04.01.15 Special: Sonex Wins Contract With The U.S. Air Force | Aero-News Network
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04.01.15 Special: Sonex Wins Contract With The U.S. Air Force

SubSonex Jets Will Replace Thunderbird's F-16s

ANN's April 1 'April Fool' Special Edition

Sonex has landed a contract with the U.S. Air Force to provide SubSonex jets as the next aircraft for the Thunderbirds demonstration team.

The company said on April 1 that it was shipping a dozen kits to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where they will be assembled and painted in the distinctive Thunderbirds livery. Sonex founder and President John Monnett said that the USAF would be afforded the same consideration as any builder when it comes to assistance with the assembly of the aircraft, and the government was quoted list price. "I guarantee you they won't need any $900 wrenches to put these birds together," Monnett said.

The Thunderbirds will fly this season in their F-16s, but next year they will shift to the SubSonex aircraft. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said that the move was strictly a cost-saving measure, and that she's sure that audiences that attend Thunderbirds performances will not be disappointed. "A jets a jet, right?" James said. "They'll still make a lot of noise, fly pretty fast, and can do almost everything that the F-16s can do, as far as the public is concerned. And the're just as cute as they can be. Besides, we can re-purpose the planes they're flying now into combat roles. It's going to be great for the taxpayer," James said.

"And, we can load the whole team up into one C-5A to travel to shows," James said.

Deliveries of the kits are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2015. "They can build 'em fast," Monnett said.

FMI: www.sonex.com, www.af.mil

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