Zenith Aircraft Company


Popular Mechanics Magazine
Builds & Flies a ZODIAC Kit Aircraft

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Super ZODIAC built by Popular Mechanics

Mexico, Missouri -- Popular Mechanics magazine, a mainstream technology publication with a readership in excess of six million, recently built and flew its own kit aircraft.

Cliff Gromer, a private pilot and Popular Mechanics contributing editor, spent several months at the Zenith Aircraft Company production facilities in Mexico, Missouri working on the kit aircraft project, starting with a stock Super ZODIAC CH 601 HDS kit and flying the finished aircraft on May 17.

Forklift helps to obtain bird's eyeview of the cabin area
Photographer Jim Sugar gets a good view from atop the forklift as builder Cliff Gromer enters the just-completed ZODIAC.

The construction project is being chronicled in the magazine's August and September issues as a two-part feature story, and the finished ZODIAC graces the cover of the August issue, painted in the familiar red and white Popular Mechanics colors.

"Obviously, we were very pleased that Popular Mechanics chose our design for this project", stated Sebastien Heintz, president of Zenith Aircraft Company. "But more importantly, this feature article will introduce literally millions to the concept of building their own aircraft, showing them that it is indeed possible - at an affordable price, and requiring just basic skills, tools, and perseverance. By following the detailed construction and assembly steps of a kit aircraft from start to finish, readers will get a real understanding of what's involved in building their own aircraft, and I think most will be surprised to discover that a kit aircraft is well within their means - both in terms of cost and ease of assembly. Most aviation enthusiasts are not aware of the number and quality of kits out there."

Builder Cliff Gromer in his newly completed ZODIACCliff Gromer of Popular Mechanics stated: "Of the hundreds of planes we could have built from available kits, we selected Zenith Aircraft Company's Super ZODIAC. First off, it's a proven design and we liked the Zodiac's all-metal construction, so the plane stands up to the sun and weather with no problems and minimum maintenance. We also preferred the conventional construction techniques of metal compared to composite models.

"A last key factor in our Zodiac choice was the excellent reputation of the company and its planes, as verified by independent reports, talking with the folks at the Experimental Aircraft Association and other builders."

Popular Mechanics editors drive, fly, dive, sail and product-test all year round in order to bring readers the first-hand, on-the-spot reporting on new technologies that readers have expected for over 90 years. The magazine regularly covers advancements in science, technology, electronics, photography, transportation, defense, telecommunications, home improvement, an other areas of men's interest. For non-subscribers, Popular Mechanics magazine is available on newsstands everywhere.

The August issue will be on sale (at newsstands everywhere) around the 15th on July.

Cliff Gromer plans to fly to the EAA Oshkosh convention (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) with the Popular Mechanics ZODIAC, and will be at the Zenith Aircraft exhibit from July 30 to August 2.

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