Volunteers Begin Building This Year’s One Week Wonder at AirVenture

For 2022, the group is putting together a Sonex Waiex-B.

Jeff Schultz from Dixon, Missouri (dark shirt), who has made a career and a web-presence out of building Sonex aircraft, helps members of the build team get started. [Photo: Meg Godlewski]

The Experimental Aircraft Association was founded on the idea that anyone can build an airplane, and this week, the folks at Sonex Aircraft are proving it as the One Week Wonder returns to AirVenture.

As the show opened on Monday, so did the crates of components for the Sonex Waiex-B, which is being built by a small army of red-shirt-clad volunteers.

The Sonex is a metal aircraft that comes in component form. One of the selling points of the design is that because it is a metal aircraft, you can walk away from it for a time and don’t have to worry about glue going bad. 

The design under construction, the Waiex-B, is based on the original Waiex, but features a more spacious cockpit and has a center Y-stick option, electrically actuated flaps, and an increased fuel capacity. According to the Sonex company, this Waiex will be the first to utilize a factory design installation of a Rotax 912 iS powerplant.

One of the EAA members supervising the project is Jeff Schultz from Dixon, Missouri, who has made a career and a web-presence out of building Sonex aircraft. Schultz's 20-year-old son, Isaac, is part of the build team, as well. 

Visitors to the build center on Aeroshell Square can watch the aircraft take shape, vote on a paint scheme, and try riveting. Owen Bain, a 14-year-old from Dallas, Texas, gave it a shot. He said he plans to build his own airplane—and start flying lessons when he’s old enough.

Sonex Waiex-B

Length18 ft., 1 in.
Wingspan22 ft.
Height (standard gear)51 in.
Maximum Gross Weight1,150 lbs.
Empty Weight620 lbs.
Fuel Capacity20 gallons
Powerplant Make & ModelRotax 912 iS
Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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