Zenith Aircraft Open Hangar Days - September 22 & 23, 2017

Thanks to all who visited and participated at the Zenith Aircraft Open Hangar Days and Fly-In!
Check out the many great photos of the two full days of activities: http://bit.ly/2hr5s1c


Join us at the 25th anniversary Zenith Aircraft OPEN HANGAR DAYS and Builder Fly-In at the Zenith kit factory in Mexico, Missouri. Friday and Saturday, September 22 & 23, 2017.

This will be our 26th annual event, and we are planning educational and fun social (and flying) activities over two full days at the factory in Mexico, Missouri! Fly-in or drive in!

As in years past we'll have numerous events for builders and pilots of Zenith kit planes (as well as all aviation enthusiasts) starting on Friday, Sept. 22. We'll present new seminars and workshops (to be announced), and host a Zenith banquet dinner / social for Friday evening and also a Saturday evening BBQ dinner at the factory!

   Summary of the 2016 event | Photos from the 2016 event


The free seminars and workshops presented at Open Hangar Days are a great way to learn about Zenith Aircraft and all of the options to choose from when building your own kit airplane. Plan to attend all day Friday for the seminars! Complete schedule coming soon.

Dinner tickets are now available for purchase for the Friday, September 22 banquet and the Saturday, September 23 BBQ at the Zenith Aircraft factory. Please get your dinner tickets well in advance to help us plan.

Special Guest:

EAA's Chairman and CEO Jack Pelton (pictured above with Rose Pelton and designer Chris Heintz) will be the featured guest speaker at the Friday evening Zenith banquet.

25th Anniversary Quilt to be Auctioned for Charity

Sharlene Stapleton created this custom quilt in recognition of Zenith Aircraft's 25th anniversary! The colorful quilt features the official 25th anniversary t-shirt artwork in the center surrounded by the hand-embroidered first names of Zenith Aircraft employees who create all the parts that make up the Zenith kits.
This awesome quilt is being auctioned to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going directly to support EAA's Young Eagles or an EAA Air Academy sponsorship. You can bid now for this commemorative quilt, or you can bid (silent auction) at the upcoming Zenith Aircraft Open Hangar Days & Fly-In. 

At the Friday night Zenith banquet there will be many fantastic door prizes worth thousands of dollars! 

  • Dynon Avionics is donating a $2,500 in gift certificates (Oe $1,000 gift certificate plus three $500 certificates)any more prizes and gift certificates will be awarded!
  • Zenith Builders and Pilots: Fly your Zenith aircraft to the Open Hangar Days and Fly-In and Garmin will give you a Garmin Pilot™ subscription for one year, a $75 value! (limited quantities are available, first come first served)

Join us for the biggest fly-in yet! Help us celebrate our 25th anniversary, and participate in new contests, banquet & BBQ dinners, and many more activities.

If flying in and you need a rental car, call Enterprise at 573-442-0555 to schedule (and mention that you want the car delivered to Mexico Memorial Airport).

Fly in with your Zenith aircraft and show off your plane in the new Zenith Aircraft Show (like a car show, but with airplanes) and judged by the public and experienced builders.

The Open Hangar Days event presents the opportunity for visitors to tour the Zenith Aircraft factory, meet the Zenith staff, and to socialize with fellow pilots, builders, and aviation enthusiasts. Join us both days for educational seminars (see below) on building and flying your own airplane, plus learn all about the latest avionics and engine technology from several vendors at the event. 


Friday, September 22, 2017


Corvair Engine Finishing School from 9:00 - 4:00 pm demonstrating a complete Corvair auto conversion engine assembly and test run beside the Zenith factory with William Wynne representing FlyCovair.com

Read William Wynne's article on why you should attend this year's Open Hangar Days!


Summary of Seminars: Here's an overview summary of the scheduled seminars (subject to change and revision). Click here for the official Schedule of Activities

