Zenith Aircraft Open Hangar Days - September 22 & 23, 2017

Join us at the 25th anniversary Zenith Aircraft OPEN HANGAR DAYS and Builder Fly-In at the Zenith kit factory in Mexico, Missouri. Friday and Saturday, September 22 & 23, 2017.

This will be our 26th annual event, and we are planning educational and fun social (and flying) activities over two full days at the factory in Mexico, Missouri! Fly-in or drive in!


As in years past we'll have numerous events for builders and pilots of Zenith kit planes (as well as all aviation enthusiasts) starting on Friday, Sept. 22. We'll present new seminars and workshops (to be announced), and host a Zenith banquet dinner / social for Friday evening and also a Saturday evening BBQ dinner at the factory!

Summary of the 2016 event

Photos from the 2016 event


The free seminars and workshops presented at Open Hangar Days are a great way to learn about Zenith Aircraft and all of the options to choose from when building your own kit airplane. Plan to attend all day Friday for the seminars! Complete schedule coming soon.

Dinner tickets are now available for purchase for the Friday, September 22 banquet and the Saturday, September 23 BBQ at the Zenith Aircraft factory. Please get your dinner tickets well in advance to help us plan.

Purchase your dinner tickets now.  (Hot lunch will be available both days at the airport)

If you need a rental car, call Enterprise at 573-442-0555 to schedule (and mention that you want the car delivered to Mexico Memorial Airport).

Once again there will be many fantastic door prizes. For example, Dynon Avionics donated over $4,000 worth of prizes at last year's Open Hangar Days event (including two D2 Pocket Panel portable EFIS (worth $1,095 each) and Two $1,000 gift certificates!). Garmin also donated a Garmin GDL 39 as a prize for the Open Hangar Days! 

Join us for the biggest fly-in yet! Help us celebrate our 25th anniversary, and participate in new contests, banquet & BBQ dinners, and many more activities.

Fly in with your Zenith aircraft and show off your plane in the new Zenith Aircraft Show (like a car show, but with airplanes) and judged by the public and experienced builders.

Last year's Zenith Aircraft Show was sponsored by Matco (manufacturer of wheels and brakes used on most Zeniths).

Some of the flying activities from last year (including a flour bomb contest):

The Open Hangar Days event presents the opportunity for visitors to tour the Zenith Aircraft factory, meet the Zenith staff, and to socialize with fellow pilots, builders, and aviation enthusiasts. Join us both days for educational seminars on building and flying your own airplane, plus learn all about the latest avionics and engine technology from several vendors at the event. 


Friday, September 22, 2017


Corvair Engine Finishing School from 9:00 - 4:00 pm demonstrating a complete Corvair auto conversion engine assembly and test run beside the Zenith factory with William Wynne representing FlyCovair.com

Read William Wynne's article on why you should attend this year's Open Hangar Days!


Summary of some of the seminars from past years. Most of our guest speakers plan to return, plus we're planning on a few new ones.  We'll publish a schedule soon.

