numbers, Monnett said, are for a cruise speed of about
250 mph and a never exceed speed of 300 mph.
The engine, a modified version of a turbine used to
power radio-controlled aircraft, will generate 170 to 200
pounds of thrust. The aircraft has the boxy look of the rest
of the Sonex line, with the small engine positioned atop
the fuselage just forward of the V-tail empennage. The
aircraft has not flown nor has the engine been started.
The SubSonex features simple metal construction
and with a 32-gallon tank has about one hour of
endurance—“enough fuel to have some fun,” Monnett
PiperJet Flies at Oshkosh
Last year Piper Aircraft announced the maiden flight of
the PiperJet during AirVenture, and this year the PiperJet
made its debut appearance. Piper CEO Kevin Gould said
that Piper’s new owner, Singapore-based investment
company Imprimis, is committed to the PiperJet, and that
Piper will hire 50 new engineers to work on the program.
Bob Kromer, vice president of sales at the company’s
Vero Beach headquarters, said the passive thrust-nozzle-vectoring system for the tail-mounted Williams FJ44-3AP
engine successfully eliminated pitch changes associated
with power changes often found in over-centerline thrust
engines. “There is nothing else like it,” Kromer said of the
PiperJet. “Our guaranteed goal is 360 knots (top speed).”
Piper reports it holds some 200 orders for the aircraft.
It is, however, revising its delivery schedule, and the
company will make the new timetable public in October
at the annual convention of the National Business
Aviation Association. http://PiperJet.Piper.com
The first customer-built Lancair Evolution flew to Oshkosh.
The announcement of the GlaStar in 1994 brought a
change in direction—a high-wing two-place available
in either conventional- or tricycle-gear versions. While
the fuselage is composite, the (foldable) wings, tail, and
internal load-bearing structure are metal. Much simpler
to build than the Glasair and capable of being operated
as a floatplane, the GlaStar has found wide acceptance
as a sport and utility aircraft. www.GlasairAviation.com
SJ50 Vision—Cirrus Design
At AirVenture 2009, Cirrus’ SJ50 jet was surrounded
by a whirl of controversy with Cirrus co-founder Alan
Klapmeier attempting to buy the Vision program from
the company. Company President Brent Wouters and
company co-founder Dale Klapmeier addressed the issue
at a Cirrus press conference early in the week, stating,
“(Alan) is the only person we would consider letting
peel the jet away, because it would still be part of the
(Cirrus) family,” Dale said, adding that the company was
considering Alan’s proposal because development dollars
are in short supply.
By week’s end, however, word came that Alan’s
attempt to find external funding sources and purchase
the program from Cirrus had collapsed. According to
Dale, the development does not have any impact on the
program. “The program is where it always was,” Dale said.
“We had no intention of going out to sell this program…
though there certainly are some advantages with it being
separate, and we certainly could work with Alan on that.”
and formed a company they called Stoddard-Hamilton.
The firm’s first successful product, the side-by-side SH- 2
Glasair, flew at 208 mph using a Lycoming O-235—an
impressive speed for 1979 that still commands attention
today. Later designs from the company used the 150- or
160-hp O-320 Lycoming engines.
Prior to Glasair, composite homebuilt structures were
based on hot-wire cut solid-foam cores and hand layups
of fiberglass. Glasairs, instead, were the first powered
composite airplanes to use components manufactured
in female molds.
Follow-on models after the SH- 2 included both
fixed and retractable tri-gear versions. In 1986 the
company introduced an improved Glasair II kit and the
enlarged Glasair III—still a two-place but incorporating
a six-cylinder Lycoming IO-540. At the time the G-III
represented the pinnacle of homebuilt performance and
sophistication; many will remember the spectacular air
show routines performed at Oshkosh by Bud Granley and
Lancair Evolution…25 Years
Lancair International celebrated its 25th anniversary at
AirVenture 2009 with its first customer-built Evolution on
display, with Andy Cruces of Vero Beach, Florida, flying his
PT- 6 powered aircraft. The all-composite Evolution offers
four seats, pressurization, 300-knot speeds (turbine)
with full fuel payloads and four adults and baggage, and
a 1,950-pound useful load. A BRS ballistic parachute,
airbags, seat belts, and standard energy-absorbing seats
for enhanced safety are also available. The Evolution’s
docile handling and 61-knot stall speed will simplify the
Glasair Celebrates 30 Years
Glasair celebrated its 30th anniversary in business with
a new exhibit location in the Main Aircraft Display area.
The first Glasair SH- 2, a fixed-gear taildragger, appeared
at Oshkosh in 1979. This year also is the 15th anniversary
of the firm’s GlaStar line.
Glasair founders and principals Tom Hamilton and Ted
Setzer met as students at the University of Washington