Zenith has scheduled builder workshops for March 6-7 and April 24-25 at its factory headquarters in Mexico, Mo. The workshops have become popular with sport aviation enthusiasts who have contemplated building their own aircraft, but were not sure if they could handle the required skills, workspace and tools, according to company officials.
During each workshop, which begins on Thursday and runs until Friday noon, participants construct a Zenith Aircraft rudder from a standard kit.
In the process they tackle many activities, including learning how to read drawings and work from assembly instructions, as well as how to identify kit inventory. They learn the procedures for drilling, de-burring and blind riveting. In addition they cut, file and fit metal parts. In the end, they have an assembled rudder that is ready to install on an airplane.
“The rest of the airframe is constructed the same way as the rudder using pretty much the same tools,” said Sebastien Heinz, president. “People get far more out of the workshops than just a rudder. They go home with the knowledge and skills they need to finish an airplane. Most importantly, they learn that building is easy, enjoyable and something that can engage the whole family. Many of our prospective builders bring their wives, who often encourage them to move forward with the rest of the airframe. That’s one reason a lot of beginners head home with a complete kit or place an order for one. With modern technology, aircraft construction has become much simpler than most people imagine.”
Workshop fees are $375 for each rudder kit. Additional helpers can participate for free.