  • Sport Pilot and Zenith Transition Training: Buzzy Devoll of Buzz Air Flight Academy will attend once again with his Zenith CH 601 XL-B S-LSA and will be available for transition and flight training (including flight reviews / check-rides). Contact Buzzy directly to schedule at 775 841 5429 (Zenith Hangar)
  • Build An Airplane As A Group Project: Sebastien Heintz, Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Sensenich Propellers For Your Zenith Aircraft: Jon Bristol, senior design engineer at Sensenich Propellers (Zenith Hangar)
  • Dynon Avionics: Shawn Dillon & Gillian D'Ancicco from Dynon Avionics (UL Power Hangar) 
  • Painting your own aircraft with Stewart Systems revolutionary waterborne paint system." Andy Humphrey is an A&P mechanic and tech support specialist at Stewart Systems.
  • Writing Your Story for KITPLANES magazine, by Chuck Preston.  Kitplanes magazine isn’t written by professional journalists, but by actual aircraft builders and recognized experts who are active in the field. Learn how to write and have your story published.
  • Avilution Unpanel, by Mark Spencer of Avilution. The unpanel is a single extra-large, free-standing 17” integrated avionics display system that replaces the traditional instrument panel. 
  • Joining Zenith As A Second Owner: Matt Heintz &  Earl Downs, Zenith Staff (UL Power Hangar)
  • Match-Hole Assembly - Hands on Demonstration: Steve Oppenlander & Travis Kobush, Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Loss of Control Prevention, Earl Downs, Golden Age Aviation: Earl Downs is the Zenith builder of the Zodiac 601 XL-B which he uses for transition and first flight preparation training. Downs will provide practical guidance towards Transition Training and First Flight Preparation. In his First Flight Preparation training, Downs teaches the principles of LOC avoidance. He’ll explain how these principles can apply to any airplane and you’ll come away from this forum with practical suggestions for becoming a safer pilot. (UL Power Hangar)
  • Viking Engine: Jan Eggenfellner, Viking Aircraft Engines (Zenith Hangar)
  • Aircraft Pre-Flight Check: Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Garmin G3X Touch Avionics Package for Zeniths: Brian Hupe (from Garmin International, Inc.) will cover details on the equipment and capabilities included in the new Garmin package being offered through Zenith. 
  • Annual Aircraft Inspection: Matt Heintz, Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Aircraft Insurance For Your Zenith Aircraft: Scott "Sky" Smith, Sky Smith Insurance (Zenith Hangar)

  • Engine Panel Discussion: Owners and pilots of various Zenith aircraft models will discuss the specific engine they are flying behind in their Zenith, and will share their experiences regarding installation, maintenance, performance, and more!  Engine company representatives will also be on hand to answer specific details about their respective engines. (HomebuiltHELP.com Hangar)
  • Zenith Builders Banquet Dinner: Informal buffet dinner gathering of Zenith enthusiasts, builders & pilots at the Elks Lodge (next to the airport) starting at 6:00 pm. Cash bar opens at 5:00 pm. EAA's CEO and Chairman of the board Jack Pelton will be our featured guest speaker for the evening and updates from Zenith will be given at the dinner. We will have Zenith trivia for everyone to participate in, awesome door prizes, and more! Purchase your dinner tickets now or buy your tickets at the door (we recommend you buy your tickets now as space is limited).

The Saturday events at the Zenith factory include tours of the Zenith factory, hands-on building projects, Zenith airplanes on display in the air and on the ground, great food, and fun contests for our visitors to enjoy, along with educational seminars throughout the day.

Saturday, September 23, 2017:  Summary of the scheduled activities (subject to change and revision). Click here for the official Schedule of Activities

  • Building Your Own Zenith Aircraft: Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Zenith Factory Tour: Travis Kobush, Zenith Production Manager (Zenith Hangar)
  • Zenith Aircraft Show: Public and Zenith builder judged aircraft show (like a car show, but with Zenith airplanes) with fun categories and great prizes. Register your Zenith aircraft at the registration booth in the gazebo outside of the Zenith factory hangar all day on Friday or Saturday morning.
  • Able Flight: Charles Stites will provide an update on the activities of Able Flight and discuss hand controls in the Zenith CH 750, adapted for pilots with disabilities.
  • Garmin ADS-B Solutions, Brian Hupe, Garmin International, Inc. (UL Power Hangar): Learn about Garmin’s ADS-B solutions for experimental aircraft including ADS-B ”Out“ and ”ADS-B ”In“ traffic and weather. Discussion will cover products and recommendations for both new aircraft or retrofit installations. Brian Hupe has worked for Garmin since 2006 in aviation engineering and sales. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, is an instrument rated pilot and a homebuilder. (UL Power Hangar)
  • Annual "group photo" of builders and their planes in front of the factory.
  • Dynon Avionics: Shawn Dillon & Gillian D'Ancicco, Dynon Avionics (UL Power Hangar)
  • Viking Engine Q & A Session: Jan Eggenfellner, Viking Aircraft Engines (Zenith Hangar)
  • Building and Flying Your Zenith Aircraft, including the SAM: Matt Heintz & Sebastien Heintz, Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar)
  • Cleco Contest: Show off your cleco skills! Come & join in on the fun! Sponsored Wicks Aircraft Supplies. (Zenith Hangar)
  • STOL Flying Demonstrations: Short Take-Off and Short (Precision) Landing Demonstrations, at Mexico Memorial Airport (subject to weather), sponsored by Kitplanes magazine. To participate, register your Zenith aircraft on Friday or Saturday morning.
  • Basic Rules of Building and Flying Your Own Airplane Seminar: Charlie Becker, EAA's Director of Chapters, Communities and Homebuilt Community Manager, will provide an update from EAA headquarters and also explain the basic rules of building and flying your homebuilt. Becker is an avid Homebuilder himself, and has been on the EAA staff for 14+ years. Many members are familiar with his work creating EAA’s “Hints for Homebuilders” weekly video series, EAA’s well-attended webinar series, as well as organizing the One Week Wonder effort at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014, among other homebuilt-centered initiatives. (UL Power Hangar)
  • Aircraft Insurance For Your Zenith Aircraft: Scott "Sky" Smith, Sky Smith Insurance (Zenith Hangar)
  • Overview of the Tools & Skills Needed to Build Your Own Zenith Aircraft: Travis Kobush, Zenith Staff (Zenith Hangar) 
  • Zenith Aircraft Fly-By and Show: Flying and ground demonstration and show of custom built Zeniths. To participate, register your Zenith aircraft on Friday or Saturday morning. All Zeniths are encouraged to participate!
  • Corvair Engine Q & A Session: William Wynne, FlyCorvair.com (Zenith Hangar)
  • UL Power Engine Q & A Session: Robert Helms, UL Power (Zenith Hangar)


