Preview: 2014 Zenith Aircraft OPEN HANGAR DAY and BUILDER FLY-IN GATHERING

Following is a brief preview of our planned activities for the upcoming Open Hangar Day and Builder Fly-In Gathering on September 19 & 20, 2014 at the Zenith Aircraft factory in Mexico, Missouri.  View the Event Page for "official" details and to RSVP for events.

This year's Open Hangar Day and Fly-In Gathering will be our 23rd annual event!  Following are a few highlights planned for this year's event:

  • The Zenith Banquet dinner on Friday evening (September 19) will feature a special program about the One Week Wonder Zenith kit project from Oshkosh 2014.  Charlie Becker from EAA will talk and share photos about the wildly successful project that was a highlight of EAA Oshkosh AirVenture. RSVP for the banquet.
  • We'll be hosting seminars all day on Friday (not just Friday afternoon) starting at 9 am!
  • STOL Competition! For the first time ever we will host a short take-off and short landing (precision) competition and demonstration, from 3 - 5 pm on Friday afternoon. We will have a high-wing (STOL) and low-wing (Zenith) category, with more details and rules coming soon. This is a very informal "competition" - we encourage everyone who flies in to participate! There will be prizes and awards to participants, presented at the Zenith banquet. This event is sponsored and coordinated by American Light Sport Aircrafters.
  • Engine Panel Discussion: We've invited all engine representatives to be part of our first-ever engine panel discussion!  We expect this to be a very popular seminar!
  • "Continental Breakfast" on Saturday morning, courtesy of Continental Motors (represented at the Open Hangar Day by Kim Winner)
  • Buzzy Devoll plans to attend with a STOL CH 750 SLSA to offer transition and flight training in the aircraft.  Contact Buzzy to schedule: 775-841-5429
  • Hands-on project: In past years visitors were invited to build a small yet useful aluminum project in the factory, including a 3-hole binder for the blueprints and aluminum wheel chocks. We've designed a new surprise project this year! Come out and build your own!
  • Onsite Camping: Since hotels in the area already seem to be fully booked already, we invite to come and camp with us! We have plenty of space for your tent or camper on Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. You don't even need to bring your own tent: Padre's Cycle Inn (owned by our good friends at American Light Sport Aircrafters) will set up a tent for you (including air mattress and chair!). Call Craig for details: 573-721-6440.  Note also that the Mexico Airport has a 24/7 access restroom with shower.

As in years past, we'll be hosting a number of educational seminars (all day on Friday). These free seminars are for existing and new Zenith builders, owners and pilots. Here is the tentative schedule:

Friday, September 19, 2014:

9:00 - 10:30 am

  • Rotax 912iS engine and installation (Rob Seaton, Rotech Research Canada), UL Power hangar
  • Transition Training & Sport Pilot (Buzzy Devoll, Buzz Air Flight Academy), Airport Terminal

10:00 - 12:00 pm:

  • Introduction to Building Your Zenith Aircraft (Zenith staff, Zenith factory)

10:30 - 12:00 pm:

  • Dynon SkyView glass panel display (Kirk Kleinholz, Dynon Avionics), UL Power hangar
  • Jabiru Aircraft Engines (Pete Krotje, Jabiru USA), in front of Zenith factory

Noon - 1:00 pm:

  • Lunch (BBQ lunch will be available for purchase)

1:00 - 2:30 pm:

  • EAA Update (Charlie Becker, EAA), UL Power hangar
  • UL Power engines (Robert Helms, UL Power North America), in front of Zenith factory
  • Light Aircraft Electrical Systems (Wayne Lanza, Composite Design), Airport Terminal

2:30 - 4:00 pm:

  • Garmin G3X flight display system (Garmin Avionics), UL Power hangar
  • Continental O-200-D engine (Kim Winner, Continental Motors), in front of Zenith factory
  • Aircraft Inspection and Ongoing Airworthiness - Condition inspection of the One Week Wonder Aircraft (Zenith staff) Zenith factory

4:00 - 5:15 pm:

  • Engine Panel Discussion: Engine representatives from Continental, Corvair, Jabiru, Rotax, UL Power, and Viking will share information about their respective engines, and a short panel discussion will follow discussing fuels, future developments, and more!

