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Zenith Aircraft Company is taking its popular hands-on workshops on the road again, this time to the state of Texas, to the South Texas Regional Airport (KHDO) in Hondo, about 45 miles west of San Antonio. The two-day workshop will be held February 19 & 20, 2021, with an informal regional Zenith fly-in on Saturday. Southern Texas in February is “a perfect time and place” to take the Zenith workshop, states Sebastien Heintz, Zenith Aircraft’s president. “With the ongoing pandemic, small regional events, held outdoors and in larger open hangars, with small group sizes, just makes sense.”
The workshop will start on Friday morning, February 19, inside a main hangar (with plenty of open space for adequate social distancing) located at the Hondo airport.
Zenith Aircraft’s hands-on workshops are primarily for first-time kit airplane builders and have become popular with sport aviation enthusiasts who are considering to build their own aircraft and are unsure if they have the required skills, workspace and tools. During the workshop each participant builds and assembles their own Zenith aircraft rudder tail section from a standard Zenith kit. The two-day workshop concludes once participants have successfully completed assembly of their own rudder tail section of the aircraft.
In the process of building the rudder assembly, participants tackle many activities including learning how to read drawings (blueprints) and work with assembly instructions (manuals) under the expert guidance of factory staff. They learn the procedures for putting together an aircraft assembly, including drilling and blind riveting. In the end, they have an assembled rudder that is ready to install on a Zenith kit airplane.
“The rest of the kit is constructed the same way as the rudder, using the same tools,” said Heintz. “Participants get far more out of the workshop than just a finished aircraft rudder: they go home with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to build their own airplane. Most importantly, they learn that kit building is enjoyable and something that can engage the whole family. Many of our prospective builders bring their spouses or other family member, who often encourage them to move forward with the rest of the kit. With modern technology, such as final hole size CNC match drilled parts, and good instructions, aircraft construction has become much easier than most people think.”
The hands-on workshop is an excellent way to learn about building your own (amateur-built) kit airplane and about the many advantages of owning and flying an airplane that you’ve built yourself. Kit aircraft is a segment of general aviation that is growing (while much of general aviation activities continue to decline year over year). For many, building an aircraft is a very rewarding experience, and today’s modern kits make it easier and quicker to build than even before.
Standard workshop fees are $375.00 (or $425 for the CH 750 Super Duty model) and include the complete rudder kit for a Zenith aircraft. Additional helpers are encouraged to attend and can participate for free. To learn more about the workshop program, visit zenithair.com or call Zenith Aircraft directly: (573) 581-9000 (Mon – Fri, 8 – 5 Central). Space is limited, and prior registration is required for the rudder workshop. Click here to register for the February workshop in Texas. Zenith Aircraft's Sebastien Heintz and Roger Dubbert plan to attend the workshop.
An informal Zenith regional fly-in will kick off on Saturday morning, February 20, at the Hondo airport. All Zenith aircraft owners, flyers and enthusiasts are invited to fly (or drive) in for the day: “We have a large and active community of Zenith aircraft builders and pilots spread throughout Texas,” said Heintz, “and we look forward to seeing many of them and their flying Zenith projects.”
Bill Fahey, a Zenith aircraft builder who is currently completing his CH 750 Cruzer, is the local host for the event. He states: "The City of Hondo is well equipped with amenities as far as AirBnBs, hotels, and restaurants. It is about an hour drive west of San Antonio (which is the closest commercial airport). They have a great BBQ joint called Heavy's that we won't want to miss.” Contact Bill at 210-632-4708 for details about the workshop location.
Zenith builders, pilots and enthusiasts are invited to attend and visit the workshop and the Zenith Fly-In. See you there!!