Photos from Sonex Aircraft - go there for tons Sonex/Waiex info too
Yeah, I know it’s only a week into the new year, but given the outlook for 2009, we need to start it all off with a winner… and here it is!
It wins this award because it mixes the best of everything: speed with efficiency, safety and great looks, along with ease of building. When you also add in what the everyday sport pilot’s real needs are, which include stretching the dollar as far as possible, nothing beats the overall value the Waiex has to offer.
This airplane is so totally accessible to the ’average’ guy. If you start with the Waiex kit, and you work disciplined and don’t go crazy adding expensive and heavy stuff to this little cutie, you can realistically expect to be flying in about a year, and do it all for right at, or just a tad north of $26,000!
A 2-place proven design that can cruise up to 150mph for about the price of a nicely equipped 4-door Jeep Wrangler… that’s awesome! This is definitely the year that we need a truly effecient, attractive, and best of all, affordable airplane.
The Waiex is basically identical to the better known Sonex (conventional tail) version, but the Y tail just seals the deal for me by having that “hey, look at me” attitude. Performance is essentially the same for the two, and either can be built as a taildragger or with tricycle gear. And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, it really is a ’Y’ tail instead of a ’V’. The tail cone is actually a nifty little ‘stubby rudder’ - love it!
Performance? Even if you go frugal in the Waiex with the 80hp AeroVee VW engine (which runs 100LL or Auto Fuel), you can still expect high speed cruise of 150mph at 8,000’. It’s not all speed tho. That nice thick wing also yields a stall with flaps down of just 40mph. Almost a full 4:1 speed ratio… absolutely amazing!
Sonex Aircraft also has a reputation of being a company that cares about builders and always supplies a top notch kit.
When you mix it all up and pour it over tough economic times, the Waiex stands out as the best overall airplane for the day. That’s exactly why it’s the 2009 AirPigz ‘Homebuilt Of The Year’ (HOTY).