New two seater jet aircraft from Sonex

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

Topaz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
14,102
Location
Orange County, California
Why would a company price a product based on the cost of their materials? They price the product based on what they expect demand will allow. Then, they back out from that and see what it will cost to actually produce that product. If the company's cost exceeds what the market will pay, then you don't build that product. Play with the expected costs and retail price a lot of times to determine what combination(s) maximize profit (which is the point of this entire exercise).
When other competitors enter the market, they will have done similar calcs and will presumably have concluded they can offer a similar product that offers better value. Now, you have to go back and see if you need to change anything to stay competitive.
+100. You guys have to get over the idea that things are priced strictly on a "cost" basis. Heck, a lot of people in the world seem to think things are priced only on "cost of materials" + "direct labor cost" basis. Reality is this: Things are priced on "Material cost" + "Direct Labor cost" + "Supporting Labor Cost" + "Overhead" + "Insurance premiums" + "Owner's Salary" + "How much is it worth to the customer" basis. The latter is hugely variable, and depends on how much competition there is, how desirable the thing is, and how much raising the cost increases the perceived worth of the thing.

A two-seater is "so" much more expensive to buy because you, the aircraft-buying public, have amply demonstrated that a two-seater is worth a lot more to you than something with "only" one seat. It has nothing to do with material costs, labor costs, or overhead costs, which are fairly similar for a two-seater versus a one-seater. Liability insurance premiums may be higher for a manufacturer which produces two-seaters, but no, that doesn't begin to account for the sale-price difference.

Why does a two-seater cost so much more? Because you want it more. Period. Full stop.
 
Last edited:

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
11,079
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
TJ100 burns 1.1376 lb/lbf/hr (292lb thrust)
TJ150 burns 1.1670 lb/lbf/hr (337lb thrust)

If you want a cheaper airframe, put one (or two if you have excess cash) of these engines on the back of a cheap Long-Ez or Vari-Ez.
Or the sides of a Quickie.


BJC
 

Voidhawk9

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
322
Location
Timaru, NZ
It didn't.
On an EZ, you could mount them EE Lightning style, one above the other, and a failure would result in only a very slight trim change.
 

BBerson

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
13,102
Location
Port Townsend WA
Why is there no competition in this class? Is the jet engine company restricting sales to only one company?
 

Vigilant1

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
4,836
Location
US
Why is there no competition in this class? Is the jet engine company restricting sales to only one company?
It might be just as valid to ask why there's even one company doing this. It's very much a niche product, a toy for folks with a lot of discretionary funds. Nobody needs one. There's not a darn thing wrong with that, but that market is thin, and it is fickle. Sonex might lose a lot of dough if they've misjudged any one of a number of factors.
The more risk averse contenders may wait to see what type of interest Sonex finds for this aircraft (not look-e-loos, but people who pay real cash). If there's a market, there will probably be more folks offering little jet kits. But a drop in real estate prices or a stock market swoon could make buyers far more scarce in a big hurry.
 

Hephaestus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
1,686
Location
YMM
Well, how has building to a small run turbine worked out in the past? Bd5j what was that business jet from the 80s, how many other projects have died on the drawing board because the engine disappeared...

I think the Czech boys are doing better than others... But there's still no real other options in this class.

And there's still not a lot of info on durability of the turbine etc. At 50k a pop you hope it's not 500hr 20k$ overhauls... But only time will tell.
 

dcarr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2011
Messages
112
Location
-
This thing looks awesome. I always thought the first one was cool, but if you're going to spend that much on a toy you really need to be able to share the experience. It's more money than can be easily justified, but one day who knows?
 

BBerson

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
13,102
Location
Port Townsend WA
Well, how has building to a small run turbine worked out in the past? Bd5j what was that business jet from the 80s, how many other projects have died on the drawing board because the engine disappeared...

I think the Czech boys are doing better than others... But there's still no real other options in this class.

And there's still not a lot of info on durability of the turbine etc. At 50k a pop you hope it's not 500hr 20k$ overhauls... But only time will tell.
Here is 10 that failed:The big video topic
Hard to say what the mission will be. Jet trainer? Personal travel with almost no baggage?
Hope the engine price comes down and somehow a cheap turbofan is invented.
 

