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EAA’s One Week Wonder Highlights Zenith Open Hangar Fly-In

  • Zenith Open Hangar
    Several One Week Wonder shirt-wearing attendees pictured with EAA’s two Zenith aircraft.
  • Zenith Open Hangar
    Charlie Becker presents awards to Rob Seaton, Sebastien Heintz, Tracy Buttles, Steve Oppenlander, Caleb Gebhardt, and Roger Dubbert for their efforts on the One Week Wonder project.

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September 24, 2014 - The 23rd annual Zenith Open Hangar Day and Fly-In in Mexico, Missouri, last weekend was highlighted by numerous forums, aviation vendors, factory tours, a short takeoff and landing competition, and of course, dozens of airplanes. Two aircraft that drew the most attention at the Saturday, September 20 event came all the way from Oshkosh: EAA’s One Week Wonder project, a CH 750 Cruzer built in seven days during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014, and a CH 750 STOL put together by the EAA staff over the past year.

The staff-built STOL received its airworthiness certificate right before AirVenture, while the One Week Wonder was inspected on the final day of the convention and taxied down the runway right before the final air show Sunday, August 3, and it took quite an effort by several pilots to complete flight testing for both airframes. Fortunately the weather largely cooperated as well to allow pilots to complete flight testing for both planes in time to make the trip to Missouri.

“It was very satisfying to have both aircraft at the Zenith Open Hangar Fly-In as a way to thank (Zenith president) Sebastien Heintz and his team for all their hard work, support, and generosity in donating the kits to EAA,” said Charlie Becker, director of communities/homebuilt community manager. Representatives from other project sponsors Rotax, Matco, and Dynon Avionics also attended.

Becker discussed the OWW project in depth at the Friday evening banquet, and also conducted a forum earlier that day regarding other EAA issues. EAA staff member Kyle Voltz flew the 750 STOL to Mexico, Missouri, while Becker and came down in the OWW with volunteer Tracy Buttles.

During the event’s first STOL competition, Buttles came in third place at 401 feet (121 feet take-off, 280 feet landing in the staff-built Zenith). Jan Eggenfellner of Viking Aircraft Engines won the event with a total of 219 feet (109 feet takeoff and 110 feet landing).

The event experienced a great turnout, terrific weather, and the opportunity to see the airplanes in person. Becker offered rides to those in attendance who were wearing their One Week Wonder T-shirts. The first volunteers to get a ride were Edie, EAA 1145030, and Harold Bickford, EAA 567796, of Nebraska. Heintz also had the opportunity to fly the airplane for the first time.

At the Friday night dinner, Becker presented several key project volunteers with special plaques in appreciation for their efforts on the Zenith build including Rob Seaton of Rotax, Sebastien Heintz, Tracy Buttles, Steve Oppenlander, Caleb Gebhardt, and Roger Dubbert.

According to Zenith, hundreds of people were on hand Friday and hundreds more came on Saturday for demo flights, factory tours and the chance to meet with Zenith kit builders, factory personnel, and others.

“By all accounts and measurements, the 23rd annual Hangar Day was an incredible winner,” Heintz said. “Most felt they had learned a great deal and everyone enjoyed the camaraderie.”

Other forums on Friday focused on construction demonstrations dealing with all aspects of building an aircraft. One of the most popular sessions featured a panel discussion with representatives of various engines that can be mounted on a Zenith. They included Kim Winner of Continental Motors; William Wynne, Corvair; Pete Krotje, Jabiru; Rob Seaton, Rotax; Robert Helms, UL Power; and Viking’s Jan Eggenfellner.

“We’ll do it all again next year,” said Heintz. “The popularity of this kind of event continues to grow since the emphasis always remains on having a good time.” For more information about Hangar Day and Zenith Aircraft designs, visit Zenithair.com.

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