How Lean Studio helped Sonaca to explore new grounds in the market of light aircrafts.Bernard Delvaux, the CEO of Sonaca group, called upon Lean Studio to coach a team of 4 engineers who had the idea to develop and build an electrical 2 seater aircraft.
Applying the Lean Startup approach, the team conducted several customer interviews and after a while concluded that although it was technically feasible to develop such a plane, their idea would not meet customer interest in the short to mid term. Based on the information collected through interviews and research, the team identified a ‘pain’ expressed by many customers: the majority of flight schools massively rely on old Cessna 142/152 airplanes and complain about the high operational costs. Modern aircrafts do not meet these requirements and they are actively looking for an aircraft that would be robust, easy and secure to fly, yet inexpensive to operate.
The team felt that Sonaca had the skills and capacity to produce such a plane and obtain a certification. The whole process from conception to commercialisation would take several years so alternatives were looked for to speed up the process. A partnership has been developed with The Aircraft Factory, a South African company, to adapt their existing Sling 2 aircraft to the European and US markets needs.
Recently, the plane has been successfully tested by many would be clients, and in less than a year since the initial idea, the order book is filling up and first deliveries are planned for the end of 2017.Sonaca Aircraft represents a first disruptive innovation for Sonaca. The methodology applied avoided a long and costly R&D program which meant that risks were limited to a minimum.
For more info visit http://www.sonaca-aircraft.