Oshkosh-Based Kitplane Manufacturer Sonex Up for Sale

Company founder John Monnett is retiring from day-to-day operations as he seeks new owners to continue the operation.

Sonex Aircraft
Sonex Aircraft is up for sale after company founder John Monnett announced he is retiring.Sonex Aircraft

Sonex, the Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based manufacturer of kitplanes including a tiny single-seat personal jet called the SubSonex, is for sale after company founder John Monnett announced his retirement following 50 years in the homebuilding industry.

“I am retiring from Sonex Aircraft, but not forsaking my passion for aviation,” Monnett said in a statement. “I will continue to contribute where I can into the future, but will be leaving day to day operations in the very capable hands of my staff.”

Monnett says he’s inviting offers from “qualified individuals and/or companies who are interested in continuing the successful heritage of Sonex Aircraft into the next generation, or in assisting Sonex Aircraft with transition to an employee-ownership succession plan.”

“Current and prospective customers can rest assured, however, that Sonex Aircraft is still going strong,” said general manager Mark Schaible, who noted that the company is in the midst of one its most successful periods ever. “Sonex Aircraft has a full order book of kits including several new customer-owned SubSonex Personal Jet Quick Build Kits along with many additional delivery commitments for traditional kits and sub-kits, and many traditional and Quick Build kits already delivered this year-to-date,” he said.

John Monnett’s roots in experimental aircraft development date back to 1968 when, as a young school teacher, he began building a highly modified Midget Mustang, when he also first met legendary aircraft designer and builder Steve Wittman, laying the groundwork for a long friendship and the development of Formula Vee racer Sonerai I, John’s first airplane design.

That airplane eventually launched John into business, and he has many designs to his credit including several iterations of the Sonerai, the Monerai sailplane, Moni motorglider, the world-record-holding Monex racer and the complete line of Sonex Aircraft models.

John’s son and then-company CEO Jeremy Monnett was killed in June 2015 in the crash of a Sonex SA on approach to Oshkosh.