For the first time, Zenith Aircraft Company is bringing its popular hands-on workshops to the DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase. At the workshop, which begins on Thursday, November 1 (and runs through Friday, November 2), participants actually build their own Zenith Aircraft rudder assembly from a standard Zenith kit.
If you think you may enjoy building your own aircraft, Zenith Aircraft Company gives you the opportunity to "try before you buy" at regularly scheduled factory workshops, where you can actually start building your own airplane. With an emphasis on gaining hands-on building experience, the informal workshops are coordinated by Zenith Aircraft staff and held right in the kit aircraft manufacturing factory, centrally located in Missouri. Held monthly, these two-day events allow builders to jump-start their project for merely the cost of the rudder kit, while learning the principles of sheet metal construction. The workshops have become popular with sport aviation enthusiasts who have considered building their own aircraft but were not sure if they could handle the required skills, workspace and tools.
On Saturday, November 3, Zenith staff and volunteers will provide hands-on projects and demonstrations at the Zenith Aircraft workshop tent at the DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase.
In the hands-on workshop process of building the entire rudder assembly, participants tackle many activities including learning how to read drawings (blueprints) and work from assembly instructions (manuals) under the expert guidance of factory staff. They learn the procedures for putting together an aircraft assembly, including drilling, de-burring and blind riveting. As part of the building process they cut, file and fit the aluminum alloy (sheet metal) parts. In the end, they have an assembled rudder that is ready to install on a Zenith kit airplane.
"The rest of the kit is constructed the same way as the rudder using the same tools," said Sebastien Heintz, President of Zenith Aircraft. "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 spouses or other family member, who often encourage them to move forward with the rest of the kit. With modern technology and good instructions, aircraft construction has become much easier than most people imagine."
The two-day hands-on workshop is an excellent way to learn about building your own amateur-built aircraft and about the many advantages of owning and flying an airplane that you've built yourself. Kit aircraft is a segment of general aviation that is growing while much of general aviation continues to decline. For many, building an aircraft (from a kit) is a very rewarding experience, and today's modern kits make it easier and quicker to build than even before.
Standard workshop fees are $375 (or $425 for the CH 750 Super Duty model) and include the complete rudder kit for a Zenith aircraft. Additional helpers are encouraged to attend and can participate for free. To learn more about the workshop program, visit www.zenithair.com. Prior registration is required.
Visit the DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase website for details about the aviation showcase.
Next workshop dates at the Zenith Aircraft kit factory (in Mexico, Missouri): November 15 & 16 and December 6 & 7, 2018.