MEXICO, Mo. — Zenith Aircraft Co. has now shipped 10,000 sets of plans to aircraft builders in over 50 countries. Most sets of plans are sent with complete or partial aircraft kits, though some go to builders who prefer to scratch-build the aircraft, company officials said.
Over the past four decades, aeronautical engineer Chris Heintz has developed a dozen aircraft designs. Today, Zenith markets kits for four of his most popular concepts: The original STOL CH 701 Sky Jeep, the STOL CH 750, the CH 750 Cruzer, and the low-wing CH 650. Additional Heintz designs are built and sold by Zenith’s sister company, Zenair Ltd., in Canada.
“We allow our customers to choose how to build their own airplane, whether as a scratch-build project or from a complete kit or anywhere in between,” said Sebastien Heintz, president of Zenith Aircraft. “It’s not uncommon to see people begin with basic materials and then upgrade to a quick build kit; others might start with a quick build rudder kit and then order basic materials for a scratchbuild program because they enjoy the construction process. By far, however, most opt for the complete kits so they can get to the flightline faster.”
With options for straight or amphibious floats, skis and tundra tires, Zenith aircraft can be used for a wide range of mission profiles. Detailed plans for the two-seat Zenith Aircraft designs start at $425 a set. The sets contain step-by-step guides with all the information needed to build a complete airplane. Blueprints are drafted using modern CAD software.
The company holds monthly workshops to give people an idea of the kinds of tools and skills required to build a Zenith design. During the two-day workshops, people learn how to construct an actual rudder for one of the designs.
This summer, EAA is hosting a “One Week Wonder” project during AirVenture that will focus on a Zenith CH 750. Everyone attending will have the opportunity to learn how easy it is to read plans and help build a real airplane, company officials noted.
For more information: ZenithAir.com