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
My brother Matt and I recently visited the island of Guadeloupe in the French West Indies part of the Caribbean. Like many of you, I've enjoyed watching Zenith STOL float flying videos on YouTube: There are dozens of great video clips from Greek islands, the Alaskan back…
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
Earlier this week we were treated by a two day visit by the FAA's newly created National Kit Evaluation Team (NKET) to evaluate and determine that the STOL CH 750 kit, as produced by Zenith, meets the intent of the "51% rule" and to allow an amateur-builder to register the plane as an "amateur-built - Experimental" aircraft (meeting the "major portion" requirement of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations part 21, Certification Procedures for… Continue
Following is a brief report and photos from our flight to Sun'n Fun earlier this month: (Update: See my new video clips at the bottom of this post). To test the comfort and cross-country capability of the STOL CH 750, Roger and I decided to fly together (in one plane) to Lakeland, Florida, from… Continue
A sometimes overlooked part of the flight test program is calibration of the airspeed indicator (ASI). The airspeed indicator is (arguably) the single most important instrument we have on board our airplane, and it's important that owners/pilots make sure that the ASI has been calibrated (that it has been corrected for errors).
Indicated Airspeed (IAS) is the speed of the aircraft as shown on the airspeed…
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
As you all know, we've been busy making the producing the parts of the Upgrade Package kit, and now we're also busy shipping them out to builders and owners!
All the Upgrade Package kit parts and hardware shown above can be shipped in the two cardboard containers: One box (18"x12"x6", 25 lbs.) for the smaller parts and all hardware and one 6-foot long 4-inch cardboard tube (about 16 lbs.) for the longer parts. These package are… 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
After having positioned, drilled, and clecoed the upgrades to the center wing spar assembly, we now rivet the parts back together and bolt the two halves of the center spar assembly back together to reinstall it into the fuselage.
Here we begin to rivet the center wing spar assemblies back together using the "conventional" bucked rivets:… 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
Custom instrument panels are 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.
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.