Greg Wilson
  • Male
  • Lismore, NSW
  • Australia
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Aircraft Model
Project Status
Nearly done
Building From
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No Experience
Flying Experience
Sport Pilot (or Ultralight)

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Greg Wilson's Blog

All done - now flying!

Posted on September 10, 2009 at 11:56pm 1 Comment

Well, I'm finished and my 601HDS is now flying well. The subaru EA81 motor hasn't missed a beat so far. It's using 13 litres/hour at 4,000 revs and giving 85 knot cruise. I haven't done a full power level flight yet to see what the motor's revving too.

I've had five flights so far for 2 1/2 hours. After I've done some more testing I'll fit the wheel spats to see hw much of a difference they make. They are very fat so I'm considering cutting a couple of inches out fo the centre of… Continue

Getting there slowly..........

Posted on June 10, 2009 at 7:07am 0 Comments

After some months I now have my Zodiac failry close to the state it was in when I bought it but now with the defects resolved. That means I've:

Removed Subaru E81 engine

removed all undercarriage

removed rudder pedals and steering rods

removed engine mounting frame

bead blasted, undercoated and two pack painted engine mounting frame

refitted engine mounting frame

refitted engine

replaced all crimp links in wires with solder joints (yeah, I know some… Continue

601 HDS Move radiator rearward or fit front undercarriage stop?

Posted on March 28, 2009 at 6:25pm 6 Comments

I am finishing a 601HDS that is fitted with a Subaru ea81 motor. The water cooling radiatior is fitted under the fuselage, close behind the front undercarriage. As there is no stop on the front undercarriage, it is possible for the wheel spat to impact with the underside of the radiator.

What is the best solution to this problem?

I have contemplated fitting a pair of steel cable stops to the front undercarriage to limit their travel and also to relocate the radiator… Continue

XL canopy kit won't fit HDS

Posted on March 3, 2009 at 5:20pm 5 Comments

Ron Saarinen (that I bought my plane from) has looked at a 601 XL and told me that I'd have to modify the firewall and instrument panel to fit an XL canopy kit to a HDS. I've ordered a front opening canopy kit for the HDS from Sport Air

engine out..

Posted on February 25, 2009 at 4:31am 1 Comment

So far I've removed the engine, rudder pedals and front suspension. Bead blasted and undercoated all these steel parts. I'll spray them with 2 pack this weekend.

The next job is to remove the main undercarriage. Getting hold of the loos nuts hidden behind the bungees inside the gear will be interesting. Once I have them out I plan to insert a threaded plate or weld in captured nuts and use star washers and locktite on the bolts to stop the loosening.

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At 6:16am on April 11, 2011, Dennis Hutchinson said…


Here's the redrive belt info that I promised you. It is actually a Opti-Belt OmegaHP belt.

The size is HTD880x8mmx60mm My source for it here in Indiana was through, US phone number 1-800-859-7659. Ask for a chap named Zack. He is quite knowledgable with the product. Check their website for contact info. As I mentioned before, there is a 2 piece minimum order, but the shelf life is long enough that prevents it becoming an issue if you replace the belt annually. To store the belts that are in reserve, wrap them with plastic sheet wrap (SaranWrap or equivalent), and place inside a 2-gallon ziploc bag with the belt on edge. Keep in a dark closed area that preferably stays relatively cool. The reason for this is to keep exposure to ultraviolet to a minimum while in storage. Ours is in a 2-drawer filing cabinet in the back of our hangar.


Good luck,


At 7:41pm on April 10, 2011, Dennis Hutchinson said…


Thanks for posting the link to the carb retaining spring fittings on the Zenair site. I'm sure there are plenty of Zenith aircraft fitted with Bing carbs on both EA-81's and Rotax 912's. The principal reason for the redrive belt failure was age. They are recommended to be replaced every 300 hours or 3 years, whichever comes first. The belt that was on our engine was at least 7 or 8 years old, assuming it was a brand new belt when it came with the Stratus redrive which was purchased in 2004. It sat on our plane for 5 years before we even got airborne. It was one of those things that we did not consider to be "old" once we actually started flying. Since then, I can assure you that all the rubber items on the plane have been replaced. Radiator hoses, bungee cords on the landing gear, and all accessory belts on the engine. We have decided to replace the belt every year at annual inspection, regardless of the amount of time accumulated that year. I am currently at home, and my purchase information for the replacement belt is at work. I will forward it to you tomorrow morning. We are now using an Opti-belt HP, which about twice the strength of the original belt, the drive teeth are reinforced with aramid fiber. They are manufactured in Germany, used extensively for kart racing in Europe, and require a minimum order of 2 belts. With shipping they cost me $125 USD. Not sure what they would run in Australia.


