Bought a Sonerai..


Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Mar 6, 2021
Well, while I am building my Dragonfly and other projects, it has been hard to just not fly. I stopped my instruction about this time last year intending to finish up this summer but other things got in the way and now the plan is to finish my PPL in the spring/early summer as the weather allows. A lot of thought has gone into a "time builder" to fly while I finish my projects, and many -Cessna 150/172, various Pipers, etc. along with experimentals like Tailwinds etc. and for a short period of time it seemed like a 150 or Taylorcraft were in my future.
Somehow along the way this Sonerai II LS sort of fell into my lap. I had set out to just buy the engine and flight engine bits, but ended up with the whole thing. It is a complete but borderline ugly plane with about 400hours on it, the engine was just refreshed, has its AWC but it is way out of annual. The backstory I have on it is the builder got a little long in the tooth and developed Alzheimer's or dementia and at some point landed the plane at an airport and had no idea where he was etc. After that his family took the airplane apart and put it in thier barn. At some point the sons decided to freshen the engine and then for whatever reason, the plane was put up for sale and a fellow fairly local to me bought it. He has taxi'ed it and started going through it to get ready for an annual, but has been transferred across the country, put the plane up for sale, and we made a good deal on it.
As mentioned above, it is a per-plans Sonerai II L S with the wing reinforcements etc. has an 1835 VW that looks to be a Great Plains package complete with electric starter etc.
Before the plane is ready for inspection the following need to be addressed-
Various gauges are INOP, and most likely most of the wiring needs redone.
Minor aluminum skin damage where the leading edge meets the fuselage. Most likely caused when the wing was removed at some point. Most likely can be metalworked back into shape
New seats/cushions made
cowling painted
All subsystems- brakes, control cables/linkages/etc. inspected and repaired as needed.

My goal here is to NOT go off the rails and recover/repaint the whole thing and not tear the whole thing apart "just because" but to simply get it into flyable condition and put some hours on it. My only real concern here is going from the Cessna 172, then the Citabria that I will do tailwheel/unusual attitude recovery training in, to the Sonerai is going to be a good jump and I am for sure hoping to get some transition time in one at some point.

Any input or feedback is certainly welcome.