  • Sport Pilot and Zenith Transition Training, Buzzy Devoll, Buzz Air Flight Academy: Buzzy Devoll of Buzz Air Flight Academy plans to attend once again with his STOL CH 750 S-LSA and will be available for transition and flight training (including flight reviews / check-rides). Contact Buzzy directly to schedule at 775 841 5429 (Zenith Hangar)
  • Aircraft Engine Oil Analysis, Larry Nelson, Lab One, Inc.: Larry Nelson of Lab One Inc. will discuss the importance of oil analysis and preventive maintenance practices, and will be handing out 10 complimentary oil analysis kits (and they will also have kits on hand for purchase). Nelson is also an oil analysis lab tech for the US Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) with 5 years’ experience in military oil analysis testing on experimental vehicles, and is a Zenith builder working on finishing his CH 601 HDS and planning on a Corvair powerplant. (UL Power Hangar)
  • Build An Airplane As A Group Project: Sebastien Heintz, Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Sensenich Propellers For Your Zenith Aircraft: Sensenich Propellers (Zenith Hangar)
  • Jabiru Aircraft Engine: Pete Krotje, Jabiru North America, LLC (Zenith Hangar)
  • Dynon Avionics: Dynon Avionics (UL Power Hangar) 
  • Joining Zenith As A Second Owner: Matt Heintz & Sebastien, Zenith Staff (UL Power Hangar)
  • Rotax Engine: Rotech (Zenith Hangar)
  • Match-Hole Assembly - Hands on Demonstration: Steve Oppenlander & Travis Kobush, Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Loss of Control Prevention, Earl Downs, Golden Age Aviation: Earl Downs is the Zenith builder of the Zodiac 601 XL-B which he uses for transition and first flight preparation training. Downs will provide practical guidance towards Transition Training and First Flight Preparation. In his First Flight Preparation training, Downs teaches the principles of LOC avoidance. He’ll explain how these principles can apply to any airplane and you’ll come away from this forum with practical suggestions for becoming a safer pilot. (UL Power Hangar)
  • Viking Engine: Jan Eggenfellner, Viking Aircraft Engines (Zenith Hangar)
  • Aircraft Pre-Flight Check: Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Garmin Avionics for Experimental Aircraft – G3X Touch, Brian Hupe, Garmin International, Inc. (UL Power Hangar): Learn about Garmin’s industry leading G3X Touch flight system for experimental aircraft with the ability to add optional autopilot systems, data-link weather, traffic surveillance, ADS-B ”Out“, ”ADS-B ”In“ traffic and weather, geo-referenced charting and more to further enhance your situational awareness. Brian Hupe has worked for Garmin since 2006 in aviation engineering and sales. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, is an instrument rated pilot and a homebuilder. (UL Power Hangar)
  • Annual Aircraft Inspection: Matt Heintz, Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Aircraft Insurance For Your Zenith Aircraft: Scott "Sky" Smith, Sky Smith Insurance (Zenith Hangar)

  • 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! (UL Power Hangar)

Zenith Builders Banquet Dinner: Informal buffet dinner gathering of Zenith enthusiasts, builders & pilots at the Elks Lodge (next to the airport) starting at 6:00 pm. Cash bar opens at 5:00 pm. EAA's CEO and Chairman of the board Jack Pelton will be our featured guest speaker for the evening and updates from Zenith will be given at the dinner. We will have a Zenith trivia game show for everyone to participate in, awesome door prizes, and more! Purchase your combo dinner tickets (both days of event) at http://bit.ly/zac-oh-tix or buy your tickets at the door.

The Saturday events at the Zenith factory include a 10:00 am tour of the Zenith factory, hands-on binder building projects, Zenith & SAM airplanes on display in the air and on the ground, great food, live band, and fun contests for our visitors to enjoy, along with educational seminars throughout the day.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