5:00 - 8:00 pm

BBQ Dinner and awards presented during dinner for contests. Purchase your dinner tickets now or buy your tickets at the event.


We invite and encourage all Zenith builders, owners, pilots, and enthusiasts to come out for a good time! Owners of completed Zenith Aircraft are encouraged to fly-in for the activities and to show off their completed project to fellow builders (we will provide tie-down space and help facilitate ground transportation if possible).


Mexico's airport (KMYJ) offers 24-hr self serve fuel at competitive prices (including MOGAS), and has a terminal building with 24 hour access to the pilot lounge (with showers and internet access!). Let us know of any special needs or requirements.

If flying in, please bring your own aircraft tie-downs, especially if staying overnight.

Zenith owners: Please park your airplane as close to the Zenith factory as possible on Saturday. We'll try to position and group all Zeniths in front of the factory for the group photo at 10:50 am. If driving in, please bring yourself a folding (lawn) chair if possible. We will have chairs and tables, but we sometimes run out...

There is no charge to attend the Open Hangar Day or any seminars or acticvities, with the exception of the banquet dinner on Friday evening and the Saturday evening BBQ dinner at the Zenith factory. Check the Schedule of Activities page for the latest updates and sc...

Note to builders: You can arrange to pick-up parts and kits at the Open Hangar Day if the parts have been ordered, paid for and confirmed prior to the Open Hangar Day.

We can help you to carpool if you are flying in and need a ride to and from a local hotel.

Camping at the event: There will be free camping available.

Tent camping with your plane or car, or set up your camper in the designated camp area. There's also a public campground at scenic Lakeview Park a few miles away in the city of Mexico.

We'll be proudly showing off our newest design, the STOL CH 750 "Super Duty"

Come to see and learn more about the Avilution "UnPanel" concept as seen in the STOL CH 750 Super Duty:

Also, the all-metal low-wing tandem two-seat SAM-EX configured as a taildragger and powered by a 180-hp Lycoming O-360 will be on display at the event:

Experimental Aircraft Association CEO, Jack Pelton, and EAA Director, Charlie Becker are featured guests at Open Hangar Days 2017

NEW 25th anniversary T-Shirt from EAA!

Stock up on your Zenith Aircraft apparel now to wear at the Open Hangar Days event! Click here to check out all of the new Zenith Aircraft items available. EAA members receive a discount and all proceeds support EAA's educational programs. Apparel will also be sold at the Zenith factory throughout the Open Hangar Days event.


Zenith Open Hangar Days Participants and Sponsors:

Experimental Aircraft Association 

EAA Chairman and CEO, Jack Pelton and Charlie Becker, EAA's Director of Chapters, Communities and Homebuilt Community Manager, will attend with the newly painted One Week Wonder airplane, and will share info on EAA's available resources to help builders, owners and pilots of amateur-built aircraft, including the technical advisor and flight advisor programs.


Dynon Avionics will demonstrate the newest available glass panel technology. Shawn Dillon, Repair Manager, will be discussing Dynon's industry-leading Customer Service and Support. Topics include warranty policies and procedures, warranty repair process, and some common field repairable issues that customers encounter. Gillian D'Ancicco, CFO and Dealer Relations Manager, will also be on hand to answer questions about Dynon's products and their recent announcement that SkyView HDX will soon be available for certified aircraft.

Kitplanes magazine will sponsor the Zenith STOL deonstrations (on Saturday afternoon September 23). Chuck Preston will present a forum on how to write and have your story published in Kitplanes magazine.

