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General Category => Sonerai II Airframe Discussion Board => Topic started by: piperpilot1363 on Nov 08, 2007

Title: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: piperpilot1363 on Nov 08, 2007
Hi all,
    As I begin to start getting ready for a project, my pilot in command (aka dad) has raised several questions about the overall flying qualities of a sonerai. Now dad is a fully certified, IFR night piper cherokee 6 pilot, and is a dang good one at that. Me, im used to the flying qaulities of a cherokee and a cessna 172. My dad has gotten around to asking people about the sonerai. Now an instructer he talked to said that the soerai was a bit squirrely. Know, being a little biased, i'd like to beileve this was a sonerai with an unrevised airfoil, but i do not know. A pilot offered me an intro ride in Coneticut, but my email went whacky so i haven't been able to reply (sorry). Plz offer ur ideas on this subject and plz try no to be baised.

Andrew
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Raceair on Nov 09, 2007
Hello Andrew...Usually, but not always, when a person describes the flying qualities of an airplane as Squirrelly, or a 'handful', they have not flown one, and are just passing on the folklore and rumors they may have heard.
     If you can gently fly an airplane, not kick, shove, and push it around the sky, you will have no trouble with a Sonerai.  The takeoff and landing just requires extra attention, and good Situational Awareness.   Managing the energy you have in the pattern just requires a bit more concentration than with a Cessna 150.
     The Sonerai 1 is an additional challenge than the two, as it is much shorter, and has a higher percentage of weight on the tailwheel than the two.   The original designers concept was to build a 'racer', and by design, racers are expected to be less stable than a Cessna 150, but the rewards in fun are worth it...Ed
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Schmleff on Nov 09, 2007
I can tell you that its easier to land than my Piper Pacer, harder than a 150. Any answers to your question are going to be quite subjective. Its like asking someone what their favorite kind of music is.
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: splischke on Nov 09, 2007
I'm glad you're coming to this forum to get answers.  Many people are quick to offer opinions about the Sonerai without ever flying one and in many cases, without ever seeing one.  I suppose they are just trying to help. 

I'll describe my Sonerai, which is a taildragger.

It is a very honest airplane.  In the air, it's a p*$$^-cat.  The controls are light and the aircraft is nimble.  It stalls gently and straight ahead so long as the ball is centered.  There's nothing about my Sonerai while in the air that can be even remotely construed as "squirrelly". 

Take off and landings take a little getting used to.  I found myself over-controlling and zig-zagging down the runway on my first few attempts.  This was quickly overcome with more careful use of rudder. The direct steering control of the tailwheel via the pushrod makes the plane react to rudder inputs immediately.  Calling it squirrelly though is an overstatement since it's doing what I'm telling it to do. 

If you're dad is concerned about you in a Sonerai, consider building a tricycle gear version.  I heard these are very easy to handle.  You can build the airframe with the mount points for the taildragger configuration so that you can convert later.

-Scott
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Gaston on Nov 09, 2007
Hi Andrew and all

I suggest we talk about flying qualities and flying Comfort and convenience.

I think the sonerai offers great flying qualities.
-Extremely light and precise controls...
-Good performance for engine size and operating cost
-good crosswinds capability
-plenty of challenge  and demanding...must be flown up front and not sitting on the tail...

About  convenience  they make for great photos...
for comfort ...too much fun flying to think about it...

il all depends on what one want to do in the sky...
I really love to fly this little plane.

Gaston
S2L C-GPXD
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Chuck in Indiana on Nov 14, 2007
Hi, Andrew, and others that haven't flown one..
It flys very much like a Pitts. Not quite as stable as a Pitts, but not quite as instantaneous on the controls, either. You *do* have to fly this airplane 100% of the time. That's a good part of the fun with Sonerai, and why it is not a particularly good cross country ship.
So here goes..
Most people have difficulty with the rudder in the air. The vertical stab is rather small (big stabilizers slow you down, don't you know.. ) and the least bit of rudder input causes a lot of yaw. When I have someone in the front seat, I give them the stick first to get the feel of it, then slooowly give them the rudder pedals. Some have no problem at all, others are all over the sky.
Stalls are straightforward with about a 5 mph aerodynamic stick shake before the stall. That said, I can't do accelerated stalls to the right in my airplane without going inverted, banging my head on the canopy a couple of times, and losing 300 feet. Or more. You have to break the stall just as it happens, and I'm too klutzy to feel it, I guess.. ;D It may be just a rigging problem in my airplane.

