July 27, 2007
Sonex Aircraft's Electric Propulsion System for Sport Aircraft

At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2007, Sonex Aircraft and AeroConversions Products introduced their E-Flight Initiative, including a proof-of-concept prototype electric powerplant installed in a Waiex airframe.

The most significant portion of E-Flight is the development of the electric motor powerplant, controller, battery pack and charging system. The companies’ goal is to determine the feasibility of commercializing a line of electric Sonex and AeroConversions products.

The concept for the electric sport aircraft project pre-dates the 1997 founding of Sonex Aircraft. In 1994, John Monnett, the founder of Sonex, and Pete Buck devised the concept to design, build, and fly a small electric-powered and manned aircraft that would be capable of a short duration flight in order to set or establish speed records for this new class of aircraft.

The motor. The design team, in collaboration with Bob Boucher of Astro Flight, Inc., has designed and built a completely new AeroConversions motor. The brushless DC motor is a 3 phase, 270 volt, 200 amp motor that will be more than 90% efficient. It uses elegantly designed CNC machined anodized aluminum and nickel-plated steel parts in combination with “off the shelf” bearings, races, snap rings, and magnets. Read