Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

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Induna
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Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by Induna » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:45 am

Hi.

What better way to utilize my time and refurbish a well known Sonerai 2L. Let me give you some info...

I bought ZS-WSW about a year ago. The aircraft has aged a bit since it was refurbished by Niel Terblanche quite some time ago. I decided to give her a fresh look, and also do an engine upgrade.

So i started to strip her down a good number of months ago. She will get a fresh look in a classic WW1 colour scheme.

Also, I wasn’t happy with the VW engine performance (which on paper was 75hp). I decided to fit a Rotax 912 XTRA engine (95hp) which will definitely have a significant increase in both take off and cruise performance.

The instruments was also outdated and some of them not working properly. I decided to go partially glass and install MGL singles and keep a few steam backup (new ones).

Additionally i also upgraded the comms with a XCOM VHF and Dittel transponder and a redesigned switch panel.

I will be posting pics of before the project and how it is now progressing.
Jacques van der Westhuizen
ZS-WSW | Sonerai 2L
ZU-RHT | Magni Gyro M18 Spartan
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by V5 - LEO » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:18 pm

....great well done keep going mate and post some pics please,?
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by JontyL » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:28 pm

I look forward to seeing her.
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by Induna » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:28 pm

As promised, some pictures...

I went up to Bethlehem to fetch the aircraft. I completed the rating and then set on my planned route from Bethlehem, routing to De Aar for a fuel stop, then Carnarvon for a fuel top up and then all the way to Saldanha via Van Rynsdorp. I wanted to avoid any mountains, hence the route I have chosen.

The flight got interesting. At first it was uneventful and had beautiful weather all the way to De Aar. Weather reports at the time indicated that the Westcoast (from Vredendal to the Cape) was fogged in, so I had to plan to stay over should the fog not clear up.

After I refueled in De Aar I took off and headed to Carnarvon. I already felt a bit worn down when I arrived in De Aar, and by the time I reached Carnarvon I was completely sick. I guessed I suffered from a combination of CO poisoning and heat stroke, as the bubble canopy is like a greenhouse when sitting underneath it for hours in the sun. After landing in Carnarvon I decided be responsible and to call off the rest of the trip. I had a headache for 3 days after...

So here I was, stuck in a Karoo dorpie with no means of transport. I got booked into a very nice guest house (remember this is the capital of SKA). There are plenty of good guest houses. I made arrangements for my family to collect me and then I returned the next day and loaded the aircraft on a trailer.

So with all of this behind me I started to strip the aircraft and get it ready for all the necessary maintenance and mod work. I already planned everything in advance, so it was fun to get the project started.

I always loved the Sonerai, and ZS-WSW is definitely one of the prettiest ones out there.

Below are some pictures in Bethlehem (when I collected her) and also in flight somewhere over the Freestate.
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Jacques van der Westhuizen
ZS-WSW | Sonerai 2L
ZU-RHT | Magni Gyro M18 Spartan
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by Trevor Duane » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:45 pm

Wow that really is a hot looking Sonerai, looking forward to the end result
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by Induna » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:46 pm

So after I arrived in Saldanha, the first task was to remove the engine and strip all the wiring. This was fairly quick and in no-time everything was out.

I then transported the fuselage to my home workshop, to start the work on it, but first I gave it a good clean up. (years of dirt and grime was stuck)

Below are pics of the stripping process and after it was cleaned. The aircraft was in a reasonable condition, given the time that had past since the last refurbishment. The fabric was worn, wiring was changed through the years, the tires were completely worn, etc. This aircraft was definitely not a hangar queen... (which is a good thing)
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Jacques van der Westhuizen
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by Induna » Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:28 pm

So the next step was to remove all the fabric. This went fairly quick.
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by Induna » Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:39 pm

The next step was redesigning the instrument panel and also install the 912 engine. The panel was the easy part, with the engine a bit more challenging to determine correct placement. The 912 is lighter than the VW, so CoG will be affected if not properly installed.

All went well. After the engine was installed I manufactured the exhaust system. It is a standard Rotax muffler system and had to make the exhaust pipes.

The oil tank was installed behind the fire wall, where space was available, as the engine had to be as close as possible to the firewall.
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Jacques van der Westhuizen
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by Induna » Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:43 pm

Panel
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Jacques van der Westhuizen
ZS-WSW | Sonerai 2L
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by Induna » Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:50 pm

I have spoken to Robin Austin in Australia about the installation of the 912 into his Sonerai. He gave me a lot of advice and also told me how the oil system should be installed. The fuel tank had to be modified, to accommodate the oil tank. It came out nicely.
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Jacques van der Westhuizen
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by JvTonder » Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:39 am

Soos altyd pragtige werk Jacques, kan nie wag hom te sien wanneer jy klaar is nie.
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by Goose1 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:43 am

Looking good Jarques. Keep sending pictures please I like seeing old plans getting TLC and a new life. Will look windgat with that drop tank underneath
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by Induna » Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:53 am

Goose1 wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:43 am
Looking good Jarques. Keep sending pictures please I like seeing old plans getting TLC and a new life. Will look windgat with that drop tank underneath
Yes, the range of a S2 is not great and i do not like to carry fuel in the cabin. The placement of the droptank is at the same coordinates as where the passenger will sit, so that the CG can be calculated properly. It is also removable, so will not be used on a permanent basis.
Jacques van der Westhuizen
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by V5 - LEO » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:39 am

Goose1 wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:43 am
Will look windgat with that drop tank underneath
....on that drop-tank - is the clearance sufficient for a non greaser Jacques?
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Re: Sonerai 2L Refurbishment

Unread post by Induna » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:55 am

V5 - LEO wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:39 am
Goose1 wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:43 am
Will look windgat with that drop tank underneath
....on that drop-tank - is the clearance sufficient for a non greaser Jacques?
yes, it just looks close to the ground. there is about 6" of clearance. Anything harder than that and the gear will come off...
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