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Sonerai IIL in Tennessee

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Active Member
Apr 9, 2021
I bought a Sonerai this past week. It is a solid airplane that has about 400 hours on it (and about 100 of those are actually from when the power was left on by the previous owner) but has sat in a barn for several years before being rescued by the fellow I picked t up from. He owned it about a year and for most of that time it sat in his garage before he took it to his local field and assembled it and did some taxi tests. A cross country move (and likely there being a little more work than thought to be done before being flight ready) prompted him to sell it and that is how it came to me.

The current condition based on the initial inspection is that the aircraft overall is sound, but there are no free lunches!

-The engine starts and runs as it should, although I have not personally done any compression testing etc. Going forward I intend to pull the heads and check them over carefully even though they are reported to be new.

-The cockpit has been somewhat haphazardly disassembled, seemingly to go through the wiring, correct or replace some faulty instruments, and install new seats. I believe the fellow I bought it from had intended to convert the front seat into more of a baggage and aux fuel tank area as well by using a removable seat and tank arrangement. Going forward I am going to test then repair or replace any faulty instruments. The seats will get replaced and I will very likely fabricate an aluminum fuel cell to extend the range that replaces the front seat as well.

- the wings must be stripped and repainted. At some point the wings have had paint applied over old paint and apparently not only was the prepwork poor but the paints are not compatible so it is lifting and peeling off the old paint. This is an easy thing to take care of by chemically stripping or soda blasting the paint off the wings to bare aluminum and repainting.

-The fabric has multiple issues. First is there are multiple pinholes that can be patched, there is a tear in the underside fabric just behind the gear, there is what looks like a seam or repair under the tailfeathers that is peeling off, and the paintjob is poor and there is paint flaking off in places. I am 80% sure I need to rib off the existing fabric and recover the fuselage and tailfeathers. While that is being done the larger tailfeathers could be welded up covered and fitted, then the entire plane be repainted.

below are pictures, which are not particularly detailed but the next time I am at the warehouse I will get close ups of all the damage.


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