Sonex Accepts Deposits For Personal Jet

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Sonex has announced it is accepting $10,000 deposits for its SubSonex Personal Jet, saying it expects deliveries of the $125,000 "ultra-quick build kits" (a price set for the first 10 depositors) to begin as early as mid-year, 2014, depending on demand. The SubSonex is a single-seat aircraft powered by the PBS TJ-100 turbojet, which produces 274 lbs of thrust and, according to Sonex, has exceeded expectations "with flawless performance and an outstanding service history." The company first flew the jet in August 2011 with test flights continuing through 2012. Performance figures show a range of 300 miles, a clean stall at 64 mph, a sea level cruise of more than 180 mph TAS and a 1900 fpm rate of climb. The jet has a useful load of 484 pounds and is capable of aerobatics at lower weights. Now, second-generation prototypes conformal with the final design are under construction. The company is also still working on an electric-powered design and its line of conventionally powered aircraft now have quick-build options.

Sonex launched its development of electric power for its line of aircraft in 2007 (AVweb video, here), with the e-Flight Initiative. Sonex's Mark Schaible told us that progress there was steady with regard to a motor and motor controller, but the company sees battery technology as the still limiting factor. "We're working on it," Schaible said, "we're looking for a safe reliable long term solution," and the company is not yet satisfied with available options. Meanwhile, the conventionally powered Sonex line of kit aircraft, which include single and two-seat options, is reaching a builder completion rate of more than 40 per year, said Schaible. Complete kits (engine included) range from an estimated $25,000 to more than $45,000 in price. The company hopes its new quick-build kit options, which generally add $10,000 to a Sonex kit, will add to positive trends.