And we're off!


Subsonex Jet ruddervator clecoed

Yes–the new kit is here! Our Subsonex project got underway just this weekend, starting with a complete inventory (of a very complete kit). With all of the bits and pieces stored away in ways that they can be found, I opened the plans to a reasonable place to start, and pulled out the parts for the stabilizers. My first impression was “wow – this is amazing”. My second impression was “Wow – this is going to go together fast!” All parts are match-hole construction – that means that you can grab a handful of silver clecos and fasten ribs to spars, and skins to ribs, all without pulling out a drill.

Of course, once you have it all together, you do have to pull the silver clecos, up drill everything to final size, debur, reassemble, then pull the rivets… but doing that with the Stab frame only took a couple of hours. Skinning has accounted for a half a days work, and carefully aligning the ruddervator hinges took some of that. I wanted to make sure they were straight, so I inserted a hinge pin and the back half of the hinge to make sure it was free while drilling.

Now it is time to pull it all apart, debur, reassemble, and rivet – we know that tune by heart, and with the hard work done, ’tis just a matter of turning on some tunes in the shop and getting it done. I’ll try to keep you updated on the process as we move forward.

The Subsonex kit is, without a doubt, the most complete kit we’ve ever worked on. Sonex has included pretty much everything you need to get flying except fuel – even the batteries are included!

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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