Takeoffs:
Look straight forward, and pick up the runway edges in your peripheral vision. *Remember this sight picture.* Stick full back till 45 for directional control. It's very easy to keep going straight using this method. There will be some rudder input needed as the tail is pushed up, but very little.. lift off around 60 or so and let her accelerate to 80-90 in ground effect depending on power available . (lower horsepower needs more speed for the prop to unload). There will be a fair amount of left rudder needed in climb, but pressures are very low. In my airplane, at cruise, a little left rudder is needed to keep the ball centered.
Landings:
Plan ahead. She slows down slowly.  ;D I shoot for 90 by the time I get to the end of the runway. A fair amount of right rudder will be needed in glide. You'll find if you fly a "normal" pattern that when you turn final, you not only lose sight of the runway, you lose sight of the airport.  :o So. If you reduce power to idle at the end of the runway and about 1/2 mile to the side, (key position) and start a gentle 180 degree turn, you'll come out headed down the runway at about the right height.
Alternately, you can come in a little high, and use a forward slip to keep the runway in sight. Either method works well.
No less than 80 over the fence, solo. Fly it right down to ground effect. Remember the sight picture on takeoff? Gently put the airplane in this attitude. Pick up the runway edges in your peripheral vision again. Just hold it off as speed bleeds down, and she will touch 3 point still above stall speed and stay on the ground. Very smooth landings with all kinds of control authority for crosswinds. If you touch down before getting in the 3 point attitude, she wheel lands beautifully, but I don't recommend it because you run out of rudder in a crosswind somewhere around 40-45 mph. Not a good thing, and all you can do is get the tailwheel on the ground asap.  Just remember.. smooth smooth. Small errors, small corrections.
That's about all I can tell you about what it's like to fly. Once you get used to it, you'll love it.
Still my favorite airplane after all these years.. ;D
Chuck
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: dayflyer47 on Dec 19, 2010
To all of you sonerai guys,

I fly a challenger which is a very rudder dominate aircraft but it is tricycle landing configuration.  How well could this rudder dominate aircraft prepare me for a sonerai.  I am looking at an older sonerai completed in 1981 witha 2100 revmaster in it. 

It seems like you guys really love to fly your planes and that is what i love to do it seems the sonerai has good cross country possibilities as well.

Dave
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: daddo2 on Dec 20, 2010
           Hey Andrew,
     On my first flight it felt like I was all over the place. I was not quite prepared for how sensitive the plane is in yaw axis. But it only took a few turns while centering the ball to get the hang of the rudder.You move it with your ankles, not your legs as in a Cub or Citabria. In roll and pitch the plane is responsive and very well harmonized. I used to own a Bellanca Super Viking and the aileron inputs are almost identical.And in pitch it is about the same as a Cessna Cardinal.My first few landings I was over-controlling the plane and therefore,again,all over the place. But I have found that once the tailwheel is planted and the stick is all the way back the plane just wants to roll straight ahead.I did my tailwheel endorsement in a 100hp Cub and I think the Sonerai is much more stable on the ground, and in the air it's a great handling little plane. Once established in cruise I just sit back,steer with my feet,and enjoy the ride.No bad qualities and a heck of a lot of fun!......Fred.
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Bil438 on Dec 20, 2010
Andrew,
I'll agree with what the earlier writers have stated. The Sonerais are completely honest aircraft. That means it will do and continue to do whatever you have done with the controls.
They have neutral stability in all 3 axes. If you start a roll then you have to stop it because it will continue to roll.
Essentially you fly with your eyes outside the canopy, virtually all the time.
The controls are all very light and sensitive. Inputs to the ailerons and elevators have large effects. So you use tiny inputs, and use 2 fingers.
The rudders are looking for dancing feet. The inputs are very light but more travel possibly much more travel is required to control the yaw. I have hit the rudder stops in flight often.
Now my Sonerai IILS has a lighter engine which is mounted further forward to correct the CG. The result is that it does not have neutral stability, it has negative stability and if the controls are roughly handled it exhibits divergent stability in yaw and possibly in roll. I call it wild weasel. I installed a 5" ball slip indicator on the glareshield. Before you can fly by the seat of your pants (maybe 50 hours) that 5" ball indicator will help keep your aircraft flying straight.
All this is to say you want a Sonerai that is built exactly, repeat exactly as per the plans.

