Attn. Zenith Builders; Sun n fun Cook Out, Thursday April 4th.

Zenith Builders:

The four big alternative engine companies who serve Zenith builders, Viking, UL Power, Jabiru and Flycorvair, are jointly sponsoring an informal dinner for Zenith Aircraft builders at Sun n Fun. The idea is to have a chance for all Zenith builders present to have a single spot to get together and socialize directly on the airshow grounds. Sebastien Heintz has wholeheartedly approved, and the Zenith airshow staff will be on hand. This event is brought to Zenith builders by Jann, Robert, Nick and myself as “Thank You” to Zenith builders who we have, are or will work with over the long run.



Above, a photo of myself with the patriarch of Zenith Aircraft, Chris Heintz. This was taken at Sun n Fun 15 years ago. Each of the four engine companies sponsoring the cook out has a long and established track record of serving Zenith builders. Although we attend a number of Zenith events each year, we decided to make our contribution to the Zenith Builders calendar by hosting a memorable event at Sun n Fun.  Don’t miss it.


When? Where? etc.

The Cook out is 6pm, Thursday in the UL Power booth, which is #5 in ‘Paradise city’ the ultralight area of Sun n Fun, right next to the light plane runway.



The primary invitation is for Zenith builders. Part of the mission is to have a single setting here for fans of Chris Heintz designs to get together, get to know some others working on the same birds, and build some camaraderie.  If you have family in tow, good, if you have a friend with you, make sure he is briefed to know that if he says “I’m thinking of building an RV” we will feed him the burger which fell into the coals.


RSVP? Cost? 

Reservations are not required, but your hosts would like a fighting chance at being properly prepared for the event.  If you go on the Zenith Builders FaceBook Page, and look at events, you can check in with your intention to attend. When you are at Sun n Fun on Monday and Tuesday, mention attending to any of your hosts or Zenth, just so we have a rough idea.  There is no cost to attending , this is covered by your four hosts.


As we get a bit closer, we will have a reminder and updates, but if you are a Zenith builder planning in attending Sun n Fun 2019, it is an event not to be missed. We are looking forward to having you.


If you need a bit more motivation, get a look at this story I wrote: The Value of “Showing up”



Though for the day on Zenith Powerplant options: 


Zenith aircraft is nearly unique among major experimental aircraft companies, in the fact they accept many options for builders when it comes to engines. The Zenith designs attract many different kinds of builders, and the company has never dictated a particular power plant for any of their planes. They treat their builders as adults, capable of making informed decisions for themselves.


At Oshkosh 2003, I told Sebastien that I thought our engine was a good match for his aircraft. His response was to say “If you think so, then buy one of my kits and prove it.” We did, and flew it in 2004. Zenith has a long history of treating engine providers seriously, as long as they demonstrate a commitment to their builders.  The four hosts of the Sun n Fun Cook out have long had this kind of relationship with the Zenith factory.


In addition to Viking, UL Power, Jabiru and Corvairs, Zenith builders also frequently use Rotax, Lycoming and Continental. Compare this selection with other airframe companies which often dictate just one or two options, expecting their builders to conform to a reduced set of budget, educational and performance options.


All four of your Sun n Fun Cook Out hosts have been working with Zenith builders a long time; Viking and UL Power almost 10 years each, I have been here for 15, and Jabiru even longer.  While different engines show up from time to time, it is very difficult to any company to offer some quality not already well covered by one of the seven popular established engine options for Zenith builders. If you would like to read a funny allegory about engines, look at this: Unicorns vs Ponies.





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 and in more than 50 magazine articles.

One Response to Attn. Zenith Builders; Sun n fun Cook Out, Thursday April 4th.

  1. Jeff Moores says:

    Great idea William. Wish I could attend, (my job always gets in the way of what I would really like to do !!)


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