Trying on the Two-Seater


I am probably one of the higher-time SubSonex JSX-2 pilots around, so it was with great interest that I dropped in at the Sonex booth as soon as they “rolled out” their two-seat prototype for a fit check in the cockpit. The airplane is noticeably larger than its single-seat counterpart, and the roominess is most apparent in the cockpit height. Whereas my flight helmet just barely clears the single-seat canopy, I probably had close to a foot of clearance with the JSX-2T version. John Monnett, former owner but still a consultant to Sonex, told me that he is planning on re-contouring the canopy to make ti more compact and decrease frontal area.

The JSX-2T is being displayed with the same PBS TJ-100 engine as the single-senate aircraft. It produces 257 lb of static thrust, with an average fuel burn of about 20 gallons per hour over a typical flight profile. The Single seater carries 40 gallons, whereas the two-seat version sports 50. The single seater weighs in at 1000 lb Gross, and the two-seat is targeted for 1500.

The factory scrambled to get the two-seat fuselage, wings, and tail ready for display at this year’s AirVenture so that the anxiously-awaited design could be revealed for feedback from potential customers.

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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.


  1. I like the idea of having two turbojet engines, or better yet, future small turbofan powerplants in a personal two seat aircraft, with more space for luggage and perhaps some additional flight endurance time. Something that approaches 41/2 plus hours with a gross weight of about 2650 pounds. So two 180 pound adults, 180 pounds of luggage and 700 pounds of JetA, which adds up to a useful load of 1240 pounds and an empty weight of about let us say 1400 pounds . That is close to the weight of many four place Cessna 172 or smaller Piper Cherokees and other 2-4 seat aircraft. While these would be experimental aircraft and have about a 160-180 knot cruise with a 18,000 foot or higher ceiling, they would be similar to many aircraft used in GA today, with the lighter weight turbine powerplants. Now, we approaching a practical aircraft. Now, another concept, a JetA diesel powered piston engine in front and a turbojet powerplant in back. So, both engines for take off, and once in flight the turbine could be shut down for longer cruise and economy, at let us say 140-150 knots. This concept was used in WWII by Ryan Aircraft in the Firebee, a test aircraft. Then another crazy idea for existing piston powered aircraft. Mount a turbojet or two under the wings or under the belly like was done to many military aircraft for that extra boost. That is why I love the progress that EAA members are making in and for General Aviation. Keep Dreaming, Be safe!

  2. Put two TJ-100s mounted under the wings and a cuneiform tail. Voila, a mini ME-262….

    Who cares about fuel burn, where would you put the machine guns?

  3. Those little turbofans are so light, it would be cool if they could mount two — one on each side of the fuselage, like a Learjet. Would need a bigger fuel tank though. I wonder what the cruise speed would be?


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