Nine days to Zenith’s 25th Open House, Mexico MO.

Builders:

We are now just nine days away from a very important event, the Zenith Open house. I have been on hand for the last 10 open houses at the Zenith factory, we have held Corvair Colleges just before 4 of them, but this year, Zenith will mark their 25th year in Mexico. They are the very definition of a solid enduring company in an industry known for short lived business ventures.

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I have detailed information on what we are doing with Corvairs at the event at this link:  Zenith 25th open house, Mexico MO, Sept. 23-24.  It also includes links to Zenith’s website with information about attending the event. All homebuilders are welcome, there will be a large number engine and component companies on hand, and there is a lot to see at these events.

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  People often ask me how I had a number of great days in aviation, like this: From The Past: With Steve Wittman 20 years ago today. Here is the magic answer: I got in the car, drove there and showed up. It didn’t always generate a perfect day, but staying home reduces the chances of an exceptional day to near zero. Decide now that you will show up for the open house. It’s your life, make it count.

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Above, Zenith 601XL  builder and 500 hour pilot Ken Pavlou.  If you read a single story I have written this year, make it this one:Ken “Adonis” Pavlou advises aviators: “Life is short, Live Large”  If you spend a lot of hours wondering if aviation really is for you, read this story, it will introduce you to one of the all time great character in experimental aviation. If you are a Corvair builder, you can take a special measure of pride that our team has an exalted place for this man.

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If you are a Zenith builder headed to the open house. and you want to pick up a mount or an exhaust, check out the two stories below and Contact Rachel Weseman at 904-626-7777 about ordering them in advance.- Thanks.

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Part #3901-A Zenith/Bearhawk Stainless Exhausts, now on shelf.

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#4201-C Pietenpol Motor mounts, now on the shelf, ready for shipping.

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Zero back ordered Motor Mounts.

Builders,

I don’t have an exact count, but I am pretty sure we have welded and sold 400-425 motor mounts in the last 20 years. While the Zenith 601/650 leads the all time popularity contest, I have also made almost 40 one of a kind mounts for the Corvair.

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Over the years there were times we made large batches of the popular mounts, but almost always the less popular or one of a kind mounts were back ordered. Most builders were ok with a reasonable wait, but in the last two years, I was getting further and further behind on mounts, and the lead times were getting unacceptably long. When I asked Dan and Rachel Weseman to take over the distribution of our products back in January, I told them that my #1 goal was to eliminate all the back ordered items, particularly the motor mounts. On February 1st the day we got started, I had almost 25 mounts on order, with new sales being made every week.

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The issue could not be solved by just heading out to the shop and welding for a month; doing so would just push other items behind, and derail events like the Western College tour. The solution was a bit more complex: It involved hard work, but it also included making a careful CAD study of our Pietenpol mount design, and converting it to CNC milled tube sets. These cost more, but critically they take a lot less hours to fabricate. I also cross trained Dan and Rachel’s weldor, Travis to make many of the mount designs, so production would continue while I was on the western tour. Get a look at this story: Parts Production improvements- #4201 Motor Mounts and this one: #4201-C Pietenpol Motor mounts, now on the shelf, ready for shipping.

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The Pay off comes this week: We now have reached the point where we have Zero motor mount back orders, and we have a number of the popular mount designs on the shelf. We will not get behind again because I have more hours in my day, I have Travis to weld as needed, and all of the most popular mounts we offer are now made from CNC tubing sets. Keep in mind that since February first, there have been plenty of new orders on mounts, and that Dan and Rachel have their own lines of Corvair mounts for the Panther and the Cleanex. To get caught up, I had to get production well above the existing rate that was already flowing out to builders.  It didn’t happen overnight, I owe a big thank you to Dan and Rachel for their help, but it is actually now done.

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I gave some thought to this today, and I actually can’t remember how long ago it was that I didn’t owe anyone a motor mount. It has been a number of years. On one hand I could easily say that builders willing to wait is strong evidence that builders understand the value of our designs, and trust me to produce items they ordered. But today, it feels a lot better to simply say we are caught up on mounts.

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-ww.

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Above, a part number 4201(E), this is a  KR2/2S mount, tricycle gear mount. Over the years I have made about 40-45 of these. This one was photographed on the shipping floor at SPA/Panther a few days ago. It is not powder coated, but it has a twin that was just finished that was. These two mounts had been the last two on the back order list. My humble apologies to the builders that waited for them. They were late, but the quality will not disappoint.

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If your progress this fall includes mounting your engine, Please get a look at this page: http://shop.flycorvair.com/product-category/airframe-accessory-parts/

If you are headed to one of the upcoming events, and you would like to pick up a mount in person, contact Rachel at SPA, 904-626-7777 (extension #1) about an order, she will be glad to help.

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Below is the numbering system for mounts that we use in our manual, and in the ordering system. The links in color  can be clicked on to read the story about the parts:

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Motor mounts (4200)

4201(A)- Zenith 601/650 mount, all models

Zenith 601/650 Motor mounts, P/N 4201(A)

4201(B)- Zenith 750/Cruiser mount

Zenith 750/Cruiser Mounts. P/N 4201(B)

Zenith 750 Mount Sale, only 5 avail.

4201(C)- Pietenpol mount, high thrust line

Pietenpol Mount on airframe

Pietenpol Products, Motor mounts, Gear and Instalation Components.

Pietenpol Motor Mounts, P/N 4201(C)

Three Pietenpol Motor Mounts

4201(D)- KR2/2S mount, conventional gear

4201(E)- KR2/2S mount, tricycle gear

4201(F)- Custom mounts

4202- Tray and spools