Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
I too feel that it will prove troublesome, there have been many failures with the stock gear on bad landings on the nose wheel causing it to collapse. This doesn't seem as strong as the stock gear and may be more springee? Don't get behind the power curve for sure. Time will tell ,good luck.
One observation; this appears to be a 750. Note the windows. Doesn't change the conversation regarding the gear.
With the original 750 bungee system, Zenith had a welded ring to act as a stop should the bungee snap and with the newer puck system, compression of the strut is limited. Looks to me with this swiveling system, the "suspension" is provided by gear leg flex and if it flexes just a bit too much, a prop strike could easily occur - there's simply no fixed limit of deflection of the nose wheel.
I was interested in what happened to that 701/750 with the O-200 engine. Who designed the nose gear and what material is it made from etc. Did it ever get flying and what type of service did it have.
Experience has been with both type of steering systems - (owned) Vari-Eze, Long-EZ, Cessna 172 and Piper Colt. I have built and fly a CH-601xlt. The Zenith's steering is on the bottom of the list. That is why I was interested in that airplane
Dick Jones builder/pilot of N624RJ
It's not clear if you are asking about this specific plane - or about the design in general?
I have no idea, and have never heard, of this plane. but if I had to guess I would say if it hasn't had a nose gear collapse, one is in its future...
As far as the design goes, this is not an ideal off-airport design. The Vans RV's have proven this. I would say this is especially true for the 701 since a getting behind the power curve can result in a hard landing. This design does not lend itself to any kind of abuse or hard landings.
A heavy O-200, like in the picture, would just exacerbate the problem.
Totally agree with Gary...but if you're convinced you want this type of nose gear there is a product developed for nose wheel Van's aircraft that would appear to fit this type of nosewheel. But I still think it's not a good idea:
What Gary and Don said. Kathryn's Report: Van's RV-6A, N9136R: Accident occurred January 29...
Note the nose gear folded backwards. When (not if) you make your first "carrier landing" in your Zenith STOL you will be thankful you stuck to the plans for the nose gear design, to include tossing that old shock ring bungee that came with the kit back a few years ago when you bought the kit, and installed a fresh new one right before hanging the engine.
Kevin Beriault replied to your discussion "What happened to the 701 with swiveling nose gear ?" on Zenith Aircraft Builders and Flyers
I used a system inspired ibis in use in Columbia , it consist of a 50mm shaft a coil over spring , had to re enforce and enlarge the upper receiver and lateral pcs ... see attached pics , this allows me to adjust preload and do away the with bungee , it works very well