Topaz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
14,102
Location
Orange County, California
... Hard to say what the mission will be....
Not at all. "I've got a jet airplane!" is the mission. It's not really "useful" for anything but that. If one can afford the ego stroke, then that's the mission. I'm not criticizing here. If that's what someone wants, and they have the coin, then more (jet) power to them.
 
Last edited:

mcrae0104

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
3,264
Location
BJC
Hard to say what the mission will be. Jet trainer?
The trainer aspect of this is actually a big deal. For the single-seat jet, you need to get an LOA and get training from Bob Carlton in his two-place jet glider. Now the factory could do transition training without sending folks somewhere else.

There was a good SonexFlight (podcast) episode on the SubSonex that is good background for this discussion. http://www.sonexflight.com/30/index.html
 

Hot Wings

Grumpy Cynic
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
7,002
Location
Rocky Mountains
The trainer aspect of this is actually a big deal. << >> Now the factory could do transition training without sending folks somewhere else.
That was my first thought when I saw this. Maybe they don't care if they sell any of the 2 seat if they have a trainer available so they can sell more of the single seat?
 

nerobro

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2011
Messages
1,112
Location
Northern Illinois
This is the best news ever regarding small jets. A platform that's proven to fly well. It's got the "fast" thing. Now you can share it, and or carry a real big camping kit.

.................. This is good.
 

gtae07

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2012
Messages
1,960
Location
Savannah, Georgia
It might be just as valid to ask why there's even one company doing this. It's very much a niche product, a toy for folks with a lot of discretionary funds. Nobody needs one. There's not a darn thing wrong with that, but that market is thin, and it is fickle. Sonex might lose a lot of dough if they've misjudged any one of a number of factors.
IIRC one of the major reasons why Sonex developed the jet in the first place was simply that John Monnett wanted a jet. When you're privately-held, you can do that even if it doesn't make strict financial sense (see Blue Origin). That there's enough of a market to make kits is gravy.

There's no money in Van's restoring the RV-5 either, but they're doing it anyway.


It did occur to me that the one-time expenses in producing a low-sales volume kit like this, even in the modern era of matched-hole construction, lots of supplied parts, and so on, might be lower than you would otherwise expect in previous eras. CNC machining and laser cutting, in this case, make for lower tooling and recurring labor costs; if your ownership is willing to eat a major chunk of the NRE for personal reasons then it's easier to turn out onesy-twosie kits on demand or in small batches with your existing equipment, rather than having to run large batches on traditional tooling and having to store both the tooling and inventory.
 

bmcj

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
13,351
Location
Fresno, California
So now you’ve got the early buyers slapping their foreheads, thinking that if they had waited they could have had a two-seater. Now they have to buy a new kit to get the two-seat option. Now the game becomes, “should I buy a two-seat kit now, or wait to see if they come out with a four-seater?”
 

nerobro

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2011
Messages
1,112
Location
Northern Illinois
So now you’ve got the early buyers slapping their foreheads, thinking that if they had waited they could have had a two-seater. Now they have to buy a new kit to get the two-seat option. Now the game becomes, “should I buy a two-seat kit now, or wait to see if they come out with a four-seater?”
This is the case with many, many new products. If you stick to that logic to closely, you just won't ever release anything new.

The "other way" of looking at this, is they just captured the market that refused to buy the single seat version, and the single seat people still get the plane they wanted.
 

BBerson

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
13,102
Location
Port Townsend WA
The trainer aspect of this is actually a big deal. For the single-seat jet, you need to get an LOA and get training from Bob Carlton in his two-place jet glider. Now the factory could do transition training without sending folks somewhere else.

There was a good SonexFlight (podcast) episode on the SubSonex that is good background for this discussion. http://www.sonexflight.com/30/index.html
Good podcast. Interesting he said the engine was too small for two seater (my thought).
The 80-90kt landing is a bit much for me. The twin jet HP-18 is more my speed.
 
2
Top