We drove down to the Zenith factory in Mexico, MO Friday night. This was the weekend of their annual open hangar days - a great opportunity to meet some Zenith enthusiasts, see some other homebuilt 750s, as well as pickup on a Saturday rather than taking a day off work.

There was an incredible turn out for the event.

Here's a shot somebody took Sat morning with a drone

Here's a shot somebody took Sat morning with a drone

We pulled the truck up to the loading dock where the fuselage and dozens of boxes and paper-wrapped parts were waiting.

In addition to several crated section kits, there was also this beautiful 650 waiting for somebody to pick it up and give it a new home

The fuselage was assembled at the Zenair factory in Canada, and it seems they added a few extras that the quick build kit doesn’t normally include.  The door frames and stick were already fitted, and a second set of toe brakes included at no cost.

A surprise set of toe brakes included

A surprise set of toe brakes included

The entire staff, but especially Robin, were fantastically helpful. Robin helped ensure everything was loaded in just the right order to minimize damage.

 

 

 

Looks like somebody in a 650 demo flight in the background there

Looks like somebody in a 650 demo flight in the background there

This was supposedly a 20 ft truck, but they cheated themselves into an extra few feet with the above-cab compartment. Luckily the fuselage just barely fit, though we had to prop it up a couple feet to get the door to clear.

We split up for the 6 and a half hour drive home, me in the cab of the truck we rented in town, and Cara driving her car back. A couple of old walkie talkies made the trip a bit easier.

We got home shortly before sunset, and opted to unload everything right away.  We had everything either in the house or the shed within about an hour of nightfall. It wasn’t terribly difficult, but I’m not especially eager to move the fuselage again, at least not without an extra set of hands.

The next morning, between coats of paint while finishing the shed, I took everything but the fuselage out and rearranged.  We also built a mini loft, of sorts, to suspend some of the longer pieces just under the roof so we don’t have a mountain of materials piled on top of the fuselage.  It was time well spent, and now I can more easily retrieve and arrange things with less fear of damage.