ZENAIR ZENITH CH200 In the late 1960s, Chris Heinz was employed as chief engineer for Avions-Robin, a French manufacturer of light wooden aircraft. In 1969, he drew up plans for a small all metal aircraft. A prototype was built but did not go into production as Heinz left Avions-Robin in 1970. After emigrating to Canada Heinz rebuilt and developed his prototype further in a space in Nobleton Ontario. The Zenair company began operating in 1974 and the Heinz family began manufacturing the Zenair Zenith and marketing it as a home build kit.
Zeniths' were of simple design, cheap to build and economical to fly. Aimed at the weekend pilot, they were light weight, handled very easily and the all metal fuselage could withstand prolonged outdoor storage. Very soon, Zenair outgrew its surroundings and relocated to an airfield in Midland Onatrio where they still operate today.
Zenair (and Zenith in the U.S.A.) now produce complete aircraft as well as home build kits. The current version of the Zenith, the CH 2000, is a very successful aircraft, available complete or in a variety of forms as do-it-yourself kits. Alongside the Zenith are the sporting Zodiac off runway bush planes and the the Gemini CH 620 twin engine kit plane. Zenair's are now manufactured in Missouri, Georgia, and in the Czech Republic.
The Toronto Aerospace Museum's aircraft,'C-FEYC', if Chris Heinz's original prototype. Chris Heinz himself was inducted into the Experimental Aircraft association Hall of Fame in 1999.
Photo from Strannik.