|Les Kanna seated in the future "Unity Special."|
Our good friend, Les Kanna, is building a Onex (pronounced one-x) in his shop at Unity Airfield (SC76) near Lancaster, South Carolina. For the kit-plane challenged, the Onex is a single-seat version of the all metal Sonex Aircraft. It is a neat design, and a perfect fit for Les, who is a master machinist. Highlights of the design include, 6061 aluminum primary structure (of course) with a stress limit of +6 Gs to -3 Gs, folding wings, and a max gross weight of 950 lbs. Target empty weight is 600 lbs. The Sonex folks are pushing a 2180cc (80 hp) VW conversion by AeroConversions, Inc., to power the Onex. Les is more creative. His Unity Special will be powered by a 1800cc BMW motorcycle engine with a 2.5 to 1 reduction drive of his own design. He thinks the power output should be slightly over 100 hp. And if that doesn't work; the folks at AeroConversions will be happy to sell him an engine. My bets are on Les!
The Jellystoners have been following the project for about a year and a half now. . .
Behold! Les Kanna's airplane factory!
Countersinking the bolt holes on the main gear legs.
No drag here!
Brother Baker shows his approval.
Rudder pedals with toe brakes installed.
Brake lines are recessed in the trailing edge of the main gear legs.
Right side inboard wing ribs.
Instrument panel. The machined aluminum cylinder in front of the magnetic compass is the fuel tank fill port.
BMW motorcycle engine parts. . .
The reduction drive unit beginning to take shape.
The Les Kanna Fan Club: Jellystoners Gary Barbeau and Joe Baker.
Engine mount will be replaced with one that fits the BMW engine.
Starting to look like an airplane!
The flight deck is quite comfortable.
Outboard left wing. All of the large parts are finished. . .
Outboard right wing.
Aileron counter-balance---a Les Kanna design. An aluminum plate will cover the weight.
1800cc BMW motorcycle engine.
Les braces the engine mount of his own design while Brother Barbeau looks over his shoulder. . .
Time to test fit the engine!
Ta-da! The propeller shaft will mount to the reduction drive unit at the back of the engine. The forward propeller shaft mounting plate is not installed in this picture.
This has been a fun project to follow. Stay tuned! More later. . .