Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free membership trial today! Click here

Sonex electric-powered Waiex makes first flight

Sonex Aircraft’s new Waiex electric-powered airplane has made its first flight out of ground effect. The Waiex, powered by an E-Flight 54-kilowatt (72 horsepower) brushless DC electric motor, has a lithium polymer battery.

The Waiex was flown by Sonex founder John Monnett, who flew the airplane on a short hop down Runway 27 of Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis. The flight was to analyze in-flight system performance as a next step in testing. The flight was the culmination of four years of development.

“We are very proud of this achievement. The core design team of Pete Buck, Andrew Pearce, John Monnett, and myself would like to thank our staff, families, business partners and friends,” said Jeremy Monnett, CEO and general manager of Sonex Aircraft. “We have a flight envelope expansion plan and will be working on this in the coming weeks and months.”

The Waiex is part of the E-Flight Initiative electric flight project, which was first announced to the public at the 2007 EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. For more information on E-Flight’s progress visit the website.

Thomas A. Horne
Thomas A. Horne
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.

Related Articles