I did all my flight training in Cessnas, owned a sailplane and part of a Cherokee and a Cub for 4 years before I bought a Bonanza.
Flying experience in the sailplane saved me on my first 3 flights.
After that I spent $3000 on advanced dual in a Maule Rocket. It was worth every penny.
I suggest that you do exactly that, do a complete taildragger conversion, and then do some advanced dual in something hotter: e.g. Pitts 2, Christen eagle II, Stolp Starduster Too.
The only thing better than that would be to do a type conversion with David Wilcox in his SII who is on this list.
You will see on the list that some of the guys joke about me flying my SII. The parting words from my advanced dual flight instructor were.
1. Never fly tired.
2. Never fly hungry or thirsty.
3. Bring your A game to every flight
4. If anything goes wrong or the wind/weather goes bad during pre-flight tie down the aircraft and drive home.
They are not jokes. You'll live to fly another day. I have driven 65 minutes to the airport a dozen times only to drive home an hour later. Better than than being upside down in the center of a flaming wreckage. I warn you against the attitude that it won't happen to you. It both can and does.
I sometimes drive out to St George de Beauce. There is an SII pilot there. I knew him before, half his head burned away in a Sonerai stall/spin accident. The regulatory agency (medicine) told him they believed the psychological damage would endure and be so great that he would be unable to fly again. Sadly they were right. Flying is for those who prepared to be more careful, in a Sonerai much more careful.
I trust you have have great success with your Sonerai and many happy hours of really remarkable flying.
Read and digest what the other contributors have written above. It matters.
Ask yourself before you fly, "Are you ready for this?"
Bill Evans
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: n3480h on Dec 20, 2010
Gee Bill, now I'm afraid to start it up. ;D

Tom
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Airskip.2010 on Dec 20, 2010
Well, that one set me back a few hours, Bill.

But, you are right.  I had a close one with the Citabria one day, that the Sonerai may not have made it out of.  I learned a valuable lesson about tire pressure. Better a little low than too full. 

I bounced and let her get a little crossways.  Had no choice but to shove the coal to it.  Thanks to instinct, wing area, and horses, I dropped the nose a little to gain speed, then turned before reaching the treeline running parallel to the strip. I put her up after that for another day.

Skip
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Raceair on Dec 21, 2010
Bill....I wish you had a chance to fly a bone stock, VW powered Sonerai  2.....Ed
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Gaston on Dec 21, 2010
Hey guys
Don't get carried away and over stressed by Bill's comment.
Bill's Sonerai is a particular one ,and very far from the real thing.
Bill's comments apply only to this plane which is very far from the reality one faces when flying a S2L.
in fact I don't remember I read so much scary things, or near this,about a well built,and VW powered Sonerai...

however it is true that this is not a beginner's plane...

I agree with Ed's comment If Bill could fly a VW S2,
maybe he could find motivation to turn it back into a real Sonerai,and enjoy it...

keep on working your project and you will be glad you did,and you will like this fantastic little plane...

keep it close to the plans, and enjoy it that way...

Many peoples flew my 2L and all were positively impressed...

Happy holidays Sonerai.net

Let's do the right thing, and keep this site alive

Gaston


Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Raceair on Dec 21, 2010
Gaston....Very Good, well said.......The Sonerai 2 I used to fly was a stock, mid wing taildragger, and had a 1700 c.c. VW.    It weighed 519 lbs. empty.   I had no trouble with takeoff or climb performance with  my 120 lb. wife, and I at 200 lb. at the time.   It flew well, and had no yaw problems whatsoever.   I compared it to a Grumman American Yankee in the way it flew.   Truly a decent, fun airplane.   Still today, even with the bigger VW engines, a lot of bang for the buck.....Ed
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Pttim on Dec 21, 2010
Bill,

You see, thats where your missing the point ???, I'm NOT joking.  I'm honestly concerned for your well being and dont want another Sonerai accident to tarnish the birds reputation.  Do the right thing! De-modify your Sonronisaur instead of modifying it further to mask it's ill manored flight charecteristics.

If you cant do that leave out the comments of how your plane fly's as it is not a fair representation for someone evaluating building/flying one.

Tim
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: thomefran on Dec 21, 2010
Hi Bill

When I started researching the Sonerai II, the first thing I found was an accident by a new pilot on Youtube.  If I had thought that that was a fair representation of the Sonerai I would have stopped there and not gone looking for one.

I am a builder and know that every aircraft that is a homebuilt is different from every other one.  Even if a manufacturer give one every part needed there will be someone that will want to change something.  It is just the way we are.

