Zenith Aircraft Offers Kit Builders Opportunity To "Try Before You Buy"

 

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Zenith Aircraft Offers Kit Builders Opportunity To "Try Before You Buy"
 
 

October 31, 2010 - Zenith Aircraft Company's factory workshops have become popular with sport aviation enthusiasts, giving them the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience in building their own Zenith Aircraft kit plane.

At a low cost, participants get the opportunity to actually start assembling kit parts under the direction and guidance of factory professionals, and they "graduate" from the workshop upon completing construction of their own aircraft rudder tail section of one of Zenith Aircraft Company’s popular kit aircraft designs, including the new STOL CH 750 or Zodiac CH 650.

 

The workshops are held over two days, with participants assembling the complete rudder tail kit of the aircraft (which is the entire vertical tail section of the Chris Heintz designs) from stock rudder kit parts.  Some of the skills learned in the construction of the rudder assembly include: reading the drawings and assembly manuals, measuring, drilling, de-burring, and blind riveting, as well as cutting and filing sheet metal parts.

Once complete, the rudder tail section is ready to install on an actual airplane and each participant keeps the rudder that they have assembled themselves.  The rudder kit that is built at the workshop is constructed the same way as the rest of the kit airplane, and thus provides an excellent introduction to simple all-metal light aircraft construction.

Roger Dubbert, Zenith's demo pilot and a staff workshop coordinator, states: "The workshop makes it very easy for first-time builders to learn all about building their own plane - they learn about the required tools, skills and workshop by spending a couple of days on actual construction. Our workshops really emphasize hands-on experience – with the philosophy that one learns best by experience.  Of course the workshop would not be complete without a demo flight!"

All participants are offered a demo flight in the aircraft, and the workshop includes a tour of the Zenith kit aircraft production facilities.  New technology, such as extensive use of CNC drilling and cutting equipment in the kit parts manufacturing process, makes building a kit aircraft quicker and easier than ever before, while Zenith's extensive experience in the industry assures builders with available expert technical support and quality assembly manuals and assembly instructions (which include detailed step-by-step photo assembly guides).

 

Zenith's kits are supplied complete, with standard factory-riveted wing spars, factory welded steel parts, and all hardware included to complete the aircraft.  Kit builders can choose to "buy-as-they-build" from component (section) kits or they can purchase the full kit in one large box.  Alternatively, some builders also choose to "scratch-build" their complete airplane from the available drawings (blueprints).

Workshop participants are often surprised to learn that they do not need special skills or tools to assemble a Zenith Aircraft kit. Dubbert explained that the most effective way for potential kit builders to learn about building their own aircraft is to actually gain hands-on building experience. Builder workshops provide just that while giving participants the opportunity to "try before they buy."

Spouses, family members and friends are encouraged to attend and to take part in the rudder kit assembly (at no additional cost), making the workshop a potential fun getaway for a few days.  Participants are also invited to attend a social group dinner at the end of the first day.

"We recommend our workshops as a starting point to anyone interested in building, owning or flying a light aircraft," states Zenith Aircraft Company president Sebastian Heintz.  "Oftentimes, initially skeptical builders are surprised that they already have the skills needed to build their own and they find out that building their own airplane is both a fun and rewarding project.

“Even if you've already decided to build your own Zenith kit, we recommend the workshop as an excellent starting point to pick up useful building tips and hints, and to learn more about using the hand tools and working with the parts and the assembly drawings and instructions."

Attending a workshop is an invaluable first step in building (or selecting) a kit aircraft, and a workshop held at the factory (where the actual kit parts and assemblies are manufactured) offers also the "hands-on experience" of a demonstration flight, factory tour and meeting the people who design, fly and manufacture the kit.  For those that may not have the time or confidence to build the entire project themselves, there are several professional builder assistance centers located around the country to help builders complete the project.

If you cannot travel to the factory to attend a workshop, Zenith also offers the comprehensive ‘Rudder Starter Kit’ that includes the complete rudder tail kit and detailed assembly instructions that can be shipped by UPS. The rudder takes about 10 hours to assemble (with basic tools), and provides the first-time builder with an excellent introduction to building an all-metal Zenair aircraft, while actually building a control section for the aircraft.

Zenith Aircraft Company's factory workshops are held every month.  For more information on attending a workshop or on the ‘Starter Kit,’   visit the company’s website

 

 
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