Zenith 25th open house, Mexico MO, Sept. 23-24.


Zenith Aircraft is holding their 25th annual open house September 23 and 24th, in Mexico MO, to celebrate 25 years of kit production at that location. (the company’s origins date all the way back to the early 1970s in Canada.)  This is a landmark event in an industry noted for short lived businesses.  The event will be well attended by builders, but many industry people associated with Zenith will be on hand to celebrate and make a contribution to the success of the event.


I have been working directly with Zenith and the Heintz family since Grace and I bought our 601XL kit in 2003. You can read the story at this link: 12 years of Zenith’s powered by FlyCorvair Conversions.  We are writing new chapters in this story all the time, such as this one: A tale of three Zenith builders. But for the 25th, We are planning on something new.


At the open house, Dan Weseman and I will be on hand, and We are going to start to finish, assemble and test run a large bore Corvair on Friday the 23rd. We will demo run the engine on Saturday also.  We will be on hand for the whole event to answer any builder question and inspect builders core parts. While we have previously held four Corvair Colleges at The Zenith factory, this demonstration assembly is a different event, it is open to all interested builders, and unlike colleges it does not require signing up in advance. Want to learn a lot more about Corvairs? Just show up.


To learn more about the Zenith open house, follow this link provided by the EAA: http://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/eaa-news-and-aviation-news/news/07-07-2016-zenith-aircrafts-25th-annual-open-hangar-days–flyin.


Here is Zenith’s own page with a detailed description of the event, including directions and area information: http://www.zenith.aero/profiles/blogs/planning-open-hangar-day-25


Above, Dan Weseman and I in 2012 at the test run of his 3,000 cc Panther engine. We have been friends for 15 years, neighbors for 10, and for the last year, He and Rachel’s company, SPA/Panther has marketed and distributed our line of Corvair products and components alongside with their own Corvair stuff. This collaborative effort serves builders as a one-stop resource for everything they will need in building and mastering the Corvair.



Important points:


Everyone interested in homebuilding is welcome; you do not need to be a Zenith builder to be welcome at their open house. The Heintz family has a 40 year history of supporting homebuilders of all kinds, not just their current builders.


Dan and I will be demonstrating all of our assembly techniques; we welcome builders taking pictures, notes and video. While I will have plenty of Conversion manuals on hand, anyone seriously interested in getting the most out of following every detail of the build and test run should read the manual through in advance. If you don’t have one, you can order one here: http://shop.flycorvair.com/shop/ and it will be shipped out right away.


We will have a limited selection of Corvair parts and installation components with us, but if there is something specific from either the Flycorvair or the SPA/Panther catalog you would like to pick up at the event, the only way to insure that we have it there is to order and pay for it in advance. The single most popular items to pick up at events are motor mounts, because you can save nearly $100 on shipping by doing so. If there is a specific item on your shopping list, contact Rachel Weseman at 904-626-7777, about making sure it is ordered and in the trailer before we leave Florida.


We will be conducting “Parking lot Inspections” which means any part you have for your Corvair that you would like us to look at, bring it, and we will.  If you have a case, crank, heads or any other part that you would like inspected, bring them, and we will be glad to give them a look. This is also an opportunity to get in the game and save the shipping on sending these parts in for overhaul or modification. We will load them in the trailer and bring them back with us to Florida. This saves packing and shipping, and gets you started and ready for the coming Corvair Colleges.


If you have never met Dan or myself in person, and you are still in the decision process of which engine will power your homebuilt, the Zenith Open House is an outstanding opportunity to come, look and make a much more informed decision. I have always said that Corvairs are not for everyone, but for the traditional learn build and fly homebuilders with the goal of mastering their engine, not just owning it, the Corvair is an excellent option. I welcome the chance to meet new potential builders in the relaxed setting where they can get a very good look at how much Dan Weseman and myself have to directly share with builders.  The very best relationship between a builder and his engine provider is one based on mutual respect. Come meet me in person and get a much better understanding of why I have been continuously working with homebuilders for 27 years.





About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

3 Responses to Zenith 25th open house, Mexico MO, Sept. 23-24.

  1. If I’ve not mentioned it before, I’m stoked you are working with Dan and Rachel. Awesomely wonderful people.

  2. Brad Eikenbary says:

    If I arrive early or stay late, would you have time to do a test run on my engine with your engine stand?

    • Brad,
      Dan and I are on a tight schedule, we are departing Florida Wednesday night after working all day. We are going to drive the 1,100 miles straight, arriving in time to set up late Thursday. We are going to stay for the full event, but are going to make a timely departure on Sunday early so Dan can be back at work to run his crew on Monday. This kind of schedule doesn’t allow us to plan on early or late runs. I suggest that you sign up for a Corvair College where we always run builder engines.

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