2021 Zenith Homecoming Open Hangar Days and Fly-In: September 17 & 18

Thank you to all who participated and visited for the 2021 Zenith Aircraft Homecoming and Fly-In!

What a fantastic event!! Check out the photos.

Save the date for the 2022 Homecoming event: September 16 & 17, 2022

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Plan now to attend and participate at the 2021 Zenith Homecoming event on September 17 & 18, 2021 in Mexico, Missouri.

2021 Zenith Homecoming! 

This will be our 30th annual event at the kit aircraft factory in Mexico, Missouri! You are invited to join us at the OPEN HANGAR DAYS and Builder Fly-In on both Friday and Saturday, September 17 & 18, 2021.

As usual, we are planning educational and fun (and flying) activities over two full days at the factory in Mexico, Missouri! Fly-in or drive in for the activities! Note: if you are planning to attend for only one day, we recommend Saturday as the best day to visit.

As in years past we'll have numerous events for both builders and pilots of Zenith kit planes (as well as all aviation enthusiasts) starting on Friday, September 17th. We'll present new seminars and workshops (to be announced), and host a Zenith "banquet" dinner on Friday and a BBQ dinner Saturday evening right at the factory!

We thank the following participants and sponsors:

All indications are that this year's event will be well attended. We will plan and recommend visitors to follow guidelines in effect at the time of the fly-in. Please bring your own portable folding chair(s) to best allow yourself to socially distance.

The free seminars and workshops presented at the Zenith Homecoming are a great way to learn about Zenith Aircraft and all of the options to choose from when building your own airplane. Plan to attend all day Friday for the seminars!

Purchase your Friday banquet dinner tickets now! The banquet dinner will include special presentations from guests, as well as a tribute to designer Chris Heintz (1938 - 2021)
There will be some fantastic door prizes at the dinners from our valued vendors and participants!

On the ramp at Zenith Aircraft company and Mexico Memorial Airport

Zenith builders and owners: 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 be judged by the public and experienced builders. All Zenith aircraft are welcome and encouraged to participate in the Aircraft Show, even if your plane is older and not polished!

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

 
We'll have some great informal seminars from actual Zenith builders and pilots, including:
 

  • Back-country flyer Walt Snyder will share details and recount his journey flying from Los Angeles to Oshkosh 2021 (where he participated in the STOL demonstrations at AirVenture) in his Zenith STOL CH 750, and his adventure as he continued on to New Your City and beyond! 
     
  • Jon Humberd is planning to return with his "Super 701," a kit-built STOL CH 701 powered by a 130-hp UL350iS engine. A Tennessee farmer and celebrity STOL pilot, Jon loves to demonstrate the amazing short take-off and landing performance of his Zenith STOL, and sharing information about all things STOL! Watch the video from Oshkosh 2021! (the video of Jon Humberd’s Zenith STOL taking to the air at Oshkosh has been seen by more people than even went to AirVenture!).
     
  • Charlie Becker, EAA’s director of chapters and homebuilding, will participate once again at the Zenith Homecoming, providing updates from EAA Headquarters about the latest FAA/governmental issues including MOSAIC, task based phase 1 flight testing, LODA, Basic Med and fuel issues. He will also present a seminar title Beyond the Build - What You Need to Know, discussing aircraft ownership besdes drilling and riveting that you need to know when building your own aircraft and “other stuff” like in-process inspections, builders logs, FAA paperwork, taxes, insurance, and much more.
     
  • Clint Gosch (from Iowa) scratch-built his own STOL CH 750 (powered by a 100-hp Continental O-200 engine) from plans (blueprints). Once again, he will share details about the skills and tools needed to scratch-build your aircraft (from just drawings). He will also share details about his experiences installing and flying with a (used) Continental O-200 engine in his Zenith. Watch the video of Clint and his airplane. 
  • Randy Shannon will return with his utility Zenith STOL CH 750 Super Duty:
     
  • David Tillema plans to fly in with his Viking-powered "Texxas CH 750" Cruzer (from, you guessed it, Texas). David looks forward to showing his Texxas CH 750 (both on the ground and in the air) with a specialty propeller: A three-blade DUC prop and hub with a custom Variable In-flight Propeller (VIP) System new from Viking.

Are you attending the Zenith Homecoming? Do you have an interesting story to share with fellow builders and flyers (about anything building and/or flying related). Let us know and we'll try to accommodate you at the Homecoming!

