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The following was first published on General Aviation News on July 18, 2012
Zenith Aircraft Co. will host its first-ever “Engine Day” next Thursday, July 26, at the company’s exhibit at AirVenture in Oshkosh. The company will have a number of Zenith aircraft with different powerplants on display, as well as representatives from a number of engine manufacturers.
“As airframe designers and builders, we have direct influence on only two of the four forces of flight,” says Sebastien Heintz, president of Zenith Aircraft Co. “We work on drag and lift; thrust is on the other side of the firewall.”
The Chris Heintz Zenith designs have been built using everything from electric motors to small turbines, with two-strokes, four-strokes, and rotaries in between; expected this year are some of the most-popular engine options and manufacturers, ranging from homemade and “factory” Corvair, VW, and Honda conversions, to industry-standard, purpose-built light aircraft engines from Rotax, Jabiru, UL Power, Continental, Lycoming, and more, from 65 to 150hp.
The Zenith designs have always been drawn with an eye to allowing alternate power sources, according to Sebastien Heintz.
“Chris Heintz always kept the builder’s choice in mind, when designing owner-built aircraft,” he noted, with the result that “there are probably more different kinds and makes of aviation engines under Zenith cowls than any other.” He added that Zenith has always encourages its builders to install the engine of their choice. “There are proven power systems always available, but the designs keep the door open to new ideas,” he said. “Some work better than others, certainly, but the variety is astounding and it is a testimony to the versatility of both the designs and the builders that so many work, and so well.”
Zenith invites all to the first “Engine Day” feature at its exhibit in the North Aircraft Display Area # 641, on July 26, starting at 10 a.m., to meet the builders, engine representatives, and pilots of a great variety of Zenith machines, old and new.