Citing the ongoing impact of the COVID pandemic, Sonaca Group subsidiary Sonaca Aircraft has stopped production of its Sonaca 200 single-engine trainer. The Belgium-based company reports that it approached a number of strategic partners “to help its subsidiary enter new market segments” but was unable to reach an agreement with any of them. Sonaca says it will continue to provide services and support for Sonaca Aircraft customers along with offering positions in other areas of the company to all employees.
“The cessation of Sonaca Aircraft’s production activities is a necessary decision,” said Sonaca CEO Yves Delatte. “The Covid-19 pandemic, which will globally impact the aviation sector until 2025, has strongly affected general aviation, especially activities related to pilot training and education.”
Delatte further stated that Sonaca will focus on aerostructures with the aim of becoming a world leader in the segment by 2025. According to Sonaca, Sonaca Aircraft has delivered 57 Sonaca 200s since its creation in 2016. The two-seat, low-wing Sonaca 200 flew for the first time in 2017 and received its EASA type certificate in 2018. The model is powered by the Rotax 914 engine and offers a cruise speed of 110 knots, 750-NM range with 45-minute reserve, maximum takeoff weight of 750 kg (1,653 pounds) and full-fuel payload of 170 kg (375 pounds).
Q: “How do you make a small fortune in aviation?”
A: (You know the answer.)
For the past two years, I have noticed the distinct lack of aircraft flying overhead my residence. Trainees from the local flight schools used to always transitioning the Class B overhead. But not anymore.
I’m always saddened to hear of aviation companies having to close. Unfortunately, given what I’m (not) hearing, I fear that there will be more stories like the above.
I noticed the very same things. I live in between the practice areas of 2 class D airports. Ever since the market crash of 2008, it’s been a ghost town. The airport I used had around a dozen flight schools and flying clubs back in the day. Now a drive by the airport reveals empty parking, tie downs, and abandoned offices.
Too bad, it looks like a tidy little airplane.
Another ‘me-too’ aircraft?
What were its merits?
I say aircraft manufacturing is like restaurants – every one wants to have their own, few are capable.
Mr. K, given the LSA specifications and the available parts bins, , there is precious little variation possible. Varrying from that formula is possible BUT you end up with oddball aircraft that would be even harder to sell IMO.
The plane in question is larger than LSA, and at LSA weight has a full-fuel payload at LSA weight of a negative number.
Ah, my mistake. Thanks.
Funny that there was a surge in cases when mask mandates were dropped. Your ignorance is shocking, even though I agree with much of what you’ve said. Then again, there is a pilot shortage …