January 2004 – with the painting and polishing done, there was nothing left to do in the workshop that couldn’t be done in the field, so the big moment had arrived – moving day. I had built the Sonex in a room such that it could not be moved without removing a window. So that’s what we did. Along came the glaziers and in a few minutes they had the big plate glass window out. Then a bunch of my son’s friends helped to lift the fuselage out of the opening. And so it was that #143 first saw the light of day.
It is only a short distance to our home, so after a trip each for the fuselage and the two wings the Sonex was on the lawn under a temporary carport I had put up for the purpose. There I did the weight and balance, fuel flow test, first engine run and a full rigging for final inspection. After the sign-off and registration, all was ready to move to the airfield. My Dad’s homebuilt trailer did it’s job and after three trips and a bit of heavy lifting later it was all in the hangar.
There was no other way to get the fuselage out of the workshop and I had been wondering how on earth the window could be removed and put back in without damage. The glaziers did the job in minutes.
I was lucky that my son’s friends were on holidays, and the glaziers gave a hand. Four inside and four outside and we managed to lift it over the ledge. Suitable compensation in 6-packs saw them all happy.
I thought I would never see the day. The fuselage has suddenly become smaller! The polish really shines when you see it outside.
I rigged up a temporary shelter in the front yard so I could work on final touches. I needed the shade from the intensity of the summer sun.
Finally #143 is all rigged, so I could do the weight and balance. Empty weight came out at 267kg and CofG limits worked out well after all my worry about ending up tail heavy. The final inspection went very well, and suddenly it was 19-4003. There was nothing much more to do but get it to the airfield and fly.
Callington airfield is about 60k from my home, but it was no problem. Two trips for the wings and one for the fuselage and soon it was all in the hangar, which was good because it was over 40 degrees outside.
With the tailwheel on a stand, I hoisted the front of the fuselage up and simply moved the trailer out from underneath. After the effort to get it onto the trailer, it was too easy.
Now the Sonex is home in the hangar. The workshop was home for so long I had to get used to the idea. Now the final rigging, engine runs and it’s ready to fly.
The next page in Lynn Jarvis’s Sonex project features Finishing.
Lynn Jarvis’s Sonex project