If I had read your post I would have look for something different also.  I now have a grand total of 7 hours over 20+ take off and landings.  I find the S II a very responsive, nimble, and quick a/c.  I am really glad that I found mine.  I hope others will find the one they are looking for or building.

Everytime I fly my girl she shows me something new and interesting.  It has been an adventure which I have really enjoyed.  You see I fly gyros and they are very enjoyable also.  The one I built is also known as the widow maker.  I have modified it to the point that there is very little bad left to deal with.  Over the last 4 years I have enjoyed flying my gyro also.  So  you can see I do understand flight that isn't safe and secure.   I guess I'm a little bit of an adrenalin junkie.  Life is too short to be boared.

I hope to meet all of you soon.

Thanks
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: daddo2 on Dec 21, 2010
         It seems to me that there are two types of Sonerai's......(1)those that hold true to the original design and (2)test planes. An aircraft built to design specs is going to have predicatable flight charachteristics. Alter the design and not only are you flying a test plane, you're a test pilot.My SII Midwing is a little on the heavy side with starter and full electrical but you'd never know it. And it's VW powered.( why anyone would want to change from the VW is beyond me.It's an inexpensive and a proven design.Parts and service are readily available and there is an enormous support base) It's not a difficult plane to fly.In fact, I would say it's a relative easy transition from any other taildragger, though I've heard the S1 is a little harder to land because it's shorter.Either way you do need to be tailwheel proficient and have more than beginner flying skills.....FredL
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Airskip.2010 on Dec 21, 2010
Life is too short to be boared.




Life's not too short. It's just that your dead for so long....


Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: dayflyer47 on Dec 21, 2010
I appreciate all your responses.  I am green when it comes to the sonerai, my flying has been with a challenger 2 took my checkride with 15mph direct crosswinds, passed very well.  I do only have 43 hours in flying, and as I said earlier it is a very stick and rudder plane, so I am simply looking to learn about this aircraft.  I am looking at a sonerai II with a 2100 revmaster, no electric but I will later install a starter alternator.  I don't know why it has caught my interest so much, I guess versatility.  You get speed, cross country capability, and a little acrobatic ability as well.  Can this plane fly at all say slow flight?  Like can it fly at 70 if a guys wanted to?

DAve
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Airskip.2010 on Dec 21, 2010
I am in a similar boat, Dave.  My time is mostly in a CGS Hawk.  Never flown a low wing.

Are you licensed, yet?  If so, LSA or Private?

Skip
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Raceair on Dec 22, 2010
I wouldn't make it a practice of flying a Sonerai around at 70...For one thing, the angle of attack, and power required would  make the engine to run pretty warm.    With these cowl inlets, ram air at speed is needed to cool the engine properly.    Besides, I really don't believe the marketing numbers for the Sonerai 1 or 2 stall speeds.......70 is too slow for routine maneuvering.....Ed
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Schmleff on Dec 22, 2010
I agree with Ed. The only time I want to see 70 on my ASI is when I am over the numbers on a short strip. Flying around at that speed would put the nose really high and require a lot of power. I would not like to fly mine around under 120mph. FWIW, is a SI not an SII.
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Gaston on Dec 22, 2010
Hi all mine is a S2L
sometimes I use to fly slow downwind leg,for traffic clearance and I slow it down to about 70 mph ,just for exploring new feelings, and for short period of time.
at this speed ,nor the bird nor the pilot feel happy...
I never did that with a passenger,and never will...
the worst thing for me ,I find, is high vibration associated with high power at slow speed ,probably due to the down going blade having a much higher angle of attack that the up going blade.
100 mph is not bad,but not that good either.playing around a C-150 for photo & video shooting,is not very pleasant...
the real fun gets in over 130, and what fun it is...

Why should one want to fly a Sonerai at 70 MPH anyway

Gaston
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: dayflyer47 on Dec 22, 2010
Yes,  I got my license back in october.    I got my sports ticket, figured I am 50 years old probably don't need my private now.

Dave
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: dayflyer47 on Dec 22, 2010
Just asking if it would do it?  I was wondering if that is considered its slow flight but it seems like everyone is saying that is too slow for it.  I have heard that vw engine gets  a little to warm if the ram air isnt' coming right in on it.  So will the common SII cruise at 130 or 135 mph for considerable amount of time?

and I again thank you in advance for your post and tolerating my questions

Dave
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: dayflyer47 on Dec 22, 2010
skip,

have you got your sonerai yet? or like me just looking and dreaming right now?

