Saturday, April 16, 2016

'Quick built' kit plane has room for 1: It cruises at 240 mph and races at 300

For $100,000, you can buy this Sub Sonex jet plane kit. It was on display last week at Sun 'n Fun. 

LAKELAND — If you’ve got a spare $100,000 sitting around, you could buy a BMW convertible or an Audi R8.

Then again, you could buy parts for a jet plane and put it together yourself. You just won’t be able to fly your family or friends in it.

The Sub Sonex is a “quick built” kit plane jet that costs $42,000 for the plane, about $50,000 for the engine and a few thousand dollars more for et cetera.

The Sub Sonic has seating room just 2-foot-wide seat with room for a pilot only.

It is 16.6 feet long with a wingspan of 18 feet and a “Y” tail.

It cruises at 240 mph and races at 300.

It has a range of 480 miles, with a 30-minute reserve just in case you have trouble finding a gas station.

It’s primarily made of aluminum.

“I’d like to buy one, I really would,” said Andrew Johanson, a student from New Jersey visiting the Fly-In. “If I just had the money.”

Mark Schiable, the general manager of Sonex Aircraft, the company that produces the planes, said he’s been selling them the past two years and business has been good.

He said a company in the 1970s and '80s used to sell a small jet plane, but those planes weren’t specifically designed for a jet engine.

The Sub Sonex, he said, is built for a jet engine.

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