• Sonaca Aircraft’s first customers have been invited to test the Sonaca 200 (OO-NEW) and the first firm orders have been recorded.
• Sonaca Aircraft proceeded with the recapitalisation of the company in anticipation of the industrialisation phase.
• Yoan Beulque joined Sonaca Aircraft as Production Manager.
On Monday, September 4th, 2017, Sonaca Aircraft’s first customers have been invited to test the Sonaca 200 (OO-NEW), the new two-seater single-engine aircraft designed for pilots’ training and leisure flights. The pilots showed much enthusiasm after the test flights. The Belgian Flight School (BFS) confirmed its initial order.
André Muller, Pilot, Belgian Flight School1 declares:
The OO-NEW seems to be the exact copy of the OO-SON. But actually, numerous structural modifications make it different from its twin. When sitting on the right seat, I felt comfortable in the cockpit, the position high up is ideal and the thinner cushions of the seats seem to suit all users.
The field of vision is simply awesome. Nothing to do with the limited vision of some high-wing aircraft. A major asset in terms of flight safety.
On the ground, taxiing is easy. During the flight, the aircraft is pleasant to fly, with smooth controls, reactive and directly responsive in all axes. The Rotax engine with fixed-pitch propeller meets the needs of training flights.
The stalls conducted in various configurations are safe. The stall recovery unfolds without problem with very limited altitude loss.
The Sonaca 200 demonstrates a very good manoeuvrability at every flight phase (climb, descent, turns with steep bank angle and thrustless approach).
The landing phase conducted with an idle too high did not cause any difficulty and the landing gear seems to have the necessary robustness for initial training.
All in all, the Sonaca 200 (OO-NEW) appears very promising and ideal as a training aircraft.
Recapitalisation and launch of the industrialisation phase
Given the commercial success of the Sonaca 200, Sonaca Aircraft’s shareholders opted for the recapitalisation of the company. Pierre Van Wetter, Sonaca Aircraft’s Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer, declares:
We recorded about 30 pre-orders. In order to deliver our customers as soon as possible, we have opted for the recapitalisation of the company in anticipation of the industrialisation phase.
Yoan Beulque joined Sonaca Aircraft as Production Manager
Yoan Beulque (30) holds a Degree in Industrial Engineering from Paris-Est University. Before joining Sonaca Aircraft, Yoan has worked in Sonaca’s production department for more than 6 years2.
In his new assignments, Yoan Beulque’s mission consists of the organisation, optimisation and control of the activities of Sonaca Aicracft’s certified and multi-sites chain of production.
Sonaca Aircraft’s CEO Harold van der Straten underlines:
Yoan’s arrival marks the beginning of the industrialisation phase of the Sonaca 200. Thanks to its experience of the production process in the aeronautical industry, Yoan combines professional knowledge and technical know-how, both being strategic skills at this stage of the project
Certification of the Sonaca 200 and first deliveries
After having successfully passed the static tests3, the Sonaca 200 continues the certification procedure with the flight test phase. Pierre Van Wetter explains:
«We moved the aircraft and relocated part of our team to South of France in order to pursue the trials under optimal climatic conditions. We expect an EASA certification4 by November 2017 and the first aircraft deliveries by the end of 2017 – beginning 2018.
Sonaca 200: Technical specifications and price
• BRP Rotax 914 F – 115 hp
• Number of seats: 2
• Wingspan: 9,15 m
• Lenght: 7 m
WEIGHT AND LOAD:
• Empty weight: 445 kg
• Maximal mass at take-off: 750 kg
• Fuel capacity: 140 l (2 x 70 l)
• Max cruise speed: 115 knots
• Climb rate: 750 feet per minute
• Aluminium alloy
• 18 l/hour
• Price: 175,000 euros.
1 Belgian Flight School (BFS) offers pilot training (airline pilot, private licence and instructor). http://www.bfschool.be
2 Technical expert and privileged partner of the main aircraft manufacturers among which Airbus, Embraer, Bombardier and Dassault, Sonaca group is active in the development, production and assembly of advanced structures destined for the civil, military and spatial market.
3 The wing stress tests of the Sonaca 200 have been conducted at the IABG, centre for aeronautical testing based in Germany. http://www.iabg.de
4 The Sonaca 200 will be EASA CS-VLA certified for a take-off weight (MTOW) of 750 kg and a cruise speed of 115 knots.
Gosselies (Belgium), September 18th 2017