I went flying today, the soaring season is about to arrive for my region. Run into several decent thermals today, so I pulled the engine back to around 2300 rpm, slowed to around 50 mph, and climbed from 2500' to 4500'. Ended up putting 1.6 hours on it, but only burned a little over 4 US gallons of gas. (15.2 litres of petrol)


Thanks again for posting the link for everyone,

Take care,


At 8:39pm on April 8, 2011, Dennis Hutchinson said…


Sorry to hear that your Zodie is out of commission, but glad to hear that there were no physical injuries. Hopefully you can scrape up the funds to bebuild it. Are you still soaring? I remember that your principal reason for buying the Zodie was to cut the commute time to Warwick down.

I had a little unscheduled adventure with my 601 back in January. While flying formation with some friends in a Champ, all the teeth on my redrive belt stripped out and I was suddenly left with a very low performance gilder over a heavily residential area with about 1500 feet of altitude. Luckily there was a harvested no-till corn field within gliding distance, so I put it in there. There was no damage to the plane in the landing other than the frozen cornstalks knocking the paint of the front halves of the wheel pants. I had shut the engine off on the final approach to stop the prop. The field was located right next to a fire station, and the only damage that the bird received was from an overambitious fireman who managed to crunch the left trailing edge of the wingtip when he attempted to lift the wing. Ended up having to cut a patch of skin from the rear spar to the trailing edge out, and splicing a new piece back in. I just happened to have a video camera mounted on the inside of the canopy, so the whole episode was captured in 1080p high def video.

My son Ian is going to Australia with the Indianapolis Youth Chorale, a high school aged choir. They will be perfoming at the Sydney Opera House around the middle of June. They will also be touring up the east coast of Australia, but he does not know where they are going exactly yet. I will keep you informed if they end up anywhere near Lismore.

You said one of your carbies came off in flight. As I recall, you have the same setup as mine, a pair of Bing 64's. How were you advised to safety them up? I should probably do the same on mine.

Thanks for responding, take care,


At 6:52pm on April 7, 2011, Dennis Hutchinson said…


Haven't heard or seen anything about you in a while. How are things going with your 601? My partner decided to take a little runway exit with our 601, resulted in a new nose gear, rudder pedals, steering rods and one Warp Drive propellor blade. Actually the repair work produced a number of upgrades to the airframe, it no longer oil cans very much. I've put 165 hours on it in the last year. I am really enjoying it. How are things going with you?


Looking forward to hearing from you.

Dennis Hutchinson


Greenfield, Indiana, USA

At 11:11pm on June 26, 2009, Dennis M Hettrick said…
You commented before about front wheel pant hitting radiator. There are prints on this site for building a tow bar. The builder uses a shaft stop as part of set up. I am getting parts to do so. It will be an easy and cheep solution to this.
At 10:43pm on March 31, 2009, Dennis M Hettrick said…
I'll try soon. I am laid up with back problem but I expect to be there this week. I know it is about 1 1/2 " behind firewall about an inch space between it and bottom of fusalage. I think mine is first built in a 601,and I wonder what your muffler stup will look like. I am having trouble setting up carb heat. Do you have picture of muffler? Mine comes within 1/2" of nosegear parts. I'll talk with you soon.. Dennis
At 2:36am on February 25, 2009, Phill Barnes said…
Hi Greg.
Looks like all the hard work has been done for you.
I am still waiting on my new canopy so I'll keep you posted.

Phill Barnes
At 8:46pm on February 24, 2009, Zenith Australia said…
Great to see you on here!

At 5:00pm on January 24, 2009, Chris Sinfield said…
Have you got an HD or HDS or XL??

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