Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Scott, the 601HD is an older design with a very different (thicker) wing airfoil (NACA 65018 mod.) and a lower gross weight (1200 pounds) than the 601XL/650XL models.
Compared to the CH 650 XL, I think you would be disappointed. Just my $.02.
Scott, I wish we were closer so could give you some time in my 601XL; I think you would find it really easy to fly. I do understand your apprehension, though.
The CH750 Cruzer probably flies more like Cessnas than the Zodiacs, although all of the Zenith models have a reputation as great handling, easy to fly airplanes.
Scott, looking through the FAA registration database, most of the CH601HDs have Rotax, Subaru, Continental O-200, and Lycoming O-235 engines. The Rotax engines are the most popular by far in the CH601HD airplanes on the registry.
I found only one with a Jabiru 3300 engine installed:
N601T, Herndon VA, Registered to Jeffrey L Davidson
There was a Jabiru 3300 powered HD for a time, but it was destroyed in a landing accident in a town near me.
The owner has a page here, not sure if he's still active:
As others have said, the HD is never going to be a speedy plane, even with more power. There's just too much drag from that thick wing, but that's part of its charm I guess. :)
Yes, my 601 HD has a solid lifter Jabiru 3300 up front. It climbs great but doesn't fly any faster that I can see. My installation is probably not tuned as well as it could be. I used the FWF package from Pete without any real problems. I have dual throttles. I beefed up the firewall with both the HD braces and the then current XL braces. The XL later added even more bracing along the shelf, but I haven't had any problem there. I also used the XL canopy. My plane is hangered in Warrenton, Virginia. There are some videos on youtube. Search for "N601T".