  • Building Your Own Zenith Aircraft: Steve Oppenlander, Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Continental Motors Engine Q & A Session: Chris Lang, Continental Motors (Zenith Hangar)
  • Zenith Factory Tour: Travis Kobush, Zenith Production Manager (Zenith Hangar)
  • Zenith Aircraft Show: Public and Zenith builder judged aircraft show (like a car show, but with Zenith airplanes) sponsored by Matco Mfg with fun categories and great prizes. Register your Zenith aircraft at the registration booth in the gazebo outside of the Zenith factory hangar all day on Friday or Saturday morning.
  • GarminADS-B Solutions, Brian Hupe, Garmin International, Inc. (UL Power Hangar): Learn about Garmin’s ADS-B solutions for experimental aircraft including ADS-B ”Out“ and ”ADS-B ”In“ traffic and weather. Discussion will cover products and recommendations for both new aircraft or retrofit installations. Brian Hupe has worked for Garmin since 2006 in aviation engineering and sales. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, is an instrument rated pilot and a homebuilder. (UL Power Hangar)
  • Rotax Engine Q & A Session: Rob Seaton, Rotech (Zenith Hangar)
  • Annual "group photo" of builders and their planes in front of the factory.
  • Dynon Avionics: Robert Hamilton, Dynon Avionics (UL Power Hangar)
  • Viking Engine Q & A Session: Jan Eggenfellner, Viking Aircraft Engines (Zenith Hangar)
  • Building and Flying Your Zenith Aircraft, including theSAM: Matt Heintz & Sebastien Heintz, Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Cleco Contest: Show off your cleco skills! Come & join in on the fun! Sponsored by Pan American Tool & Wicks Aircraft Supplies. (Zenith Hangar)
  • STOL Demonstration: Short Take-Off and Short (Precision) Landing Demonstrations, at Mexico Memorial Airport (subject to weather), sponsored by Kitplanes magazine. Register your Zenith aircraft at the registration booth in the gazebo outside of the Zenith factory hangar all day on Friday or Saturday morning.
  • Basic Rules of Building and Flying Your Own Airplane Seminar: Charlie Becker, EAA's Director of Chapters, Communities and Homebuilt Community Manager, will provide an update from EAA headquarters and also explain the basic rules of building and flying your homebuilt. Becker is an avid Homebuilder himself, and has been on the EAA staff for 14+ years. Many members are familiar with his work creating EAA’s “Hints for Homebuilders” weekly video series, EAA’s well-attended webinar series, as well as organizing the One Week Wonder effort at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014, among other homebuilt-centered initiatives. (UL Power Hangar)
  • Aircraft Insurance For Your Zenith Aircraft: Scott "Sky" Smith, Sky Smith Insurance (Zenith Hangar)
  • Overview of the Tools & Skills Needed to Build Your Own Zenith Aircraft: Travis Kobush, Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Jabiru Engine Q & A Session: Pete Krotje, Jabiru North America, LLC (Zenith Hangar)
  • Flour Bombing Contest: Think you can hit the target? Invite a friend to ride along with you and join us for the first ever Zenith flour bombing contest. Register your aircraft at the registration booth in the gazebo outside of the Zenith factory hangar all day on Friday or Saturday morning.
  • Sensenich Propellers For Your Zenith Aircraft: Mike Berube, Sensenich Propellers (UL Power Hangar)
  • Corvair Engine Q & A Session: William Wynne, FlyCorvair.com (Zenith Hangar)
  • Aircraft Certification For Your Zenith Aircraft, Earl Downs, Golden Age Aviation: FAA certification of aircraft comes in all shapes and sizes. Depending on what type of airworthiness certificate an airplane holds, the pilot use of the airplane, maintenance requirements, continued airworthiness requirements, and aircraft operation can differ. In this forum, Earl will review how certification can affect the operation of an aircraft and he’ll cover 3 types of certification. These include a discussion of type certificated airplanes (Piper, Cessna, Etc.), light sport aircraft, and aircraft that are certificated as experimental. This review will also include the significance of operating limitations. (UL Power Hangar)
  • UL Power Engine Q & A Session: Robert Helms, UL Power (Zenith Hangar)


5:00 - 8:00 pm

BBQ Dinner and awards presented during dinner for contests.

(Schedule is subject to change)

Zenith Builders and Pilots:

We invite and encourage all Zenith builders, owners, pilots, and enthusiasts to come out for a good time! Owners of completed Zenith Aircraft are encouraged to fly-in for the activities and to show off their completed project to fellow builders (we will provide tie-down space and help facilitate ground transportation if possible).


Mexico's airport (KMYJ) offers 24-hr self serve fuel at competitive prices (including MOGAS), and has a terminal building with 24 hour access to the pilot lounge (with showers and internet access!). Let us know of any special needs or requirements.

If flying in, please bring your own aircraft tie-downs, especially if staying overnight.

There will be free camping

Zenith owners: Please park your airplane as close to the Zenith factory as possible on Saturday. We'll try to position and group all Zeniths in front of the factory for the group photo at 10:50 am. If driving in, please bring yourself a folding (lawn) chair if possible. We will have chairs and tables, but we sometimes run out...

There is no charge to attend the Open Hangar Day or any seminars or acticvities, with the exception of the banquet dinner on Friday evening and the Saturday evening BBQ dinner at the Zenith factory. Check this page for the latest updates and schedule. 

Note to builders: You can arrange to pick-up parts and kits at the Open Hangar Day if the parts have been ordered, paid for and confirmed prior to the Open Hangar Day.

We can help you to carpool if you are flying in and need a ride to and from a local hotel. If you are flying in and will need a rental car through Enterprise while here call 573.442.0555 to schedule.

Camping at the event:

Tent camping with your plane or car, or set up your camper in the designated camp area. There's also a public campground at scenic Lakeview Park a few miles away in the city of Mexico.

We'll be proudly showing off our newest design, the STOL CH 750 "Super Duty"

Also, the all-metal low-wing tandem two-seat SAM-EX configured as a taildragger and powered by a 180-hp Lycoming O-360 will be on display at the event.

