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I've heard it said the Cruzer is a better choice for a float plane. Talking to float plane guys, they stress being able to get off the water quickly is important. Seems like the STOL would do that better. I like the idea of going faster than a cub in the Cruzer.
Any real world experience or comments? BTW, i assumed if i'm building the plane, i'll build the Zenair floats too.
Bud,everything has a trade off , the 701 with 100 hp [ tuned intake] is probably the best combo , as my Zenith video shows I was able to get off at apx. 3 seconds on floats, some of the hopped up 912s motors could match it, but I doubt do it any faster , the actions of the pilot being the slow factor ,also if you would use the 914 motor at $5000 more you could match it but then you would need a in flight adjustable prop for cruise to make use of the added HP. the 750 takes longer as does anything without slats .The 912/914 motors are gear reduced motors and spool up immediately, unlike a direct drive , and the floats greatly effect the take off distance and cruise speed,as does the prop pitch , the shorter you want to take off the slower you will cruise , the shortest you can take off with the 900 series motors is if the prop is set to max RPM on lift off which is the slowest max cruise setting . we could discuss this all day but the truth is if you want to go fast build a 601 , if short take off is your goal build a 701 and if you will compromise then build anything in between , good luck ...BOB
Right on the money Bob. The CH701 is better than the CH750 simply by virtue of a lighter airframe. My "experienced" vote on available Zenith products as a float plane goes to the CH701.
Hi Bud! I am building a 750 on Zenair floats. While it is not yet completed, I think, from various observations, like-powered 750's and Cruzers will get off the water in about the same time and same run. Where the 750 (with slats) shines is once you are off the water, you can pull up, up and away to get over the trees at the end of the pond; you cannot do that with the Cruzer, it would stall. The slats do not take effect until you have a very high angle of attack....and are not effective while
in a horizontal position such as on the water. A 701 is a little lighter and might beat both out to get off the water and the slats allow for the high climbout. But like Bob said, there is a compromise to be made...the Cruzer will cruise faster in level flight, then a 701 or 750, all things being equal. This is based on observation only; I don't have hard data to support . Frank
Frank please update us on your build progress. do you have an on line log. where are you located?
Hi Bud! my CH 750 is about 85% completed. Rudder, Elevator, Stabilizer, Slats, Flaperons, Wings, Floats are completed and in racks. The fuselage (my second fuselage build, was not happy with the way the first one turned out, so I did it over) is completed to the point of putting the engine and instruments in, which I'm currently doing. I don't have an on-line blog, but will send pictures if desired. I am located in Lakeway, Texas which is a suburb of Austin Texas.
Gentlemen, While the CH-750 is light and gets off the water quickly one must ask "is that the reason for a float plane?"
For me a real float plane needs the be able to carry people and gear into the backwoods and then haul out not only the people and gear but the results of the trip. My personal choice is the CH-801 four place with a 1,000# useful load. This airplane can not only get you in but can also get you out after with a load! Generally speaking the 801 will weigh in at about 1240# empty and with a good 180HP engine and prop can deliver in the neighborhood of 800# of thrust to get you up on the step and out of the water LOADED! Now you have a really useful float plane, the rest are mostly just for fun! Granted the 701 and the 750 are GREAT FUN just not in mo opinion the best Zenith Float Plane! No offense guys!
Bob: I'm with you on this airplane quiz regarding apples vs. oranges.Picking a big enough pond to match the airplane's float performance is the trick before doing a splash down.
Only once, or ok maybe a few times I was counting the seconds to clear the trees at the shoreline while flying various aircraft.
I have been rassling with what type of wing I should build for my modified 750 which will live mostly on floats. Finally settled on a boring no frills, no slats, Sportsman type cuff, same chord, span and area as the 801. The 200 horse turbo Honda will be appreciated but the pondage calculations still apply.
There will be times that wheels or skis will be installed and I expect the takeoff performance will be hair straight back.
Should be flying by this time next year.
You could always take the extremely experimental option like we did. With flush bucked rivets/wet wings/strut faring and a lot of other thing incorporated into our 701's we were able to keep the weight to 612 lbs on wheels and with a UL350IS on the front we fly 78 knots at 2600 rpm on 5.5 gph. We should finish the floats this winter and have the power reserve to fly the same speed with the floats installed. At least I hope so as we intend to fly from Texas to Alaska and back with them.
Bud, the responses so far are good, true and realistic. The 701 STOL is the lightweight. The 750 is the STOL compromise for LSA. The 801 is the true STOL hauler. The Cruzer is what it is. The 601 is the long ranger. Getting up and out quickly demands a flight envelope that is fundamentally at odds to going fast and far. Build your plane for your mission. Ask all the questions you have.
Great answers as always... BUT remember, float operations are as much about pilot skills as plane performance....
Any airframes with enough power and floats will fly... but always be much better with the right rigging, powerplant, pilot training, etc...
Choose your mission, choose your airframe, choose your engine... make it a reality!
You guys are the best. Great responses and really appreciate your experience.
BTW, I'm not a float pilot yet, but really want to be. I love aluminum and rivet kit planes, Looking forward to the next build, hoping to meet some of you at Sebring and/or Lakeland. I can't remember seeing any of the Zenith's on floats in person.