A pair of new single-seat airplanes promise a lot of performance for the dollar, offering speeds topping 150 mph for less than $30,000 with engine.
There is, however, some assembly required.
The two single-seater, kit-built planes are aimed squarely at DIY pilots looking for the biggest bang for the buck.
The Onex from Sonex, based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is the latest in a long line of inexpensive kit planes offering relatively high performance. The aluminum airplane is capable of aerobatics and manages a 155 mph cruise speed on just 80 horsepower.
An interesting, and attractive, design feature is the foldable wings. They can be folded in minutes and the sporty airplane loaded onto a trailer. The ability to keep your plane at home eliminates parking or hangar costs at the airport and makes maintenance (or long stares of admiration) much easier.
After the first flight a year ago, Sonex recently announced the Federal Aviation Administration has approved the company’s building checklists for the Onex. This gives current and future builders the green light to complete their aircraft in accordance to FAA rules. More than 50 Onex kits have already been shipped to builders.
The second of the new single-seaters got smooth composite lines from the hands of a surfboard maker.
The Aerochia LT-1 has been in development a few years. The carbon-fiber composite fuselage looks like it might hide a tiny radial engine, but the LT-1 is powered by a two-cylinder, four-stroke HKS engine producing just 60 horsepower. Aerochia expects to get speeds as great as 160 mph from the engine, according to the Experimental Aviation Association.
The LT-1 was designed by a surfboard maker who worked with multi-time Reno air racing champion Darryl Greenamyer on some of the pilot’s most recent composite airplanes. They expect the plane, which has a 21-foot wingspan, to have a maximum weight of less than 800 pounds and burn just three gallons per hour at cruise speed.
The airplane is still in flight testing mode, but the company expects to have the LT-1 at Airventure in Oshkosh, Wisconsin this summer.
Via Wired Autopia: http://www.wired.com/autopia/