The following article was published a few years ago in Kitplanes magazine. While all of us may not agree with all of the author's observations, it's shared here to help Zenith builders, owners and pilots increase their awareness of safety issues in operating their homebuilt kit plane. We invite you to share your comments below.
In a letter dated June 24, 2011, Terry Allen, manager of the FAA Production and Airworthiness Division, stated that the Evaluation Team determined that the kit will “allow an amateur builder to meet the major portion requirement of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations part 21, Certification Procedures for Products and Parts, § 21.191(g),” known as the…
After the January workshop I am now the proud parent of a bouncing baby rudder! It may not be cosmetically perfect, but I would be willing to fly with it. I learned a lot at the workshop, and had a chance to fix some mistakes w/o it being a disaster. The basic skills were easy to pickup, and it was helpful to have the Zenith folks nearby for questions. I pretty much feel like I can build a Zodiac 650B. The biggest challenge is probably clearing & heating the garage and setting up a…
I read the following story (about a story in the New York Times, no less) about a Zodiac builder and his love of flying. Isn't it great to read some good news about aviation and flying, especially in a non-aviation publication?…
We recently had the chance to give Steve Flattum the opportunity to test fly our factory demonstrator Zodiac CH 601 XL B (upgraded model). Steve flies for one of the major US airlines and has logged more than 20,000 hours. More importantly though, he has a passion for light aircraft, and he has flown more than 100 types of aircraft (from ultralight to supersonic) and performed more than 20 first flights. He holds a professional pilot degree and is a… Continue
With the advent of the upgrade package for the Zodiac CH 601 XL, owners
have asked for a way of easily identifying and marking an upgraded
aircraft, and a consensus quickly formed that a "B" model designation
was the preferred way of identifying an upgraded aircraft (applying to
upgraded Zodiac CH 601 XL and CH 650 aircraft models).
We've prepared quality cut-out decals for the aircraft: We encourage all affected builders who have… Continue
I just got back from a week at First Light Aviation Group in Livermore, California with Rick Lindstrom & Rich Vetterli. I went down to help them with the Upgrades on their Corvair powered CH601's. We had a great time and made excellent progress on both airplanes. Rick Lindstrom will bring his airplane up to our booth at the Arlington Fly-in this year July 7th- 11th, so feel free to stop by and see his bird and talk to us about the… Continue
First I want to start by saying some stuff was missing. One set of seats and wing root fairings. I made my seats and the wing root fairings will be Carbon Fiber, maybe 10 pounds total. From the beginning I concentrated on building light. No wheel pants. Jabiru 3300 with a custom FWF. Grove gear. Wood propeller.
Second, I had Arnie the A&P at U76 use his certified scales.
Empty weight: 686 pounds Left wheel: 231 pounds Right wheel: 219 pounds Nose wheel: 236… Continue
We've had lousy flying weather in Mexico, Missouri lately (which is really not that typical), so when the sky looked OK this morning Roger and I pulled out the upgraded Zodiac XL for a pleasure flight...
Here's the video:
It was a cold and windy day... but clear and sunny, so we flew our beloved Zodiac XL demonstrator airplane this morning.
Today's flight comes after the downtime of installing the Zodiac XL upgrades which we've been chronicling here over the past five or six weeks. All of you that have been following this series will agree that the upgrade package kit that we… Continue
Continuing on where we last finished, now we re-install the "upgraded" wing center spar section into the fuselage and position additional fuselage doublers:
First we installed the beefed-up Front Wing Uprights (6-ZU-2-6). This replaces the original Wing Uprights (6B13-1) with the heavy duty .125-inch Front Wing Uprights. We are forced to drill a new row of holes parallel to the original row for the new… Continue
Continuing where we left off yesterday, now we install the mass balance to the ailerons. Since this was mandated by the UK LAA earlier this year for Zodiac XL owners there, we used their drawings (which was engineered and tested by the LAA), as specified in the AMD Safety Alert.
The aileron mass balance consists of an 18-inch arm… Continue
With the main wings done, we now focus on the aileron upgrades.
The aileron upgrades consist of three separate items: Aileron gussets (65W2-5 and 65W2-6) on the aileron ribs, L-angle stiffeners for the aileron trim servo, and finally, aileron mass balance. Above, the right aileron is shown. Below is the left aileron.
Our demonstrator Zodiac CH 601 XL airplane has the original "hingeless" aileron system - many customers have the hinged… Continue
Custom instrument panelsare now available directly from Zenith Aircraft Company exclusively for Zenith builders and owners. Pre-cut panel, power distribution panel, Approach Fast Stack harnesses, Dynon and Garmin avionics, and more.