We interrupt our series on Oshkosh Elements to highlight the upcoming Zenith Open Hangar Day. The event taking place on Saturday, September 21, 2013 is the company’s 22nd annual such event and it draws a large crowd as you can see in last year’s photo. Normally, one company opening its doors to customers and visitors is not big news but Zenith has done particularly well with their open house. For many recent years, Zenith has steadily been delivering kits at the rate of about 200 units per year, a volume most airframe makers would love to match and one that puts Zenith near the top of the list (if not the alphabet). It means the company has developed a large following and, when invited, they turn out. Given the focus on the Midwest LSA Expo at the beginning of September, one could say the Midwest will be active region for LSA and light kit enthusiasts.
“This will be a fun and informal gathering of Zenith builders, flyers, and enthusiasts, with hands-on workshops and seminars, BBQ lunch, and more,” wrote Zenith in their newsletter recently. A big part of the gathering involves seminars by Zenith factory experts and officials from vendors that supply builders. Zenith will offer presentations from Dynon, UL Power, Loehle Aero Coatings, Jabiru engines, flight training expert Ed Downs, and several others. “Starting on Friday afternoon (September 20), we’re pleased to offer educational seminars with programs of interest to all, whether you’re a new or existing Zenith builder, already flying your completed Zenith, or just interested in learning more about building and flying your very own airplane,” explained Zenith. Sure, Oshkosh and Sun ‘n Fun have plenty of forums, too, but these are 100% focused for Zenith builders.
Naturally, Zenith Aircraft will have their own handsome factory demo aircraft on display including their newest Cruzer. Yet for many attendees, it is even more valuable to see several airplanes built and flown in by fellow Zenith builders. Plus, the networking potential is superb to talk to others building a similar model and perhaps finding someone close to your location who might help you at a stumbling point. “If you can’t attend our Open Hangar Day this year, we encourage you to visit us on your own schedule, to meet with us, tour our factory, and go up for a demo flight in one of our aircraft. Also, we invite you to gain hands-on building experience at one of our monthly workshops held right in the factory.” My wife and I were among those who stopped by when we passed through Missouri and were graciously shown around the factory. Led by boss Sebastien Heintz and with demo flights provided by high-time Zenith pilot Roger Dubbert, you’ll be in great hands in Mexico … Missouri, that is. Follow this link to Zenith Aircraft where you can conveniently find all our videos, news articles, and pilot reports.
To get a good flavor for what to expect in September, check out this video from last year: