Has anyone done this.  I just bought a 601XLb and would prefer dual sticks.  The kit is available...how much work?

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The single to dual stick kit is available. They come for sale from time to time and I think available from Zenith too. Mine came with dual sticks and I put the single center stick in. You should be able to swap the dual stick in to an already built airplane. The center stick is very handy and I found the dual sticks to be a big hassle for me to get in or out of the airplane. I couldn't get full aileron travel without hitting my knees. The center stick (I cut the "Y" off) just takes wrist action and is great. My opinion anyway.

But, I find the Y stick loses the use of my right hand for radios etc.  Why I was looking at the Dual sticks.

Yes, that's right. I placed my MGL radio directly in front of me and the transponder under that. Throttle on the left and Dynon Skyview a bit left of center. Works out ok.

Jim, I have zero time in a 601/650 so take this advice for what its worth. 

In my 701, I find most of my flying occurs with my wrist relaxed in the crook of the "Y" which leaves my fingers free to reach out to control my electric flapperons, adjust the radios, etc.  I'm not sure how much you've flown the 601 with the "Y" stick but might suggest giving the plane an honest 5-10 hour shakedown before deciding to change out the stick.  Some people legitimately can't stand the "Y" stick but many find it disagreeable because it looks unconventional.  If you fall into this latter category, you should give the "Y" a try before discarding it.  Myself and many long time Zenith drivers love the simplicity and ease of access the "Y" stick allows.

Congrats on getting yourself a new plane.

Doug M

CH-701 flying

Cruzer Building from scratch

I don't like the feel of the y in the center stick...it is awkward for me when pushing the stick to the right....I noticed you said you cut the Y off and I was thinking of doing that also...did you lengthen the center straight part of leave the stub....do you find the control too heavy for a short stub or is it fine while flying and landing

Hi Jim,  I'm curious what you decided to do with the "Y" stick.   I'm looking at buying an 801 with a "Y" stick and I too am concerned about the ability to switch freqs and transponder codes or anything else on the center or right side.    Any comments?

Thanks in advance,


Something else to think about - if you put the throttle in the center and go with individual sticks, you may not have a lot of elbow room to operate the stick freely since the arm that is against the fuselage side is the one operating the stick. Me, I like the freedom of movement that the center stick gives me. 


I much prefer the single center stick. I cut off the Y and mounted a grip on the stub. Wrist action is all it takes.

Looks good...i'm going to give it a try Louis....

A third option would be the method that Steve Wittman came up with for his Tailwind design.  It's a variation of the Center Stick, but instead of ending in a "Y", it continues and arches down to the position that your hand would grip if using dual sticks. 

Pictures showing more details are here:  https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/kitspages/alexfrizzell.php

- Pat

A third option would be the method that Steve Wittman came up with for his Tailwind design.  It's a variation of the Center Stick, but instead of ending in a "Y", it continues and arches down to the position that your hand would grip if using dual sticks. 

At least one of our forum members has done something similar which worked very well ... however, I can't remember who or find the post, but hopefully somebody will recall this mod, see this discussion and chime-in!

Having moderated the forums for several years, I can certainly attest that "single stick vs dual sticks" is always one of the hottest, most-debated topics! It ranks right up there with other great controversies such as "high wing vs low wing" and "Ford vs Chevy!"  ;>)

The bottom line is that if at all possible, spend a little time with both systems and see which one works for you.  The Y stick eases cockpit ingress/egress and the dual sticks, combined with a center or console-mounted throttle, obviates the need for dual throttles when either seat occupant wants to fly.  Restriction of stick movement with either system will vary wildly from pilot to pilot based on their height/leg length and weight.

In my STOL 750, the dual sticks work well for me (5'9" 155 lbs) since I can rest my left arm in my lap and fly with near-fingertip pressures (the dual stick excursions are usually very small in normal flight maneuvering) and my  "good" dominant right hand is free to operate all the "knobology" (a term a F-18 pilot once used to describe working all his instrument panel's knobs and buttons!) and touch-screens which are now so prevalent.

On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with the Y ... it's just different!  I've flown Y's a few times and found I quickly adjusted to it.  But like I said, try both and go with what works best for you!




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