Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
(690 Hours total time.)
(The following is my opinion) ...
I bought it, I built it, I maintain it and I fly it, but what the airplane's worth on the market? Six years down the road the general overview of my Zenith experience has been good. It has been a total learning experience that taking through purchase, transport, inventory, assembly, insure, top overhaul and flying. However, this does not address the value of my airplane on the market. I built my 601XL because of the designer, the supplier, the Quick build version, self maintainance and the information advertized at the time. When I first researched buying an airplane back in 2006 I took a very wide view and looked at many chioces.
I thought my fifty thousand dollar investment combined with sweet equity would produce an a/c worth approx 10K less than the certified factory built version of the same a/c. Through 2007 to 2010, a 601XL model was getting circa 75K on the market. Yes, factors such as IFR vs. VFR, engine size, and paint make a difference, but the mean value was around 75K. Then variablies out of my control came into play and adversely affect the market value. Of 6,000 sold and 3,000 flying, five world wide crashed. It is my opinion but the accidents follow our flight trainning that states all accidents are of more than one cause. Poor building, poor maintainacne and poor fliying are a deadly combo. After enjoying a lot of good publicity and model took a hit. Anti-Zenith Boggers got real aggressive and the fence sitters got of the fence in the other direction. Zenith themselves did not management damage very well either. Note that there have been no accident events of that type with this model since the B upgrade was introduced. However, after the fix was in the market value tanked. I can say this because I lived it. My airplane went from being a good investment with a high resale value to becoming a upside down market value item. While it seems that the fix of the wing took, it did not restore the model's market value. Since 2010, most built and flying 601XLs advertise @ circa 45K. Yes, there are exceptions but the mean value looks like 45K.
(Top overhaul, 2013.)
The next point of order is what engine one put in their 601XL. Put the Jabiru 3300 in mine basically because Zenith did. I took a ride and flow in thier 601Xl. While other engines were availuable, I liked the smooth 6 clyinder power of 120 horses and it's light weight. The Jabiru started better than any other engines and sounded great. My version of the Jabiru had hydraulic lifters which was an improvement in progress. But the Bing carby was in the end a problem for me and my Jabiru. It started great and seemed to run smoothly but it turns out that there was issues unseen.
Cooling, tuning at different altitudes and different climates turned out to be a problem. With the absents of a manual mixture control the Bing had issues. Some of the fixes were to turn the carby on it's side, dam the intake, divid the intake and fin the airducts, change the jets, etc. So, at 680 hours the engine needed a top overhaul because of stuck rings and carbined covered pistons ( low compressions & poor starts). I bought a Rotec TBI-40S and will replace the Bing.
(Rear-ended by Bi-plane in 2010.)
In my case, I flying over a hundred hours a year and fly year round. I think those 601xl / Jabiru pilots that fly fifty hours or less will get to my outcome deeper in the calender, but they will top overhaul early. Know that many of the parts are automotive and are time tens less expensive at the car parts store and with Jabiru. Do your research, do your maintainance and fly @ the recommended numbers.
(Airborne again, 2013.)
In Conclusion, Market Value is the only unknown about the 601XL-B model that is unclear to me. I think my airplane is priceless, but market value in my opinion is upside down. I would like to hear from other owners, builders, and pilots of 601XL-B about market value.