Hello everyone. I believe the CH 601 HD has a bit of a gull wing structure. I absolutely love that design. I am considering ordering one. Zenith Air says they still sell a few and have the parts for it. Does anyone know a reason why I should not order that model?

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Thank you Jeff. The 100 hp rotax is too slow. I was wondering if the 120 hp Jabiru would spice it up. Do you happen to know of anyone flying an HD with the Jabiru? Thanks again

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.

Zodiac 601 HD Performance and Specifications

Compared to the CH 650 XL, I think you would be disappointed. Just my $.02.

Hi Stan,
As always, you are the go to guy for info. Your 2 cents are worth the next guys 20 bucks. I would like to put the Jabiru 3300 in it, see if that spices it up a bit. Do you know of anyone flying the HD model with a Jabiru in it? I'm asking at the Jabiru forum, but they seem awfully quiet over there. I also haven't heard from Zenith. Maybe I'll call technical support for their opinion as the sales people want to sell the 650's primarily I think.
Hi Stan,
Part of my decision to consider the 601 HD is for its super easy to fly characteristics. I haven't flown in some 20 years as we had discussed, and that was only about 200 hrs in high-wing Cessnas. Quite frankly, per our previous discussions, I have the "willies" about getting started again in a low wing light airplane. So performance to me isn't a huge concern. I figure that once I get some experience I could build some HDS wings to put on it for a bit more performance. I value your input and thought I would swing this plan by you.

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.


Aint that the truth; too bad we're not closer! Seems like a lot of Zodiac owners are in the San Francisco and surrounding areas. I only know of one person in my area, he is building a 601 xlb. And this is one of the busiest GA areas in the country! One guy owns a 750 at Corona but that is not what I'm going for. One RV-12 at Flabob, but it looks like he built it 2 months. There is a guy with a champ at Riverside and another guy with a sport cub at Cable airport, And that consitiutes the only LSA aircraft around, despite some 5 different EAA chapters!

One guy thought that it might have to do with the extremely congested airspace and the constant ATC communications required. 4 international airports in about 40 miles distance and umpteen other municipal airports. It's not really the environment that lets you just get in and fly around the countryside!

I probably will end up going with 601 HD, just because I love the design so much that I will be much more likely to push through obstacles to complete it. I'll be in the DC area to visit my parents in June and Jeff Davidson with the Jabiru outfitted HD model said I could swing by. So I'll start the rudder kit, get a feel for the HD and I can still build any one of the 601 models with the same rudder. We'll see!
I have liked the 601 HD for over 20 years. I think that it is a great looking design. Eight years ago I bought a 601 HDS. I like it very much but I am thinking about building a set of HD wings someday so that I could fly it either as an HD or HDS.
It used to be that you could get lessons in a 601 HD at Kitchener Airport in Canada but I don't think that they are offered anymore. I took about 6 hours of lessons there. The thing about the 601 HD is that it does not go very fast, my guess would be slightly less than 100mph cruise with the 100HP Rotax. Perhaps someone who currently flies one can volunteer some numbers.
Damien Graham
Thanks Damien! I love the gull wing appearance seeings how my all time favorite warbird is the F4U Corsair. I would put a Jabiru 3300 120 hp engine in it if that can be done. That should spice it up a bit.

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. :)

Thanks for this. I always hate to hear about crashes.

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".

Jeff Davidson


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