Experimental Aircraft Association CEO, Jack Pelton, and EAA Director, Charlie Becker are featured guests at Open Hangar Days 2017


Stock up on your Zenith Aircraft apparel now to wear at the Open Hangar Days event! Click here to check out all of the new Zenith Aircraft items available. EAA members receive a discount and all proceeds support EAA's educational programs. Apparel will also be sold at the Zenith factory throughout the Open Hangar Days event.

Zenith Open Hangar Days Participants:

(Participants from last year. We'll be updating the list as we near the event)

Experimental Aircraft Association 

EAA Chairman and CEO, Jack Pelton and Charlie Becker, EAA's Director of Chapters, Communities and Homebuilt Community Manager, will attend with the newly painted One Week Wonder airplane, and will share info on EAA's available resources to help builders, owners and pilots of amateur-built aircraft, including the technical advisor and flight advisor programs.


Dynon Avionics will demonstrate the newest available glass panel technology. A factory representative will be on hand to answer questions on installing and operating Dynon avionics in a Zenith aircraft.

Continental Motors will attend to meet with builders and show the lightweight O-200D engine, a popular engine choice with many Zenith builders, as well as Titan aircraft engines.

Kitplanes magazine will sponsor the Zenith STOL competition (on Saturday afternoon September 24)

Garmin Avionics will be on hand to show the latest Garmin products for light aircraft. A factory representative will be on hand to answer questions on installing and operating Garmin avionics in a Zenith aircraft.


Rob Seaton from Rotech is attending to answer questions about the Rotax 912 series engines.


Buzz Air Flight Academy (located in Tennessee) will be attending to discuss Sport Pilot flight training as well as transition training to Zeniths.  The flight school operates a ZODIAC CH 601 XL-B / CH 650 S-LSA aircraft and a Zenith STOL CH 750 S-LSA. Buzzy Devoll plans to attend with his STOL CH 750 S-LSA and will be available for transition and flight training (including flight reviews / check-rides). 775.841.5429

Wick's Aircraft Supplies will be on hand with some of the many builder and pilot supplies it sells. Order your parts from Wick's before the event and they will deliver them to you at the Open Hangar Day! Call to Order 1-800-221-9425.


Lab One Inc. is an aviation oil analysis laboratory based in Phoenix, Arizona. Larry Nelson (a Zenith builder) will discuss the importance of oil analysis and preventive maintenance practices, and will be handing out 25 complimentary oil analysis kits (and they will also have kits on hand for purchase).

UL Power will be on hand to represent the new generation of light aircraft engines. The UL Power aircraft engines are direct-drive air-cooled lightweight engines featuring full FADEC technology (with fuel injection and electronic ignition). 


Earl Downs of Golden Age Aviation (Cushing, Oklahoma) is a Zenith builder and flight instructor, and will answer questions on Sport Pilot, Light Sport Aircraft, and aviation safety. Downs is an ATP-rated flight instructor, and he provides special training in taildraggers and antiques/classic airplanes, and loss of control (LOC) prevention maneuvers. Earl has written numerous articles regarding light sport aircraft and sport pilot operations for EAA publications. Earl offers transition and first flight preparation training in his Zenith CH601XL-B. 918.840.2200


HomebuiltHelp.com offers a complete line of "how-to" videos available on DVD, and will have the popular DVDs available for preview and purchase. 

Jabiru North America, LLC, distributor of Jabiru engines, will be on hand to answer Jabiru engine installation, operation and maintenance questions.


Scott "Sky" Smith of SkySmith Insurance Agency will answer questions about aircraft insurance as it applies to building and flying a Zenith kit aircraft.


Corvair Engine guru William Wynne of FlyCorvair.com will attend to show the affordable Corvair auto conversion installation popular on many Zeniths.

Viking Aircraft produces a low-cost Honda-based light aircraft engine, and offers complete firewall-forward packages of the engine for installation in Zeniths.

Sensenich Propellers produces aluminum, wood fix pitched, and composite ground adjustable propellers for Type Certified, Light Sport and Experimental Aircraft.

MATCO mfg is the largest manufacturer of wheels, brakes and related components specifically designed for the sport aircraft market. We are committed to supplying the highest quality products to ensure that you receive the best products.

The Zenith Aircraft factory will be open for self-guided tours and demo flights are available (strictly by prior appointment).

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