Reprinted from The Mexico Ledger, April 9, 1999:

Zenith Aircraft honored as an Industry of the Year

1999 Missouri Industry of the Year AwardZenith Aircraft Company of Mexico has been named the 1999 winner of the first-ever Missouri Industry of the Year Award in the small size classification. The award is being presented by Associated Industries of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Mid-Missouri Business Journal. The award will be presented during ceremonies scheduled for Jefferson City on Monday. Additional recipients include Bayer Corporation's Agriculture Division, in the large employer classification and Wainwright Industries of St. Peters in the medium employer classification.

A maker of a utility short take-off and landing kit aircraft, Zenith completed more than 150 kits in 1998; however, increased production was difficult because the company needed more room. With its recent expansion, Zenith hopes to increase sales and produce 200 to 250 kits per year. Such growth will trigger the need to hire additional employees, which will continue to help the Mexico and mid- Missouri economy grow.

Criteria for the 1999 Missouri Industry of the Year Awards include utilization of the company's business resources and personal leadership skills in making a key contribution to the community where the company is located and the state of Missouri; entrepreneurial spirit and ability to successfully find solutions to challenges; innovative leadership in regard to products, production methods, or services offered; taking a leadership role in forming cooperate partnerships with local schools; involvement in legislative issues that impact Missouri business and industry; and dedication to the employer community as evidence by participation in organizations that advance business and industry.

Zenith Aircraft Company will be presented with its specially designed Missouri Industry Award during a special program planned at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. A pre-event reception begins at 6:30 p.m. and the dinner/awards presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. Joining AIM in presenting the Missouri Industry of the Year Awards will be Joe Driskill, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development; and Tom Garner, publisher of the Mid-Missouri Business Journal.

On Tuesday, Associated Industries has reserved space on the Capitol lawn for a showcase event to bring additional attention to the Missouri Industry of the Year Awards and to highlight the contributions Missouri industry makes to the overall economy of the state. From 10:30 am. to 2 p.m., employers from across Missouri will display their manufacturing process and finished products to members of the Missouri Legislature, the general public, and to schoolchildren visiting the Capitol.

Associated Industries of Missouri is a 1,500-member business and industry trade association located in Jefferson City. The principal purpose of the association is to represent its membership before the General Assembly, state administrative agencies, the courts, and the public.

For Immediate Release

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MEXICO, MISSOURI -- Zenith Aircraft’s factory workshops have become very popular among first-time kit aircraft builders, giving them the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience in assembling their own Zenith Aircraft kit plane. At a low cost, participants get the opportunity to actually start assembling kit parts under the direction of factory professionals. Participants "graduate" from the workshop upon completing assembly of their own aircraft rudder tail section of one of Zenith Aircraft Company’s popular kit designs, including the new STOL CH 801 and ZODIAC XL.

Nicholas Heintz, Zenith's production manager and workshop coordinator, stated: "The workshop makes it very easy for first-time builders to learn all about building their own plane - they learn about the required tools, skills and workshop by spending a couple of days on actual aircraft construction. Our workshops really emphasize hands-on experience – with the philosophy that one learns best by experience."  Participants are typically surprised that they do not need any special skills or tools to assemble a Zenith Aircraft kit, Heintz explained, and that even first-time builders can expect to assemble the company's complete aircraft kits in a year (or about 500 hours). Heintz explained that the most effective way for potential kit builders to really learn about building a aircraft is to actually gain hands-on building experience. Builder workshops provide just that, and give participants the opportunity to "try before they buy."

"Builder workshops have become an important step in helping potential builders select a kit project," explains Sebastien Heintz, president of Zenith Aircraft Co. "Besides actually gaining hands-on experience, the customer gets the chance to visit the factory and meet the personnel who will support him or her as a builder. At the workshop we also give participants the opportunity to fly in our demonstrator planes."

For those that cannot attend the workshop, Zenith Aircraft Company also offers a comprehensive ‘Starter Kit’ that includes the complete rudder tail kit and detailed assembly instructions. The rudder takes about 12 hours to assemble (with only basic tools), and provides the first-time builder with an excellent introduction to building an all-metal Zenair aircraft, while actually building a control section for the aircraft. Heintz explained that the rudder horizontal tail section of Zenith’s kit aircraft is built the same way as the rest of the kit, and thus provides an excellent low-cost introduction to aircraft construction.

Workshops for first-time kit builders are scheduled for the following dates: [click here for workshop date].

For more information on the workshops or on the ‘Starter Kit,’ call Zenith Aircraft Company at (573) 581-9000 or visit the company’s popular web site:


Additional resources:

See Zenith Aircraft Company’s new ONLINE MEDIA CENTER with high resolution image downloads:

Zenith Aircraft Company
Mexico Memorial Airport
Mexico, Missouri 65265-0650
573-581-9000 Fax: 573-581-0011