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Thread: Something old, Something New – Would a new non-Box Fuselage help sell more Zeniths?

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    Something old, Something New – Would a new non-Box Fuselage help sell more Zeniths?

    I have owned three Jeeps and I get it when Zenith says they offer a “Sky Jeep”. I get it when Zenith shows how Missionaries in Africa truly need a basic, rugged, and affordable plane. I get it when Zenith claims the box design is simple, very functional for ground clearance, and helps to manage stability such as yaw. Personally, I'm okay with the "box".

    But…. not everyone is all about rugged performance, and aesthetics may play a significant role in choosing a kit. Some may not be enamored by the boxy fuselage appearance. Would Zenith be able to attract a new cohort of customers if they offered a high wing in a new non-boxy fuselage form? There are some people who just won’t accept the aesthetics of certain aircraft designs no matter how good the other performance merits are.

    The boxy Zenith fuselage has served the company very nicely, and I am by no means suggesting it should be abandoned. It has performed remarkably well for 25+ years and should continue. But, not everyone wants a “Jeep” and many potential buyers are not doing missionary work in Africa. In fact there may exist a pool of new customers who may not be be all that heavy into off airport STOL, and may prefer an all metal high wing with speed. The 750 Cruzer directly addressed this performance niche, but did not introduce much of an aesthetic change. Fine for many, maybe less so for others.

    What I am leading up to is this. If company resources allow, would Zenith benefit and expand its customer base by offering a speed-friendly, non-boxy high wing design? I feel their 650 and SAM aircraft certainly look fabulous. Maybe an all metal Cessna 172/182 look alike with a priority on speed, and offering a different non-boxy fuselage would be an aesthetic package that would tap into a lot of new Zenith customers.

    Just food for thought.
    Last edited by Denali; 02-04-2018 at 12:47 PM.

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