Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Scott, if you like the HD model then get one. The Zodiac is a nice plane what ever model.
I don't know of anyone with an HD and Jabiru but I have a 3300 in my XL and it has plenty of power.
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. :)