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 63 - "Fitting the Canopy"The canopy is one of the most challenging construction tasks in a Sonex project, and that's true of most homebuilts. The job can be repetitive and time consuming, and the risk of cracking the plexiglas is always there. We'll discuss how to tackle this intimidating task, and explain the tools and techniques that set you up for success and keep you out of the "cracked canopy club".
Episode 62 - "Engine Swap on an Already Flying Airplane"Every pilot wants more power in their airplane, or may decide to try out a different engine for various reasons, and over the years a number of pilots have decided to conduct engine swaps to do just that. We’ll cover some considerations to keep in mind when replacing engines on an already-flying airplane.
Episode 61c - "AirVenture 2019, Wrap-up"AirVenture is over, and we're missing it already! The gang reviews some of our highlights from the show, and challenges encountered along the way.
Episode 61b - "AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, Monday and Tuesday"Days 1 & 2 were a blast! Here are a few samples of the things we did, people we talked to and events we enjoyed after the show.
Episode 61a - "AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, Day Zero"AirVenture is here! Join us for some quick highlights from the weekend before the official start of the show.
Episode 60 - "Flying the Onex"The Onex is Sonex Aircraft’s single place sportster, being roughly 80% the size of a Sonex and offering more speed and even snappier handling. Onex’s are appearing in the completions gallery more and more, and for good reason! Our guest owns both a Sonex and a Onex and is particularly well suited to describe the similarities and differences the Onex shares with the rest of the fleet.
Episode 59 - "AirVenture 2019 is Coming!"AirVenture, the world's biggest airshow in Oshkosh, WI, is less than two months away, and it’s time to get busy finalizing plans for attending. We cover flying in, camping and lodging options, events and more in our 2019 preview.
Episode 58 - "SDS EFI for your AeroVee"Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) is a popular addition to experimental aircraft engines, and offers several attractive benefits including balanced mixture distribution, lower fuel burn, increased power and general smoothness of operation. We discuss the SDS EFI system with a successful Sonex builder and the company founder, and lay out what you'll need to add EFI to your AeroVee.
Episode 57 - "Preparing for First Flight"Now that winter has finally retreated and spring flying weather is here for most of us, it’s time for many new projects to make a first flight after being completed during the winter building season. We discuss the important considerations to prepare yourself, prepare the airplane and refine your first-flight plan.
Episode 56 - "Meet the Hosts of the SonexFlight Podcast"The SonexFlight Podcast is coming up on its third anniversary, and it’s probably past time that we formally introduce ourselves. Your hosts talk about our own aviation backgrounds, share the stories that brought us together on the podcast, and look ahead to goals and objectives we each have in the coming months.
Episode 55 - "Overvoltage Protection for Permanent Magnet Alternators"Most Sonex pilots are flying engines that utilize permanent magnet alternators, such as the AeroVee and Jabiru. These systems are simple and effective, but can benefit from a carefully constructed electrical system that incorporates active voltage protection. Our guest Bob Nuckolls helps us dig into overvoltage protection to explain some simple practices we can use in our planes.
Episode 54 - "AeroVee Maintenance"Now that winter is fading and flying season is kicking off, it’s time for us to have a look at our planes and get them ready for the season. Smart pilots will pay particular attention to the health and care of their engines. We review the common maintenance items that a pilot will need to consider, and offer our insights to keeping things running smoothly.
Episode 53 - "Garmin G3X Avionics"Garmin’s new G3X avionics system is targeted to the Experimental and LSA market segment, and offers a lot of bang for the buck. We sit down with Garmin to dig into this system, explaining what you’ll need for your Sonex and how much it will cost to get state of the art capability.
Guest: Brad Brensing, Sales manager for the Experimental and LSA market segments at Garmin International.
Episode 52 - "Rotax 912 Engine Installation"The Rotax 912 is a common engine choice for LSA and sport aircraft, but until just recently has been absent from the Sonex fleet. With Sonex Aircraft now supporting that option, builders are increasingly flying behind Rotax power. We speak with one of the first Rotax-Sonex pilots about his engine installation, and offer some insight and advice to pilots wishing to choose that engine option.
Episode 51 - "Wing Rigging Made Easy"Drilling the wing spars to the fuselage is a final step in completing major assembly of the airframe, and may cause builders grief if not done correctly. We explain how to rig the wings accurately and painlessly, and avoid the need to remake parts from a wing rigging operation gone wrong.
Episode 50 - "Building on YouTube"Part of the fun and enjoyment builders derive from their projects is sharing them with others. Sharing can mean many things, but more and more it includes documenting the project using videos, and then sharing them online. We talk with an ambitious new builder about his videos and the goals he has for sharing his build project with others.
Episode 49 - "Avoiding Builder Burnout"At some point every builder faces waning motivation, distractions and a slow-down in their building progress. This can have major impacts to the ultimate success of the project, and in the worst cases can lead to burnt-out builders and abandoned projects. We discuss our techniques and advice to keep motivation up and avoiding builder burnout.
Episode 47 - "ADS-B Options for Sonex Pilots"The Jan 1, 2020 deadline to have ADS-B out installed and working is just a little over a year away, and it’s time to start thinking about getting it done. We’ll go over the options that Sonex pilots may want to consider and try to sort out the best units available for our mission set, at the best price possible.