Summary of Seminars: Here's an overview summary of the scheduled seminars:

Zenith Homecoming Schedule (9/15/21, subject to change)

  • Engines, engines and more engines! One of the big advantages to building your own Zenith is that you, the builder, get to choose the engine to install in your Zenith. That's why we invite engine companies to participate at the Open Hangar Days. Throughout the Open Hangar Days there will be presentations by engine companies as well as demonstrations (ground and in the air). There will also be the now-famous "Engine panel discussion" late Friday afternoon with expert representatives from the engine companies as well as builder/pilot experiences both installing and flying with the various engines.
  • And Panels too! Zenith builders and flyers also get to choose how to configure their instrument (avionics) panels for the aircraft. Representatives from Garmin, Dynon and Avilution will be on hand to discuss their latest innovations and how to install them (and fly behind them).
  • Painting your own aircraft. Stewart Systems offers a revolutionary waterborne paint system that is ideal for home aircraft builders, and Loehle Coatings has 40 years of experience in aircraft finishes and paints.
  • Match-Hole Assembly - Hands on Demonstration: Zenith Staff will show and demonstrate the newest updates from the Zenith factory in ease-of-building technology, making Zenith kit aircraft easier and quicker to build than ever before. (Demonstration inside the Zenith Hangar)
  • Aircraft building workshops and demonstrations: We are planning additional seminars and workshops specific to building (and maintaining) a Zenith aircraft.

  • Free Saturday Morning BreakfastAvemco Insurance Company and KITPLANES magazine, will once again sponsor Saturday's pancake breakfast! Come early for a free breakfast with the airplanes in front of the Zenith kit aircraft factory!

The Saturday events at the Zenith factory include tours of the Zenith factory, hands-on building projects, Zenith airplanes on display in the air and on the ground, great food, and fun contests for our visitors to enjoy, along with educational seminars throughout the day.
 

Saturday Events: See the schedule (coming soon) for actual times and seminar details (Subject to change and revision). 

  • Building Your Own Zenith Aircraft: Zenith Staff (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) 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.
  • Annual "group photo" of builders and their planes in front of the factory.
  • Building and Flying Your Zenith Aircraft: Zenith Staff
  • STOL Flying Demonstrations: Short Take-Off and Short (Precision) Landing Demonstrations, at Mexico Memorial Airport (subject to weather). To participate, register your Zenith aircraft on Friday or Saturday morning. 
  • Overview of the Tools & Skills Needed to Build Your Own Zenith Aircraft: Zenith Staff
  • Zenith Aircraft Show & Fly-By: Flying and ground demonstration and show of owner-built Zeniths. All Zenith aircraft are encouraged to participate! To participate in the show, register your Zenith aircraft on Friday or Saturday morning. 
  • Engine and avionics demonstrations and Q&A Sessions.

 

4:00 - 6:00 pm, Saturday, September 18:

Fried Chicken Dinner and Awards Presentation, sponsored by our friends at Aircraft Spruce & Specialty.

 

We invite and encourage all Zenith builders, owners, pilots, and enthusiasts to come out! Learn more about building, flying and maintaining your Zenith aircraft, and meet with fellow builders and flyers. 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 with your own aircraft, please bring your own aircraft tie-downs, especially if staying overnight.

Zenith owners: Please park your airplane as close to the Zenith factory as possible (on the Zenith ramp) on Saturday. Visitors come to see Zenith aircraft so make sure your aircraft can be found! We'll try to position and group all Zeniths in front of the factory for the group photo at 10:50 am. Please bring yourself a portable folding (lawn) chair. (Note that non-Zenith aircraft are welcome to fly in to the event but please park non-Zenith aircraft on the North end of the airport ramp parking area). Non Zenith aircraft types are invited to fly in for the events, but please park you aircraft on the north side of the main airport ramp area (well north of the fuel pumps) to allow space for Zeniths on the south side.

There is no charge to attend the Open Hangar Day or any seminars or activities, with the exception of the Friday dinner at the Zenith factory. 


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.

Camping at the event: There will be free camping available.

Tent camping with your plane or car is available, or set up your camper in the designated camp area. Local Zenith pilot Dennis Sapp is your volunteer campground host: 573-489-0199.

There's also a public campground at scenic Lakeview Park a few miles away in the city of Mexico.
 

We'll be pleased to be offering the Zenith Homecoming 2021 t-shirt at the event. Be sure to pick one up there or order one now (quanities are limited!)  https://bit.ly/3zKxpVa

Stock up on your Zenith Aircraft apparel now to wear at the Open Hangar Days event! Click here to check out all of the 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.

 

Thanks to all our fabulous partners and sponsors who continue to support the Zenith Homecoming year after year:

Zenith Open Hangar Days Participants and Sponsors (subject to change and updates. This list is from last year).

Aircraft Spruce and Specialty is sponsoring the early Saturday evening BBQ and awards ceremony! Aircraft Spruce and Specialty is the leading aviation, aircraft, and pilot supply house in the world. 

Experimental Aircraft Association 

Charlie Becker, a director at EAA, will participate to share the latest from EAA, including updates on FAA rules and regulations affecting homebuilders and sport and recreational pilots, as well as info on EAA's available resources to help builders, owners and pilots of amateur-built aircraft, including the technical advisor and flight advisor programs.

Garmin International Inc. will be on hand to show the new Zenith CH 750 / CH 650 Avionics Package featuring Garmin G3X Touch Experimental/LSA Avionics. Brad Brensing from Garmin will demonstrate the equipment and capabilities included in the new Garmin package being offered through Zenith. Garmin will be donating the following fantastic event prizes: (2) Garmin Pilot Premium 1 Year Subscriptions ($149 value), a Garmin InReach Mini Satellite Tracking Device ($349 value) and a Garmin D2 Air Aviation Watch ($499 value).

