Late last week, Sonex announced via its website that development of the single-seat SubSonex jet was being delayed. KITPLANES included a feature story on the early development of the SubSonex in our July issue.
Despite the appearance of an incident report on the FAA's web site, the company says the aircraft had not yet flown and that the FAA report implying that it had was in error. Further, according to the company:
"The SubSonex personal jet program faces setbacks, despite huge successes with engine systems integration and testing. Through the course of a series of high-speed taxi tests in recent months, the design team has identified some issues with controllability of the aircraft in the transition phase approaching takeoff speeds, and has decided to enter a thorough design review process aimed at making the aircraft easier to handle for the average recreational pilot.
"This may represent a significant delay in progress for the SubSonex as higher Hornets’ Nest Research and Development priorities take precedence. Both the E-Flight Electric Aircraft and Onex Single-Place Aircraft projects approach critical stages that demand the design team’s full attention over the coming months. Progress updates on both projects will be posted soon.
“ 'The challenges we face with the SubSonex perfectly illustrate our reasoning for unveiling this project under the banner of the Hornets’ Nest Research and Development program,' states Sonex Aircraft Founder and President John Monnett. 'We have been very deliberate in not publishing timetables for development of the aircraft or guarantees of kit availability because there are no guarantees in R&D, despite our best efforts. The Sonex, Waiex and Xenos airframes, along with the current line of AeroConversions products offer impeccable performance, and no product will emerge from the Hornets’ Nest to become available for consumers without meeting the same stringent criteria. I am committed to seeing the SubSonex through, and am confident that we can be successful, however, it must take a back seat to other company priorities for now,' Monnett continues. 'The E-Flight Electric Aircraft and Onex Single-Place Aircraft programs are gaining a huge amount of momentum, and represent the largest potential for successful new Sonex and AeroConversions products in the near-term. These projects require our full attention and resources as we move forward with R&D.' "
For more information on the program, visit Sonex Aircraft's website.