Favorite Features, Mods, Adds and Options on Sonex 1374

 
  Occasionally discussion about mods and changes float around the web, and just recently I posted a few of my thoughts on the SonexBuilders.net Website. I've copied my comments from that discussion below.

 

Plans Features:

1) Acro Ailerons: These rock! They feel great and have nice control harmony. Highly recommended!

2) Sport Trainer configuration: Dual stick and center throttle/mixture/flaps/brakes. Puts all controls in the center (minus the trim lever) where both occupants can reach them.

3) Standard Trim Tab and Lever: Very easy and responsive. Love it! I use center for takeoff, half up on landing when I reduce power abeam the numbers, and full up on base. Simple and quick to adjust.

 

Mods:

1) Larger Tires: Allow effortless operations off dirt, gravel and grass. Mine are only half-worn after 200 hrs and approx. 400 landings. These mount on the stock Sonex wheels as well.

Tires: McCreary Air Hawk (Aircraft Spruce PN 06-07710) 5.00x5 6-ply Tubes: Aero Classic Leak Guard (Aircraft Spruce PN 06-00755) 5.00x5

2) Hydraulic brakes: I use Great Plains hydraulic breaks with a single mater cylinder attached to the stock(ish...) brake lever.

3) Ball-link steering arm and Sonex machined tailwheel: The stock steering arm is non-adjustable and can wallow out the hole in the rudder drive plate. It's easy to fabricate a ball link arm using some chromoly tube, cut off bolt ends (or threaded rod) welded inside the ends, and a couple of rod ends. Total cost is around $20. I also use the Sonex machined 4" tailwheel. This gets a bit extra ground clearance but maintains use of the inexpensive 4" tailwheels ($25 each, vs $100 each for 6" wheels). It's lighter as well. Well done Sonex!

4) Removable Panel: The entire center section of my panel removes with 8 screws. This provides access to the wiring without diving head first under the panel. It's also simple to make major changes to the installed equipment - simply make a new center insert with the new configuration.

 

Engine Mods:

1) Hinged Cooling Baffles on the Jabiru baffles: This allows full access to the spark plugs and you'll never need to remove the entire baffles for routine maintenance.

2) Rounded intake edges: Epoxy filler and fiberglass was used on the backside of the intake openings to reduce turbulence of the cooling air into the upper plenum. This results in greater pressure in the plenum and better cooling.

3) Enlarged cooling air exits in bottom of cowling: I opened the exits approx. 4-6 sq inches per exit and that has kept my engine temps within range during all flight regimes, and all outside temps. It really has been the key to keeping the engine cool and happy.

4) K&N Air Filter: Ditch the stock paper filter for a much better K&N. They breath easier, and can be cleaned and reused.

5) AeroInjector: I use it, and I like it. I have the standard per-plans setup, using a pull cable to the Sonex throttle quadrant. My fuel system is simple and only uses a billet 40 micron filter (no gascolator).

6) Oil recovery system: I fabricated a separator system to recover the oil mist blown out the breather. This has cut my oil consumption to about 0.25 qt per oil change (25 hrs).

 

Adds and Options:

1) Gear Leg Stiffeners: Simple strips of wood attached to the gear leg cut down the resonance frequency when taxiing at gross weight (ie no shimmy). They add that extra little bit of smoothness on landing too, preventing you from getting bounced back into the air after a not-so-perfect landing (really only a problem when heavy).

2) Fiberglass Intersection fairings: simple to make and compliment the lines around the gear leg fairings. Mine totally enclose the brake hardware as well.

3) Low-fuel warning camera: Inexpensive backup camera mounted under the panel "looking" a the tank sidewall. This way I can "see" the fuel level in the tank due to the translucent nature of the plastic tank. Comes in handy for confirming the last 4 gallons of fuel, and whether you can breath easy or divert immediately for landing.

4) Dynon Skyview: Love the simplicity of the system, and very capable. It also allows for angle of attack for next to nothing (literally pennies to add this feature to a Skyview), and works fantastic with the Red Cube flow transducer. I routinely compare my calculated fuel burned with the fuel added at the pump and it is ALWAYS within 0.1-0.2 gal! Best of all it works with 100LL and car gas, including ethanol, so no worries there.

5) Koger sun shade: Expensive, but oh-so-nice! They recommend the "Small Universal". However, if Koger was to make the small universal 4" longer (add one more bow plus enough track and material) it would be perfect!

6) Electric Seat Warmers: Amazon sells a universal car seta kit for under $50 that includes everything needed for 2 seats. The power requirements are low enough (3-5 amps per seat) that just about any engine can keep up with it

 

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Updated: 08 Aug 16