Kitplanes magazine will participate to share information about Kitplanes magazine, the leading how-to homebuilt aircraft magazine, and will co-sponsor, with Avemco, the pancake breakfast on Saturday morning!

 

Stewart Systems is a revolutionary waterborne paint system, providing builders with the finest, safest, most pleasant-to-use primers and coatings for their aircraft. Andy Humphrey is an A&P mechanic and tech support specialist at Stewart Systems.

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


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). Meet with Robert Helms, the "UL Power" guy to learn more about this popular line of engines.

 AeroLEDs offer state-of-the art lighting systems for light aircraft with the latest LED lighting technology, including nav/strobe lights and landing lights for light aircraft. AeroLED is donating a fantastic prize!
 

Avilution will be represented by Andrew Boos (of Avilition) and by Justin Tisdale (SkyTron Aviation), a STOL CH 750 builder. Learn about affordable innovations from Avilution, maker of the UnPanel display (seen in the STOL CH 750 Super Duty).

DUC Propellers is attending the Zenith Homecoming, represented by Gaetan Fouozing‎, who heads US Sales for the maker carbon composite aircraft propellers.

Viking Aircraft Engines produces a low-cost Honda-based light aircraft engine, and offers complete firewall-forward packages of the engine for installation in Zeniths. Jan and Alissa from Viking are returning to the Zenith Homecoming, flying from Florida in their Viking-powered STOL CH 750 Super Duty. Learn all about the Honda-based Viking engines, popular with many Zenith aircraft builders and owners. Jan will be demonstrating his STOL CH 750 Super Duty both the on ground and in the air, and will offer demo flights!

North American Aerospace Holdings will showcase their new aerodynamic fairings for Zenith aircraft. Mark Seaver will demonstrate the fairings available for all Zenith aircraft models.

Quality Sport Planes from northern California is the west coast representative of Zenith Aircraft. Ivan Gromala will particape at the Homecoming and will be available to answer questions about QSP's builder assistance services and more!

Citizens Bank will be participating at the Homecoming for the first time. The small town bank offers competitive financing tailored specifically to Zenith kit builders.

Wayne Lanza of Composite Design is the brains behind the Power Panel ready-to-mount electrical power panel seen in many Zeniths. Wayne will be available to discuss electrical systems for your Zenith.

Avemco Insurance Company will be participating at the Zenith event by co-sponsoring, with KITPLANES magazine, pancake breakfast on Saturday morning! Come early for a free breakfast with the airplanes in front of the Zenith kit aircraft factory! Avemco is the only direct writer of aircraft insurance, connecting you directly with an underwriter who is empowered to solve problems and approve coverage instantly instead of a middleman who simply passes your request on to somebody else.

Dynon Avionics will demonstrate its new glass panel display systems, and is donating some fantastic prizes to be awarded during the Zenith Homecoming!

Wheels & Wings (from north-central Florida) offers professional builder assistance services. Meet with Herman to learn more about the services of Wheels and Wings and how they can help you complete your Zenith kit project.

Sensenich aircraft propellers has generously donated prizes to be awarded during the Zenith Homecoming and is supporting the Open Hangar Days and Fly-In with a donation.

Bryan Walstrom of Experimental Aircraft Channel will participate and host Saturday's "aircraft show" and STOL flying demonstrations.

Loehle Coatings will participate to share information about painting your own homebuilt aircraft. Mike Loehle has more than 40 years experience in the industry.
 

Continental / Titan motors is the maker of popular light aircraft engines, including the O-200 engine and the powerful new Titan line of engines. The company will be represented by "JB" Ball.

EAA Chapter 944 of Chillicothe, MO will be serving breakfast and lunch both days of the Homecoming. The EAA chapter is also sponsoring an aviation-themed Missouri specialty​​ license plate.

Jabiru engines will be represented by Nick Otterback of Arion Aircraft / Jabiru USA. In addition to distributing the popular Jabiru 3300 engine, Nick also offers builder assistance services to Zenith kit builders in Shelbyville, TN.

Mittler Brothers is a leading manufacturer of sheet metal forming tools, useful especially to aircraft scratch-builders. They will attend to demonstrate some of their metal forming tools and answer common questions.

Rosen Sunvisors makes popular sunvisors available for Zenith aircraft, and has donated prizes for the event.

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

Check this page for the latest updates

We had a fantastic 29th annual event last year at the Zenith Aircraft factory. Beautiful planes, perfect weather and awesome people! Check out some of the photos and videos from past events to get a feel about what the Zenith Homecoming is all about.

Last year we moved our larger gatherings outdoors to be able to better socially distance ourselves. Below: BBQ dinner on the Zenith ramp with the airplanes. What a great way to spend the evening!

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Comment by Zenith Aero on Friday
Comment by Zenith Aero on September 3, 2021 at 4:18pm

We'll be pleased to offer the Zenith Homecoming 2021 t-shirt at the upcoming Homecoming event.
Order yours now and pick up at the factory at the fly-in: https://bit.ly/3zKxpVa

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