Fundraising begins to finish student-built Zenith CH-750

IOLA, Wis. — Aviators By Design has kicked off its 2103 “Soar Like an Eagle” fundraising campaign, which will run from through May 31.

“We have made amazing progress in building the Zenith since the project began at the Homebuilder’s Hangar during Oshkosh 2012,” said Jerry Graf, founder and president.“Right after AirVenture, the aircraft was moved to its current home at Iola’s Central County Airport (68C). Currently we have youth from five different local high schools working on the airplane. They meet at the airport every other Tuesday evening.”

Graf said that while progress has been very good, they are now in critical need of key kits and components to finish the airplane.

“We need to raise $44,000 to buy the finishing kit, the firewall-forward kit, instrument panel and UL Power UL350iS engine,” he said. “The airplane is about 50% finished, so that means there’s 90% more work to do.”

Graf explained that the organization’s 2013 “Soar Like an Eagle” campaign is using the social networking Indiegogo crowd funding format to help it reach its $44,000 goal.

“We’re relying on various social networks to get the word out and direct donors to go to and find the Soar Like an Eagle campaign for details,” he said. “There are many levels of contributions with some very nice perks to be given away depending on the donation amount.”

The special perks awarded for various contribution levels include:

  • Zenith STOL CH 750 DVD
  • Limited edition Aviators By Design jacket patch
  • A picture of finished airplane signed by the students
  • Lunch at Central County Airport (68C)
  • Zenith 25th Anniversary T-shirt and Zenith hat
  • Your name and signature on a permanent aluminum display at the group’s hangar and in the airplane. Plus, a Zenith hat
  • Custom made Zenith notebook made by the students and Zenith 25th Anniversary T-shirt and hat
  • A version of X-Plane flight simulator and “Fly To Learn” program for a school of your choice
  • A flight in Soaring Eagle
  • Live like James Bond! One donor will receive a beautiful, fully-restored 1973 Classic Glastron GT-160, which is the same model of boat that James Bond used to jump over the Sheriffs car in “Live and Let Die”. (It still holds the record for the longest water-to-water over land jump.

“As always the goal of our Zenith project is for the youth to build it, learn to fly it and then have it accessible for them to cooperatively fly and maintain it like a club plane,” Graf said. “But it’s more than just about flying. The program is also helping build strong math, science and team-building skills.”

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  1. says

    I would like to cooperate but I can’t. I am a retired Spanish teacher with a lifelong dream: I want to be a Private Pilot. I am going to start my own Fundraising toward my Private Pilot’s Certificate (I only need $ 12,000). I trade Spanish lessons or Translation from English to Spanish for Flying lessons. Any body interested, please let me know. I am willing to relocate.

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