Wings Magazine

New “engine day” one of highlights at OshKosh

July 18, 2012, Oshkosh, Wis. - “As airframe designers and builders, we have direct influence on only two of the four forces of flight,” says Sebastien Heintz, President of Zenith Aircraft Company. “We work on drag and lift; thrust is on the other side of the firewall.”

July 18, 2012  By Carey Fredericks

So, on Thursday, July 26, at the Zenith exhibit at Airventure Oshkosh, Zenith Aircraft is hosting its first “Engine Day,” where two-seat Zenith aircraft with all sorts of power will be on display, and where representatives of some of the most-popular engines, as well as some newcomers, will be helping builders decide what goes up front, between the prop and the rest of the airplane.

The Chris Heintz (CH-) Zenith designs have been built using everything from electric motors to small turbines, with two-strokes, four-strokes, and rotaries in between; expected this year are some of the most-popular engine options and manufacturers, ranging from home made and “factory” Corvair, VW, and Honda conversions, to industry-standard, purpose-built light aircraft engines – Rotax, Jabiru, UL Power, Continental, Lycoming, and more, from 65 to 150hp.

The Zenith designs have always been drawn with an eye to allowing alternate power sources. “Chris Heintz always kept the builder’s choice in mind, when designing owner-built aircraft,” Sebastien noted, with the result that “there are probably more different kinds and makes of aviation engines under Zenith cowls than any other. Plus,” he continued, “unlike some designers, Zenith Aircraft Company encourages builders to install the engine of their choice.” There are proven power systems always available, but the designs keep the door open to new ideas. Some work better than others, certainly, but the variety is astounding – “and it is a testimony to the versatility of both the designs and the builders that so many work, and so well.”

Zenith invites all to the first “Engine Day” feature at their exhibit in the North Aircraft Display Area # 641, specifically on Thursday, July 26, at between 10a.m. and noon, to meet the builders, engine representatives, and pilots of a great variety of Zenith machines, old and new.


As for the fourth force of flight (gravity), Sebastien says, “That one is already pretty well covered.”


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