I have some ?'s about the Folding wing option for the 701.The instructions that came with it are not very clear. Is there a site where you can find clear & concise instructions, and specs? I am building with the help of the homebuilt DVD's & I havn't found anything on the tapes about it.I have completed my rudder, stabilizer, & elevater & have started my wing skeleton. Before I get to far along I need to know if there is any prep to do for it.I would like to know the pros & cons of the option. I would like to have it but not if it effects performance too much, weight, payload, or other things I have not thought of. I would appreciate any advice or comments.
Hi Mason, I have just finished a 701 with the folding wing option and have had mixed results... Our wing and strut bolts are very hard to line up and so on, so much so that we have given up on the folding wing and are now sharing a hangar and keeping the plane fully rigged ! Rather than type furiously, I suggest we could either chat by phone or skype, and I will give you the longer version.... Having said all of this, I am sure that if a 701 is built to a professsional standard using jigs, the folding wing option would probably work much better. Cheers for now ! Andrew Beveridge (Perth, Western Australia)
Thanks Andrew, I talked to another fellow, and he has mixed results as well. I have a place to keep it, and I don't anticipate hauling it around much, so I am leaning towards leaving it off for now. I will keep the parts in case I need them someday.
I drove to Zenith Aircraft and stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express to get my wing-folding kit. After I brought it home in Thailand and read the installation instruction the first time, I left everything in the dust for weeks. I wished there were bird-eye view sketches accompanying the instruction. One very hot afternoon, I decided to drill and cut my airplane and by late evening I got it done. My main problem in retrofitting the kit was to install an AN 3 in a tigh place between the fuel tank and WING RIB ONE. I did not want to open up the top wing skin to install this one bolt. A home-made special tool saved the day. (You may want to install the under-wing attachments before riveting the wing skins.)
Next morning, with 4 helpers, I tried fold and unfold the wings for the first time. Frustration!!! Later, with experience and help of special tools to align the bolts and holes, folding/unfolding operation came down to 15 -16 minutes or less with 3 helpers, and no pinched blue finger tips anymore!!!
I understand many people reject/resent wing-folding for different reasons. I simply love to park my airplane, wing folded among my cars in the car port at home. I am re-building my airplane now and having wings disassembled for improvement. Yes, I will keep the wing-folding fixtures aboard when finished.
Questions are welcome to my e-mail box. I really hate it when webmaster deleted my posting and kept other people's of similar nature on.
See Folding Wings at STOL CH 701 Forum, where I posted this:
People see different pros and cons for wing folding. Here are mine:
On the positive side, I can keep my plane safe and sound at home and work on it at will. I can park it in my car port among my cars to be safe from annual hail storm. With a trailer, I can move it to school exhibition for kids sake, or to other public places to promote aviation. Parking with one wing folded attracts more attention and limits cockpit access to one side only.,,
Negative side? Plenty. More money, more work. Need a trailer to move on road. Need to lower the top door sill to accommodate the under-wing cross rube. Need 2-3 helpers at least (plus 20 minutes or much more) for folding/unfolding, RIsk from wind during wing folding/unfolding. More careful pre-flight items. Need 2-3 helpers to get it on/off trailer, in 5-10 minutes including tie-down to trailer. Some finds the wing fold fixture un-sighty, and resents the additional weight and drag. (I just shaved that weight off my waist and butt, and use the cross tube as a place for check-list. : ) ) Without marlinspike-like tool to align bolt-hole, there will be pinched blue finger tip(s) every (first) time...
After installing my new wings on fuselage (by this year end?) I may have complete suggestion and photos on the subject.
Mason - You may want to look at the CH750 design of the folding wing option. It seems to be a much better and easier task. The 701 option pivots at the front attachment and the 750 at the rear attachment. Good Luck. My opinion; if you have the space to park it forget the folding wing option.
Developed specifically for Zenith builders (by a builder) these videos on DVD are a great help in building your own kit plane by providing practical hands-on construction information. Visit HomebuiltHelp.com for the latest DVD titles.