Dave
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Gaston on Dec 22, 2010
Dave
the S2 will cruise at 130-135 as long as there is some light blue stuff in the thank,or your bladder if full...

Gaston
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: dayflyer47 on Dec 22, 2010
Thanks, is that cruise pretty well normal with most of the engines, bigger engine better climb still hold true in the sonerai?
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Chuck in Indiana on Dec 22, 2010
Thanks, is that cruise pretty well normal with most of the engines, bigger engine better climb still hold true in the sonerai?


As far as I know, that applies to all airplanes.
On your question about slow flight, my airplane stalls at 62 indicated. Can you fly it at 70? Sure. Carefully, making very gentle control movements. It's an 1835, so be aware that it is very much behind the power curve at 70. Why would you want to fly it at 70? ;D
On landing, I like to see 80 over the fence, or more if carrying a passenger.
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: dayflyer47 on Dec 22, 2010
really just checking on the performances of the plane.  The one I am looking at is equipped with a 2100 revmaster but its still up in the air. 
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Airskip.2010 on Dec 22, 2010
Dave,

First off, all planes are gonna be a little different in handling, but with a laminar flow wing, 18 and change, wingspan, and a 60+/- stall, I am only gonna do 70 at plenty of altitude, unless I am over the runway.  In my opinion, not knowing the airplane, I will not do that in the pattern or at low altitude.  Altitude is insurance.  I lost some friends from here in Houston from a Stall/Spin/Crash, in Bryan, Texas and they were in a Rans S-7.

I'm gonna lean towards 80 to 90 over the fence, and go from there.

And, yes, I do have my plane.  60 hours in a truck for 5 days.  "There and Back Again".  Just been breaking in engine and adjusting carb. Gettn ready for Spring.

Skip

 
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Bil438 on Dec 25, 2010
Tim, Gaston et al,
My EAA flight advisor has flown several Sonerai's, perhaps 4, including an S-1. The other SII in the area is built around a 150 lb pilot. There is no getting in it beyond 170 lbs or 5'8".
Anyway... my advisor has never said that my SII is radically hotter or much more unstable than the others. I know the guy who stalled/spun in his stock SII say 30 years ago. In a word Pilot error was the cause.
I don't believe it's an error to let pilots know that Sonerai's are not entry level taildraggers. The recent spike in homebuilt accidents seems to bear witness. Too many pilots are having too many accidents.
Nearly all of us (Tim) operate as though an accident cannot and will not happen. My 35 years in aviation says accidents can and do happen. Flying is for people who are more careful. There are no old bold pilots.
I take an hour to DI my aircraft. If the weather goes south, I drive home.
Bill
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: thomefran on Dec 25, 2010
Skip, Bill

Good advice.  It is true that most of us don't think these accidents will happen to us.  I personally fly a gyro and airplane (SIILT).  I fly as tho my life depended on it.  It does.  The only thing that I don't like about my Sonerai is that there isn't any flaps.  The 80ish speed bothered me at first.  If any thing goes south that is a lot of speed in a tube and cloth aircraft.

Happy holidays to all.
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Gaston on Dec 25, 2010
Bill
I never said your Sonerai was much hotter than other S2,YOU said it...
You once wrote that at some point, you needed full rudder to keep her Flying.
You also noted that one or more guys that flew her wouldn't fly her again...

there is a considerable margin between Mine and yours .I never said it was a beginner's plane, far from that...
the fact that it's not a beginner's plane is not related to the plane but to the pilot...

I just think that you're writings are much scary for the newcomer, a common S2
is much more user friendly that what you describe...

your EAA advisor who may or may not be a very good pilot, as per your saying flew 4 Sonerai ...a S1 which is more sporty than the S2 and maybe a little hot for this advisor, another S2 that One can hardly sit in ,makes me think this one is a little far from the plan in it's building ,another one , and yours .
This is enough for you to believe his sayings that yours is not that bad ,when all other sonerai.net members realise,and report, how hot you describe it to be...
my opinion ,is that it is not representative of the average S2,and strangely,
this highly modified sample is the only one relying on a ventral fin for stability.


a friend of mine who has hundreds of hours in a Extra 300 flew with me many times and he said he found it to be extremely responsive,light,and easily overcontrolled, he never said it was vicious or scary for as much...


finally, Bill ,I'm one of those who had engine failures before, and I'm highly conscious that It may happen again.

