All that’s left before the eXenos takes to the air is the FAA to come out and give us an Airworthiness Certificate, so I guessed it was finally time to close the lid on the rivet mandrel container and show just how many rivets it takes to build the long-winged Sonex! No, we’re not going top count them – but this represents about seven years of (on-again, off-again) work on the slow-build kit. This one was slow enough that we even built the spars, so the total rivets really do represent an entire airframe.
The container – familiar to anyone that shops at Costco and enjoys those little peanut-butter-pretzel snacks – is full to the brim. That’s fuselage, wings, tail, and any accessories such as gear leg fairings and cowl attachments. Top be completely open, we probably used a few solid rivets here and there for minor things like cowling attach hinges, but the airplane is 99% built exactly to plans. Well, except for the firewall forward installation of the electric motor.
We’ll keep you up to date on the process of getting it in the air—as soon as we figure out how to fill out the online “paperwork” system that the FA has instigated since our last completion.