The jet-powered kitplane made by US company Sonex Aircraft is a stunning perfoprmer but has one drawback – it’s a single-seater which rules it out for many pilots. No longer! Sonex announced a two-seater was on the cards at last summer’s AirVenture Oshkosh and has just issued a positive update.
The two-seat SubSonex JSX-2T project is well advanced in engineering analysis and detailed modelling, said Sonex. Construction of physical prototype aircraft parts for JSX-2T will begin later this winter with the goal of having a prototype aircraft completed and flying this summer.
“We will have a prototype on-display in our booth at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2020, and at our Open House event before the show,” said a spokesperson.
“We plan to begin the process of kitting the aircraft this Fall to begin shipping the first kits around year-end, 2020.”
Among the achievements so far:
- Design of the greater Main Wing Spar assembly is complete, allowing design of the remainder of the wing, which is also nearly complete. This includes arrangement of the main landing gear components and the adjacent wing components.
- The retractable gear system for JSX-2T will be different than that used in the single-place jet. Instead of using pneumatic cylinders, Sonex Aircraft is planning a single actuator design with mechanical linkage to each gear leg. The actuator will be an electric/hydraulic unit, which uses an
- The gear legs are also lengthened to give the aircraft more ground clearance — an aesthetic consideration making the aircraft look “right” in its scaled-up form that will also prevent the jet’s larger wing area from increasing float in ground-effect.
- SubSonex JSX-2T will have a single centre-mounted control stick to minimise weight and maximise useful load and performance.
- Work continues to optimize the JSX-2T fuel system. The aircraft will have approximately 10 additional gallons of useable fuel capacity vs. the single-place jet, offering a moderate increase in range and endurance while still keeping the aircraft within its intended max. gross weight and an acceptable CG range. The increase in fuel capacity will also be vital if a more powerful
- Design of the fuselage is driven primarily by the design and interface of other major aircraft components including the wing, tail, fuel system, engine mounting etc.
- The cockpit has the largest impact upon the design of the fuselage and much work has been focused on the cockpit design of JSX-2T to accommodate two occupants comfortably, including tall pilots, with access for both pilots to controls including dual throttles.
- Transition training: JSX-2T is designed not only as a light jet aircraft that you can share with others, but also as a trainer. Sonex Aircraft and Desert Aerospace plan to convert the current BonusJet training programme for the SubSonex into a programme giving dual instruction in the JSX-2T.
- The SubSonex JSX-2T is being designed for use with the current PBS TJ-100 E3S engine. While the aircraft has a higher gross weight than the single-place jet, they both have similar wing loading and the new aircraft will fly quite well with its increased wing span and chord.
- Cruise speeds and top speeds of the JSX-2T will be lower than JSX-2, approximately 210+ mph in cruise vs. 230+ mph cruise in the single-place, which is the trade-off that customers will have to accept to add that extra seat.
- Costs: Total Quick Build Kit: $60,000. Total Build Cost (including kit, engine, avionics & upholstery): under $140,000.