I wish I could take you up for a demo flight

Merry Christmas to all of you...
fly safe ,fly longer

Gaston
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: humrnv on Dec 25, 2010
 Well I am going to buy a Sonerai IIL project on Jan 15. However, after reading the flying qualities I wounder if I shouldn't keep looking for another aircraft. I am a 75 hr sport pilot currently taking lessons in a 172 to upgrade my ticket tp PPL. I have a couple of hours in a Pacer. I dont want to trade safety or lack of experience for the bottom dollar. What is your opinion?

Ken
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: n3480h on Dec 25, 2010
Ken,
Not sure where you're at, but there are good Sonerai II pilots flying good PLANS BUILT Sonerai II's all over the US.  The best advice I can give is to contact one of them and get a ride, and maybe a little dual taxi time and in-flight stick time. Pay for fuel and buy them a cup of coffee.  Fred Keip or Scott (moderator) may be able to help you find a good ride from a good plans built Sonerai pilot in a more temperate area of the states.  Then you can make an informed decision about whether the Sonerai is right for you.

As far as tailwheel is concerned, you are aware that there are (plans built)nosewheel Sonerai's out there, right?

Best of luck in your search, Ken.

Tom
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: humrnv on Dec 25, 2010
 I am in Wichita Falls, TX. If anybody within 2 1/2 hrs from here wouldn't mind letting me check out your sonerai and maybe take a ride it would be greatly appreciated. Of course I can compensate you for your troubles...
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: dayflyer47 on Dec 25, 2010
if sonerai II can only carry 150lb pilot its worthless.  I talked to several who are flying sonerai's that weigh beyond 230 and one of them up in wisconsin is and he was recommended to me by great plains themselves.  He told me he weighed 235 and had no problem with the sonerai2 flying quite well.  

Its suppose to have a 550lb payload capability as gross weight, not for acrobatic manuevers of course but for straight and basically level takeoff weight.

Dave
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: Bil438 on Dec 25, 2010
Dave,
I weigh 255 lbs now and flew my SII LS every flyable day including the hot days, but solo in the summer. I was flying it in summer when I weighed 285  lbs.
In 2009 I did the climb test in October, by gradually increasing weight in 50 lb increments til I got to 1150 lbs.
How does it fly at 1150? It used maybe 200 feet more runway to lift off and the climb rate reduced predictably right up to 1150. That is to say if the climb was say 900 fpm at 850 lbs and 750 fpm at 950 lbs, then you could extrapolate those numbers to 1000, 1050,1100,1150 lbs and be very close to what the actual climb would be. At 1150 lbs I got 400 fpm. The temp was near freezing in October.
I did not notice that the handling in flight was much different at 1150 lbs but I did fly the circuit 5 kts faster and flew gentle turns.
The approach seemed to be a little more steady than usual. I did notice that it doesn't float on the flare. It settles in fairly soon after the flare is begun. Once down, it stayed down.

All this is to say I don't find that useful load is a big issue. Certainly if your engine delivered say 85 or 85+ HP, you should not be weight limited.

A bigger issue would be taildragger time or if it's to be a trike, then some advanced training in the landing gear configuration your SII will be. Do you have access to some duel in say a an Eagle II, Starduster Too, Pitts II or an Extra 300, or if you are heavy then maybe a Maule Rocket.
Bill Evans
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: splischke on Dec 25, 2010
I am in Wichita Falls, TX. If anybody within 2 1/2 hrs from here wouldn't mind letting me check out your sonerai and maybe take a ride it would be greatly appreciated. Of course I can compensate you for your troubles...

You are welcome to come see my Sonerai but Amarillo is about a 4 hour drive from Wichita Falls. 

-Scott
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: dayflyer47 on Dec 25, 2010
Bill,

I am 6'1 and 255 right now maybe 260 after christmas LOL.  I was confident it could do much better than 150lb.  Thank you.
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: thomefran on Dec 26, 2010
Bill,

I am 6'1 and 255 right now maybe 260 after christmas LOL.  I was confident it could do much better than 150lb.  Thank you.

If you fit you should be able to fly it.  The Sonerai really is a straight forward airplane.  Anyone can take an airplane off, anyone can fly an airplane, but it takes a pilot to land them.   Are you a pilot?
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: dayflyer47 on Dec 26, 2010
I will answer yes to that but I will not say a know it all pilot.  I am still and will continute to learn.

Dave
Title: Re: sonerai flying qualities
Post by: splischke on Dec 26, 2010

This topic is going on to 4 pages and some of the posts are tangent to the original subject.  I'm locking this topic so that we can move on. 

-Scott