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Zenith to Celebrate 20 Years at Open Hangar Day


Connected Pilot
Zenith Aircraft's 20th anniversary celebration takes place next month at its Missouri factory.

August 16, 2012 - Zenith Aircraft Company is gearing up to celebrate its 20th anniversary at the annual Zenith Open Hangar Day and Fly-In gathering in Mexico, Missouri, Friday and Saturday, September 21-22. Events kick off Friday night with a banquet, followed Saturday by Open Hangar Day activities at Mexico Memorial Airport.

Kit suppliers Dynon, Aircraft Spruce & Specialty, Matco wheels, Wicks, Garmin, Corvair, UL Power, Jabiru engines, and others will attend for the celebration and to meet with Zenith builders and pilots. EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower and EAA Homebuilders Community Manager Chad Jensen will also attend.

Attendees will be able to take in educational seminars, workshops, and demonstrations on both days. Dozens of Zenith customer-built airplanes are expected to fly in as well, allowing builders and owners (some of whom have been flying Zenith/Zenair designs since the 1970s) opportunities to swap stories and tips with first-time builders.

"Over the past 20 years kit and experimental aircraft have evolved," said Sebastien Heintz, Zenith president. "However, the aircraft kits and the industry have changed drastically. In terms of kit quality, precision, parts availability, and especially flyability, virtually everything has improved."

Zenith opened the doors at its Missouri facility in 1992, building on the legacy created by Heintz's father, famed CH-series aeronautical engineer Chris Heintz, who had been developing and selling plans and kit aircraft since 1974. Today there are several thousand kit-built aircraft in the air, and several more thousand under construction.

"When you look at the kit manufacturers then and see who is still producing today, you have a small handful of dedicated producers," Sebastien Heintz reflected. "We have evolved together, making a better experience for builders and pilots, and we have survived because we did that."

One of the hallmarks of the Heintz designs has been a readiness to allow flexibility in design features that customers want. "We are not locked into any particular engine for our airplane designs. Though the vast majority choose to fly the standard configuration, we see Lycoming, Continental, Corvair, VW and Honda auto conversion, 4- and 6-cylinder Jabiru engines, and increasingly, the UL Power series being picked by our builders.

"This flexibility means that people can more readily tailor their aircraft to their exact tastes, and be assured of factory cooperation and support, while having access to an engine that meets their budget."

"We at Zenith applaud all the companies that have been our friends and competition for all these years, and we look forward to many more years of improvements, innovations, and helping dreams take flight," he added.

To learn more about Zenith's Open Hangar activities, visit the website.


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