6:00 - 9:00 pm: 

  • Zenith Banquet dinner will feature a special program about the One Week Wonder Zenith kit project from Oshkosh 2014.  EAA's Charlie Becker will talk and share photos about the monumental project.  Many door prizes will be awarded, and the STOL competition results will be announced!

Here's a summary of participants who have confirmed they will be participating:

Join us at 10:30 am on Saturday for the annual "group photo" of builders and their planes in front of the factory.

See how we've grown in numbers over the years!

Following are a few photos from past years...  Check out the photos from 2013 for more

Inside the factory:

STOL (short take-off and landing) demonstrations and competition (see above):

Inside the factory on Saturday morning:

This 23rd annual event is shaping up to be a great Open Hangar Day and Fly-In Gathering.  We have many participants, activities and seminars planned and we'll be summarizing and adding updates soon.

We invite and encourage all Zenith builders, owners, pilots, and enthusiasts to come out for a good time! 

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Comment by Sebastien Heintz on September 24, 2014 at 10:46am
Comment by Zenith.Aero on September 17, 2014 at 5:22pm

STOL Competition! 

Here are more details on our first ever STOL "competition" planned for Friday afternoon from 3 - 5 pm

For the first time ever we will host a short take-off and short landing (precision) competition and demonstration, from 3 - 5 pm on Friday afternoon. We will have a high-wing (STOL) and low-wing (Zenith) category, with more details and rules coming soon. This is a very informal "competition" - we encourage everyone who flies in to participate! There will be prizes and awards to participants, presented at the Zenith banquet. This event is sponsored and coordinated by American Light Sport Aircrafters.

First of all, while we're calling this a "competition" it's really more a demonstration of airplane capabilities and pilot skills than an actual competition.  

We hope that all Zenith owners participate (we have many prizes!)  

There is no need for prior registration, but contact event coordinator Craig Carter with questions: 573-721-6440

Current weather forecasts good conditions on Friday afternoon, with a light wind from the south.  We therefore we plan to use runway 18 (of course, if conditions warrant we may change runways).  The runway was recently resurfaced with fresh paint. The white painted 18 is very prominent on the black runway, and the top of the 18 thus represents the reference line (you will need to keep your wheels south of the white 18).  This photo below is before the runway was repainted:

Here's a summary of the simple rules:

  1. Safety First!
  2. Other airplanes may be in the area and in the pattern.  Monitor and broadcast on 122.9
  3. Fly the standard (left hand) pattern, and no steep climbs, hot-dogging, or abrupt maneuvers on take-off or in the pattern. This is not part of the competition.
  4. Each aircraft is allowed three take-off and landing attempts.
  5. Score will be based on the best take-off and landing set.
  6. There are two classes: High-wing Zenith, and low-wing Zenith
  7. Short Field Take-Off Rules: Taxi into position, with farthest wheel back in front of the reference line (the painted white 18).  Start take-off roll after being given the “thumbs-up” by the reference line "judge".  Take-off distance will be measured to where the furthest of any wheel leaves the ground (for the last time).

  8. Short (Precision) Landing Rules: The farthest wheel back must land beyond the reference line (any wheel touchdown prior to reference line, or on the painted 18, is disqualifying). Aircraft must come to a full stop, straight ahead, and remain the until judges have had a chance to measure you.  Landing distance will be measured from the reference line to the nose of the aircraft.

  9. Rules are subject to change or revision. All decisions by the judge are final.

Let's all plan to have fun at this event!  Winners will be announced at the Zenith Builders Banquet later Friday evening.

Craig Carter, American Light Sport Aircrafters

Comment by David J. Beaulieu on September 12, 2014 at 7:00am

Wish I could make it...looks like a great lineup!  Meanwhile the "build" continues in Bangor, Maine!!


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