A Belgian company called Sonaca Aircraft is making progress on a two-seat, single-engine airplane named Sonaca 200. The airplane is designed for the training market, and recent modifications to the design include structural reinforcements to allow the airplane to withstand the rigors of regular flight training. With the beefed-up landing gear, the airplane also will be able to safely fly in to unpaved airports.
The all-metal Sonaca 200 is powered by a 115 hp turbocharged Rotax 914. The panel will provide instrumentation for night VFR flight. Large control surfaces and ground clearance at the wing tips will allow for takeoffs and landings with a crosswind component of up to 20 knots.
The first test airplane has undergone several ground tests of items such as the seats and seat belts, engine cradle and more. That airplane will now undergo aeronautical testing at IABG in Germany.
Assembly is underway of the second test airplane, which will be used for flight testing and is expected to take its inaugural flight in April.
Sonaca Aircraft is a subsidiary of Sonaca Group, a Belgian aerospace company with 85 years of experience in aerospace structural design and certification, and aircraft assembly. Sonaca Aircraft is also partially owned by The Airplane Factory, the South African manufacturer of the Sling 2 and Sling 4, the heritage of which is evident in the Sonaca 200.
Sonaca 200 will be offered as a complete airplane, not as a kit. Initially it will be designed and manufactured in Belgium with some parts being shipped from The Airplane Factory. Should the airplane be successful as an EASA CS-VLA, FAA certification will be sought, said Sonaca Aircraft’s pilot and chief commercial officer Pierre Van Wetter. He also said that airplanes for the U.S. market would be assembled in the United States.