Episode 46 - "Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation 2018 Update"The Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation is the community organization that represents Sonex owners in the US, and they’ve been hard at work in the background since we last spoke with them. The Foundation has a couple new initiatives that are coming together, and we’ll talk with Mike Farley and Robbie Culver to hear about these efforts.
Episode 45 - "UL Power Engines"Builders love having many engine options to choose from, and UL Power has been supplying engines in the 100 hp range for years now. Recently they are starting to gain traction as a Sonex powerplant. We speak with Robert Helms, the US Distributor for UL Power Engines, and hear all about the features and operation of this intriguing engine.
Episode 44 - "Cockpit Comfort"Comfort in the cockpit is important, and really goes a long way to enhancing the flying experience. We cover our favorite techniques for heating and cooling in the cockpit, ergonomic layout, and providing those creature comforts that keep flying fun.
Episode 43 - "Sonex in the UK"The UK and Europe are home to approximately 100 Sonex aircraft, with about half of those flying. Homebuilding is alive and well, and we’ll hear all about Sonex activities across the pond.
Episode 42 - "Flying the B-Model"The first customer B-Model Sonex has flown, and it's a B-Model conversion of a flying airplane. We talk about the B-Model differences, making the conversion, and performance of the new plane.
Episode 41 - "Sonex Aircraft, LLC 2018 Update"Sonex Aircraft has seen growth and changes over the past several months, and we thought it was time to invite the factory to give us an update on what the company is working on, projects and priorities, and the future of Sonex Aircraft with John Monnett’s upcoming retirement.
Episode 40a - "AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, Day Zero"AirVenture 2018 is here, and the SonexFlight gang made it into Camp Sonex. Join us for a sampling of what Day Zero brought, and what you can expect at the big show!
Episode 40b "AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, The Show is On!"Monday is the official start of the show, and it's on! With so many interesting things to see and people to talk to, we grabbed a few of the highlights to give a taste of the variety.
Episode 40c "AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, A Few More Interviews"More interviews as the SonexFlight gang makes our way around the show. There are so many people to talk with, and lots of great stuff for our planes!
Episode 40d "AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, Wrap-Up"The show is over, and we run thru our final thoughts, highlights and the trip back home. See you next year, Oshkosh!
Episode 39 - "Oshkosh like a Pro!"Flying to AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI in your own airplane is one of the great privileges and thrills that pilots have, and to arrive in a homebuilt plane is even better. AirVenture (or just “Oshkosh” to most EAA’ers) is a bit overwhelming to a newcomer, especially those that plan to fly in or camp on the grounds. We discuss our best tips to make the planning and execution of your trip run smoothly, and help you navigate the experience like a seasoned AirVenture attendee.
Episode 38 - "Corvair Engines for your Sonex"Corvair conversions continue to find favor with experimental aircraft builders, and a growing number of Sonex pilots are now flying behind Corvair power plants. We speak with a builder about his decision making process that led him to an alternate engine, and hear about his experience building and flying behind a Corvair engine.
Episode 37 - "AeroVee Assembly and Operation Tips"The AeroVee engine is a great, affordable engine option for your Sonex project. The AeroVee is an “engine kit” and requires builder assembly. A detailed assembly manual and video walk the builder thru this process, but there are areas that may be overlooked, done incorrectly or simply under-appreciated in their significance. We discuss these areas with several experienced AeroVee engine builders and pilots, and present tips to ensure your engine is built right and performs reliably for years to come.
Episode 36 - "Vinyl Wrapping"Traditionally, the choice of Sonex finishes has been paint or polish, and each has their own merits. However, there is a new option that is lightweight, cost effective and fairly simple, using adhesive vinyl sheeting. Several Sonex airplanes sport this finish, including both John Gillis and Mike Neidenthal. John is a certified 3M applicator, and will tell us all about using vinyl wrapping on your project.
Episode 35 - "Sonex Down Under"Our friends in Australia are busy building and flying their Sonex aircraft, and are doing some pretty interesting things. Although the one hundred or so builders are spread across a very large country, there are definite "hot spots" of Sonex activity. We'll speak with several Aussie builders and hear about their challenges and experiences building so far from Oshkosh.
Episode 34 - "Creating a Dimple-free Turtledeck"One area that requires a bit of builder finesse is fitting the turtle deck skin to the fuselage bulkheads. There are some simple techniques that will allow that skin to lay perfectly flat on the bulkhead flanges, and produce a smooth, dimple-free surface. We’ll describe how to make your turtledeck look like it was built by a pro.
Episode 33 - "Building and Flying the Xenos Motorglider"The Xenos is Sonex Aircraft’s long-wing motor glider, a derivative of the basic Sonex design. It sports a 40 ft wingspan, longer fuselage with Y-tail, and a flapless-wing with ailerons and spoilers. The Xenos is designed as a touring motorglider, and has found a small but loyal following among Sonex pilots. Our guest tells us all about his Xenos and how he enjoys flying the mountains of Colorado.
Episode 32 - “2017 Look-back, 2018 Look-ahead, and Beyond"2017 is in the books, and there were a number of things that stand out. We look back at some of the more significant things to occur, review a few of the popular topics we covered on the podcast, and discuss the results of the 2017 Listener Feedback Survey. Lastly, we look ahead at a preview of the year we have planned for the podcast, and finish up with our thoughts on a “Most Wanted List for 2018” of things that we’d like to see Sonex Aircraft do, initiatives to focus on, or products to develop.
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