you to enjoy the adventure of the trip rather than focusing on the difficulties.
Episode 21 - “Electrical Systems, Part 2”Bob Nuckolls is back, and we continue our discussion of electrical systems, including topics such as regulators, sources of electrical noise, and grounding practices.
Episode 20 - “Electrical Systems”We scratch the surface of practices and considerations behind designing and implementing the electrical system for your Sonex project. We’ll speak with a well-respected and recognized expert in aircraft electrical system design, Bob Nuckolls, and tap into his more-than-50 years of experience.
Episode 19 - “Cross Country via Sonex”This episode we discuss the process of making longer flights via Sonex. Famed Sonex pilot Kip Laurie talks about his cross-country flying process, and how he gets the most out of his Waiex for travel.
Episode 18 - “Aux Fuel Systems”One comment often heard from pilots is the desire for more range or endurance. This month we’ll look at a few custom solutions that have been created by builders to provide more fuel capacity, and highlight a few items to consider to start you on the right track when developing your own system.
Episode 17 - “Reducing Sonex Accidents”We tackle a really tough problem – how to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents among Sonex pilots. Our discussion approaches the topic through a Sonex-specific lens, but certainly applies to all aspects of aviation.
Episode 16 - “Autopilots”We explore the situations where a builder may consider installing an autopilot is a Sonex project, even though the Sonex is thought of as a rather "sporty" airplane. We’ll dig in to the details of the popular autopilot offering from Dynon Avionics.
Episode 15 - “Sonex Acro”We explore the ins and outs of flying aerobatic maneuvers in a Sonex, review the types of maneuvers appropriate for a Sonex, and go over a few tips from our guest Mark Kingman to make flying acro a bit easier. In the news we discuss the NTSB's recently released Factual Report of the 2014 Sonex crash near Big Bear, CA.
Episode 14 - “Brakes”We discuss the various options and consideration for choosing brakes for your Sonex project, including the stock drum brakes, optional AeroConversions hydraulic brakes, and other aftermarket brake systems. Guest Mike Farley offers his experience and insights gained from his project. In the news we discuss the first look at Jabiru's new "Generation 4" engine.
Episode 12 - “Rivets”We delve into all aspects of rivets on the Sonex. We’ll discuss the types of rivets used in our construction methods, proper techniques, tools and various tips and tricks learned over the years.
Episode 11 - “Developing a Pilot Operating Handbook”We discuss the process of putting together a Pilot Operating Handbook – AKA a “POH”. We review the major considerations and a few helpful references to guide you through the development a complete and useful document. We also comment on our own individual methods of operating our Sonex, from start-up to flying the pattern.
Episode 10 - "Documenting Your Project"We discuss documenting your Sonex building project, including the regulatory requirements for documentation, the various options for your logs, benefits of documenting, and tips and tricks to make the process easier. In the forum news we review the pro's and con's of delaying riveting the lower fuselage skins, and discuss ways to fix elevator bellcrank interference in the tail.
Episode 9 - "Landing Gear"The Sonex landing gear system is robust, effective and simple to set up, and we cover ways to make it even easier. We talk with early plans-builder Bob Mika about planning considerations for your gear configuration, challenges or issues builders may encounter, tips and tricks, and a few useful modifications.
Episode 8 - "Rescuing an Orphaned Project"We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a second-hand Sonex project, outline the major considerations on finding and evaluating a potential project, and offer tips and lessons-learned from builders who have successfully completed rescued projects.
Episode 7 - "Tuning the AeroInjector"We discuss tuning the AeroInector and AeroCarb. This carb is deceptively simple, but it needs to be tuned correctly for best performance. Kerry Fores from Sonex Aircraft LLC walks us thru the process, outlines common mistakes and provides trouble-shooting tips.
Episode 6 - "Talking with Sonex, LLC"In Episode 6 we speak with Sonex Aircraft LLC General Manager, Mark Schaible. We discuss a wide variety of topics with Sonex, review the latest efforts and focus areas, and talk about Sonex’s biggest challenges and frustrations. In the news we review the UK Sonex Approval Document, the recent AeroVee Turbo Service Bulletin, and more.
Episode 5 - "Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation"In Episode 5 we speak with Robbie Culver, President of the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation. We talk about the mission and goals of the Foundation, transition training and other safety concerns. In the news we discuss recent SonexBuilders.net threads about solving radio noise, and the Stratux do-it-yourself ADS-B receiver.
Episode 4 - "Engine Cooling"In Episode 4 we discuss important considerations to achieve good engine cooling in your Sonex. We speak with Mike Smith about his recent experiences trouble shooting and improving his engine cooling efficiency. In the news we discuss a recent Sonex forced-landing, thankfully with only minor injuries, Josh Bardell's homebuilt portable air-conditioning system for his Sonex, and more.
Episode 3 - "AeroVee Turbo"In Episode 3 we discuss the AeroVee Turbo engine option for the Sonex. We speak with Mike Farley and Carl Benda, two highly-experienced Turbo owners, detailing the Turbo package itself, the modifications to your Sonex to add a Turbo to an already-flying AeroVee-powered Sonex, and performance of the Turbo (Spoiler - it Rocks!). We also review current news, Forum discussions and more.
Episode 2 - "Fuel Systems"In Episode 2 we hold a round table discussion regarding fuel systems. We review what the plans call for, important considerations in designing your own fuel system, common modifications, and mistakes or pitfalls that frustrate builders. We also review recent Sonex new product press releases and recent SonexBuilders.net forum topics.
Episode 1 - "Why a Sonex?"In this episode we speak with a current Sonex builder and discuss his project, and find out why he chose the Sonex. In the forum news we discuss our favorite plans features and mods, discuss the Factory Waiex crash near Fond du Lac airport and the NTSB report on the Tom Huebbe fatal accident in 2014.
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