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Sorry if this is all spread out. I typed it on my computer and the margins must be
Justin, Since you already have some experience with sheet metal and have spare
time, I would think you could easily build the plane in three years. BUT, lots of things
play into building one and so it's hard to say how long it will take you. My first build
was fast because I have lots of tools, a nice shop close to the house and am half
retired so I had plenty of time all winter to work on it. I also saved up and purchased
everything at the factory for my stol 750 all in the first trailer load, except the avionics.
Since I was 68 yrs. old, I didn't know how long it would take so I also bought the
quickbuild fuselage (which I would never do again) and the UL350 engine, ready to
install. Anyway, I built it in 6 months and about 650 hours, including painting and
instrument panel. Together the painting and panel took over 100 hours. Those
650 hours did not include evenings I spent reading and studying. For instance,
I installed a Garmin instrument panel and had no idea, at first, how to wire it. It's
a lot easier the second time around.
The 650 will take me two years, as I am not in a hurry and also still spent most
of the summer farming. So, back to your question - there are just lots of variables
including the size of your workspace, is it at the airport where you have to drive
to, will you buy the kit all in one, do you have lots of tools (it takes more than just the
basic sheet metal tools). With the 650 I didn't get the engine and all of the kit so
making some of the pieces, ordering things and waiting to get them, etc. all takes
longer. Us older people probably are slower than young people (I spend lots of time
looking for the tool I just laid down!) but if younger people often have kids, ball games,
demanding jobs, etc. that all plays in to how long it will take you.
I am also helping build a Zenith Cruzer at the local EAA chapter and it will take
us three years, or more, to complete because we are teaching kids to drill/rivet, etc.
and only one Saturday a month so it's going slow.
If you get to building, I would love to fly down to Wellington and check out your
build. Do you have other airplane enthusiasts to help? I would also take you for
a ride in my 750, which I really like. I have flown the 650 and like it also, but the
visibility and performance with the 130hp UL engine is really awesome.
Lots of guys on here have more experience and knowledge than me and many
will help you and you can ask me anytime and I'd try to help. I have asked a
few questions that I thought were really dumb, but probably the same question
had been asked several times. :) Roger, at Zenith is great at answering questions
Hi Justin, welcome to the Zenith forum. I live at Wamego, KS and am building a
CH-650 also. It’s my second Zenith build in three years and I fly my stol 750.
Anyway, I am retired and plan to sell the 650 and build maybe a 701. I have
most of the 650 built and just now starting the instrument panel. It’s for sale,
if you would be interested or know someone who might be. Enjoy your build
and lots of info on here from other builders.Robert
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