Since the FAA's Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) and AMD's Safety Alert / Directive were issued on Saturday, November 7, 2009, we've begun the job of updating our Zodiac XL demonstrator per Zenair Upgrade drawings. As the kit factory, we want to have this done as soon as possible while also documenting and verifying the drawings and developing detailed step-by-step assembly instructions for builders and owners.
We've spoken with many builders over the last couple of days, and we want to thank you for your overwhelming support! We are working very hard to complete the Upgrade Package kit and to make it available to all so that it can be installed as soon as possible and at minimum inconvenience and cost. We'll be providing details on availability (how to order, etc.) later this week.
I plan to post updates here of our progress as we install this Upgrade Package to our demonstrator Zodiac XL to give builders and owners a good idea of the job ahead:
First thing first: Removal of the wings.
As Zodiac builders know, this is a straightforward process: Empty the fuel tanks, disconnect the controls, wires and lines, and remove the spar bolts:
Despite its age, our demonstrator Zodiac XL appears to be in great condition, with expected normal "wear and tear" to the cabin interior and exterior paint. We've taken hundreds of folks flying in this aircraft, and it's been around the country (several times!), and hundreds (if not thousands) have sat in it trying it on for size at shows around the country and at the factory.
Here's a brief video clip of the wing removal:
Our next step will be to drill out the rivets for the nose skin and top rear skin...
I'll be documenting the process here as we complete the Upgrade Package installation. Click here to view Part 2.
Custom instrument panels are now available directly from Zenith Aircraft Company exclusively for Zenith builders and owners. Pre-cut panel, power distribution panel, Approach Fast Stack harnesses, Dynon and Garmin avionics, and more.
Developed specifically for Zenith builders (by a builder) these videos on DVD are a great help in building your own kit plane by providing practical hands-on construction information. Visit HomebuiltHelp.com for the latest DVD titles.