Formed 1974 and currently producing the Zenith CH 2000 certificated two-seat Iightpiane (first flown June 1993 and delivered in assembled form from 1994). Also markets the Zenith CH-100 single-seater, Aero CH-150 and CH-180 (aerobatic variants of CH-200), Zenith CH-200 two-seat Iightpiane and Zenith CH-250 long-range version, and Zenith CH-300 (Tri-Z) three/four-seat Iightpiane (as variant of CH 2000), all built from plans and/or kits.
Zenith Aircraft Company is in the exclusive business of designing, developing and manufacturing kit aircraft. The independent, privately-owned company was formed in 1992 in Mexico, Missouri, centrally located in the United States, and is based in leased 20,000+ sq.ft. production facilities at Mexico Memorial Airport. Zenith Aircraft Company has acquired the exclusive rights to manufacture and market Zenair kit aircraft designs from designer Chris Heintz.
An aeronautical engineer, Chris Heintz is a graduate of the E.T.H Institute in Switzerland. After serving in the Air Force, Heintz worked for Aerospatiale on the supersonic Concorde jetliner, and later became chief engineer at Avions Robin (France) where he designed several fully-certified two and four seat all-metal production aircraft.
In his spare time, Heintz began to design and build his own aircraft, which he named the ZENITH, anagram of Heintz. His all-metal homebuilt aircraft incorporated simple construction methods throughout and after a little more than a year’s work, the two-place low-wing Zenith was rolled out and successfully flown in 1969. Soon after, detailed blueprints and construction manuals of the aircraft were drawn up and offered to the growing number of interested builders and flyers.
In 1973, Chris Heintz, his family and the Zenith moved to North America, where Heintz worked for de Havilland (in Toronto) as a stress engineer on the Dash 7 commuter. Chris decided to form his own aircraft company in 1974, and under the name of Zenair Ltd. started to manufacture Zenith kits himself from his two-car garage. Through the company, Heintz has introduced more than twelve successful kit aircraft designs over the years. In 1992, Heintz licensed the kit manufacturing and marketing rights to Zenith Aircraft Company for the STOL CH 701 and the ZODIAC CH 601 designs, and has developed the new STOL CH 801 and the new ZODIAC XL for Zenith Aircraft Company.
While Heintz officially retired in 2003, he is still very active as a designer, engineer and consultant.
1996: Huronia Airport, Midland, Ontario L4R 4K8, Canada.
PO Box 650, Mexico Memorial Airport, Mexico, MO 65265-0650.
By 1996, Zenair had a production facility in Mexico, Missouri, USA, headed by Sebastion Heintz (son of the designer, Chris Heintz)