Garmin International Inc. will be on hand to show the new Zenith CH 750 Avionics Package featuring the Garmin G3X Touch. Brian Hupe from Garmin will demonstrate the equipment and capabilities included in the new Garmin package being offered through Zenith. Brian Hupe has worked for Garmin since 2006 in aviation engineering and sales. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, is an instrument rated pilot and a homebuilder.

Stewart Systems is a revolutionary waterborne paint system, providing builders with the finest, safest, most pleasant-to-use primers and coatings for their aircraft. Andy Humphrey is an A&P mechanic and tech support specialist at Stewart Systems.

Able Flight’s mission is to offer people with disabilities a unique way to challenge themselves through flight and aviation career training, and by doing so, to gain greater self-confidence and self-reliance. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization provides scholarships to enable people with disabilities to pursue flight training in adapted aircraft.

Doug Dugger of Quality Sport Planes (in Cloverdale, California) will attend to meet with West Coast Zenith builders, and to discuss his builder assistance programs.


Buzz Air Flight Academy (located in Tennessee) will be attending to discuss Sport Pilot flight training as well as transition training to Zeniths.  The flight school operates a ZODIAC CH 601 XL-B / CH 650 S-LSA aircraft and a Zenith STOL CH 750 S-LSA. Buzzy Devoll plans to attend with his Zenith CH601 XL-B S-LSA and will be available for transition and flight training (including flight reviews / check-rides). 775.841.5429

Wick's Aircraft Supplies will be on hand with some of the many builder and pilot supplies it sells. 

Order your parts from Wick's before the event and they will deliver them to you at the Open Hangar Day! Call to Order 1-800-221-9425.

Wheels & Wings professional builder assistance. The professional builder assistance division of Wheels and Wings will be represented by Herman Eschuis, an expert Zenith kit builder. Based in Edgewater, Florida, Wheels & Wings offers Zenith kit builders professional assistance in accelerating their kit project.

UL Power will be on hand to represent the new generation of light aircraft engines. The UL Power aircraft engines are direct-drive air-cooled lightweight engines featuring full FADEC technology (with fuel injection and electronic ignition). 


Earl Downs of Golden Age Aviation (Cushing, Oklahoma) is a Zenith builder and flight instructor, and will answer questions on Sport Pilot, Light Sport Aircraft, and aviation safety. Downs is an ATP-rated flight instructor, and he provides special training in taildraggers and antiques/classic airplanes, and loss of control (LOC) prevention maneuvers. Earl has written numerous articles regarding light sport aircraft and sport pilot operations for EAA publications. Earl offers transition and first flight preparation training in his Zenith CH601XL-B. 918.840.2200

HomebuiltHelp.com offers a complete line of "how-to" videos available on DVD, and will have the popular DVDs available for preview and purchase. 

Wayne Lanza of Composite Design will showcase the company's Power Panels used by Zenith Aircraft Co. and supplied in the Zenith instrument panel kit.


Scott "Sky" Smith of SkySmith Insurance Agency will answer questions about aircraft insurance as it applies to building and flying a Zenith kit aircraft.


Corvair Engine guru William Wynne of FlyCorvair.com will attend to show the affordable Corvair auto conversion installation popular on many Zeniths.

Viking Aircraft produces a low-cost Honda-based light aircraft engine, and offers complete firewall-forward packages of the engine for installation in Zeniths.Check out their special offer

Sensenich Propellers produces aluminum, wood fix pitched, and composite ground adjustable propellers for Type Certified, Light Sport and Experimental Aircraft. Jon Bristol, senior design engineer, will represent Sensenich.


Avilution LLC will be represented by owner Mark Spencer (a STOL CH 750 builder and pilot). Avilution puts together the "unpanel" display seen in the prototype STOL CH 750 Super Duty. The Unpanel is a single extra-large, free-standing 17” integrated avionics display system that replaces the traditional instrument panel.

Mittler Brothers Machine and Tool(from St Louis) manufactures and distributes a wide range of custom tools for sheet-metal fabricators, of interest especially to scratch (plans-only) builders.


Zenith builder Phil Schmidt is a sailor and pilot who paints subjects he loves in watercolor. Phil will be displaying some of his paintings (available for purchase) and will donate a limited edition print of his B-29 painting to raise money for Young Eagles as a raffle prize.

Aircraft Spruce and Specialty catalogs will be available, and several door prizes and gift certificates will be awarded.

The Zenith Aircraft factory will be open for self-guided tours and demo flights are available (strictly by prior appointment).

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Comment by Zenith.Aero on September 23, 2017 at 9:16am
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Roy Beisswenger of Powered Sport Flying discusses Zenith Aircraft's upcoming Open Hangar Days and Fly-In with Sebastien Heintz at the recent Midwest LSA Expo

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