After selling my second RV aircraft last year to facilitate a home remodel I was in a dilemma. Build another airplane? Buy one? If so, what could possibly compare to the utility, fun and overall bang for the buck of my RV-4 and RV-6 “X?” The exception being the F-16, but I digress.
I needed a low cost, high bang for the buck personal sport plane that could perform sport aerobatics, operate off my grass strip at a low cost and fit in my garage. It needed to be a proven design with an accessible parts trail and fun! The answer came in the form of the Sonerai II.
I began searching in earnest and found arguably one of the nicest of the model ever built, very close to home. As it turned out N994SP had been crafted by a dedicated, meticulous builder over a 10-year period. After a large amount of encouragement from my wife I purchased N994SP! After getting it home my “tinkering” would begin in earnest eventually becoming a six-month “extensive inspection” including a new engine and weight reduction program. To keep it in line with the original model, my goal was minimum frills for maximum performance.
The end result was a new empty weight thirty two pounds less than when I bought it, a dialed in CG, and extremely smooth and strong-running power plant. The flight characteristics are in a word, stellar. Much like a very light RV4 albeit on a much smaller scale, and I mean small. The S2L is definitely not for big dudes but typifies the expression “strapping it on.” Sport aerobatics on a budget is an understatement but the best part for me is the simplicity and efficiency. Four gph at 120KTAS is hard to beat.
A lightweight, very low cost, high bang for buck, aerobatic, grass strip capable aircraft? Say it isn’t so!
Rob “Smokey” Ray