This Q&A is now closed and replaced with a new Q&A based on the latest upgrade drawings at

To all 601XL and 650 builders and aircraft owners. If you have a specific question regarding the upgrade, post it here and I will consult with Chris Heintz so that we can give you the best possible answer. Please be specific about your questions.

When posting a question or replying to an existing comment, PLEASE add it to end of the last page.

Zenith Aircraft is upgrading its 601 XL, so a lot of questions are answered on the step-by-step Blog Posts on this main page.

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Can you tell me if I'll be able to pick up the upgrade kit from Flight Crafters in Zephyrhills, Florida ? That's where I got my QBK.


I believe that Zenith will be sending a bunch of upgrade kits to the different builder assist shops. I recommend you let Flight Crafters know that you want to pick up at their facility.
Hi Mathieu
I have uploaded some sketches of the simple drilling Jig I shall be making up.
I have not added any dimensions yet ,but once I have manufactured it I shall make the dimensions and photos available.
Those with experience removing long solid rivets may manage to do this task freehand ,hopefully this will
make it easy for those without any previous experience .
hopefully it will worked as planned.
I am sure there will be some out there that will appreciate what you are offering.
Mathieu and the Zenith guys

I want to thank you guys for the hard work and the updates as to your progress with getting us flying again.

But I'm curious,

You said the drawings will be ready soon and that there are changes to the draft ones posted. If the drawings aren't done and the parts from these drawings haven't been made, How can Flight Crafters and AMD start modifying airplanes so soon?? I'm seeing a number of notes that they are ready to start.

I'm noticing some people jumping the gun and making parts on their own. Great that's what home-building is all about. But aren't you concerned that there is not gonna be uniformity across the fleet??? with the drawings still in flux and a number of un-answered details, I'm concerned about things spinning out of control and critical items missed by some and casting additional doubt about the fleet.

So, can you give us a ball park as to when the drawings will finalize?? I have done the prep work and have gained access to the areas we are gonna have to modify but I'm waiting for final drawings. I also would be willing to take the parts as they become available instead of waiting for the whole thing to be ready to ship Say wing mod parts first, followed by the center spar mod parts and then the rest (if any)

Larry Whitlow
601XL /Jabiru 3300
I, too, am waiting for final drawings and parts. I have begun prep - draining gas, setting up shop for the removed wings, etc. I think I have read everything and I have not seen anything regarding the 601 canopy latch, Are any mods anticipated for the 601 latching mechanism?

On a related topic, I am in central Wisconsin.Zip code 53950. If anyone else in the area is planning on ordering the upgrade package and would like to consolidate to minimize shipping costs let me know. My e-mail is

Thanks for all your hard work.

Where are you located in Central Wisconsin? I am in New London.
Yes, there is a lot of things you can do right now such as:
- removing the wings and opening the wings
- removing the solid rivets in the wings
- removing the bellcrank "U" channel
- removing the center spar in the fuselage
- removing ALL the solid rivets in the center spar
- removing the rear spar attach brackets in the fuselage
See the Zenith blog on how to do the above.

Regarding the canopy latching system. If anyone is concerned that their system does not latch properly, install the extra safety system proposed by the Australia CAA. If your canopy does open in flight, follow the safety procedure in the AMD POH manual.
Has anyone considered replacing the 4 pieces of .25*1.5 aluminum bar inside the carry through spar with something thinner. This could be 1/8 4130 or 1/8 6061 with an additional pice of 1/8*1.5 on the outside of the sheet metal cover. This would give an additional 1/4 inch of clearance inside the carry through spar to place the root doubler in. Just a thought.

In my mind a very good idea! The 15mm flanges of 6-ZU-1,2 could than be made longer and clamped (riveted) between the bars.
Mike, we have addressed the extra space needed in the center spar for the 1/8" doubler. You will see this in the updated drawings. Also, we are trying to not mix different metals together in the spar area.
Yes, this could be done but when you see the new drawings, you will understand why we are not doing this. I believe that we have this all worked out.


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