Meeting Sonex JQP - Whitianga Airport 08 May 2010

On Saturday the 8th of May 2010, Chris Wade (one of the prospective syndicate members) and myself drove over to Whitianga from Auckland to meet with Alan Coubray, the builder of Sonex JQP, to have a look at the aircraft and to possibly go for a fly if the weather was good.

After an uneventful trip, Chris and I duly pulled up at the airfield and we were greeted by Alan at the hangar where JQP was stored. Alan had already been out for a fly that morning so he was keen to get myself and Chris up for quick trip. I piled in and we were soon lining up for takeoff on the long grass strip at Whitianga. Given I am not a little fella, I was quite impressed with the space in the cockpit although I did find the canopy a little tight but nothing I can't live with.

Alan lined us up and gave the 85hp AeroVee engine full noise and JQP picked up speed very nicely and was airborne in a relatively short run. As I say I am not small at 95kg and with Alan we would have been close to the MAUW the Sonex is capable of handling but she still got up and flew. Alan took me out for a bit of a tiki tour south of Whitianga and showed me what she was capable of. Her handling is lovely and it is very responsive to the stick. It takes very little control input to get the aircraft to follow your commands.

All too soon it was time to return to give Chris a turn and Alan gave me a very smooth landing. The photo's below are of Alan and Chris in JQP.

Chris gets settled into JQP as Alan runs through the post start checks.

JQP taxying out onto the runway.

After about a 20 minute flight Alan and Chris returned and did a low pass down the runway.

Then Alan came back round and brought JQP in for great landing.

Chris had a huge grin on his face as Alan taxied JQP back to the hangar.
(The fuel flap had come loose during the landing.)

Alan and CHris sitting in the cockpit of JQP after shutdown.