August 2012 Blog Posts (24)




A while back, my friend and former leader, Gene Kranz, gave a speech to the folks at Kingsville Naval Air Station.  As a result, he was invited to tour an aircraft carrier.  Not only that, he could also bring along some friends, of which, I was one.  Humbly, I must admit, we were considered distinguished visitors.


At first, I thought we would fly commercial to a navy base and board a docked…


Added by Chuck Deiterich on August 31, 2012 at 7:14pm — 8 Comments

Zenith Tech Support.... Awesome!

Zenith is a Great Company to work with! I have been struggling with the skin on my Horizontal stab. I happened to be working in Mo this week so i threw it in the truck and stopped by Zenith. Steve and Roger not only gave me tech support, but helped me get eveything just right. Steve also gave me several pointers and showed me some hand made tools that he uses for muniplating the parts. I Can't say thanks enough! Ok, I will Try Thanks Roger and Steve for your help. Thanks Sebastien for having…


Added by Doug Schmalzel on August 31, 2012 at 1:44pm — 2 Comments

STOL CH 750 Factory Demo #1 ...after the storm

Here's an update on our original STOL CH 750 Factory Demonstrator airplane, N750ZZ.  This is the airplane that was flipped over in the Sun'n Fun "tornado" last year.

First, let's review briefly:  This was the Zenith booth right after the tornado passed through at Sun'n Fun 2011 on March 31.  Even though this looks like a war zone, we thank God that no one was physically injured:…


Added by Sebastien Heintz on August 31, 2012 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

Grandson help

I moved my 601XLB to the airport a couple of months ago for final assembly. A week or so ago, I took my grandson along while I did some measurements for the seat cushions. He wanted to sit in the cockpit, which was fine by me. When I turned around, I found him making very careful, but of course meaningless measurements, along the top of the pilot side.

I don't think he really understands what we're doing, but I figure the early exposure to airplanes can't hurt anything.…


Added by Jim B Belcher on August 28, 2012 at 2:39pm — 5 Comments

Recovering from Oshkosh 2012

It is hard to believe that it is nearly one month since the annual pilgrimage of the faithful came to an end.   We are all back in Ghana, and busy getting ready to start 4 more girls from the bushlands on a 4 year programme of learning to fly, build and maintain aircraft, run an airfield and use a well as drive a tractor and a truck!  …


Added by Jonathan Porter on August 28, 2012 at 3:20am — 4 Comments

Jabiru Service Bulletin #JSB 033-1

On August 17 2012 Jabiru issued JSB 033-1. The subject is Piston Circlips. There are two types of circlips: type A and type B imentioned. The type A can cause engine damage and have been installed in some engines. The serial #s of the affected engines and a piston kit with invoice dates 10-Oct 2011 to 28 June 2012 are listed on the 1st page on the service bulletin. The affected engines have to be disassembled and type A clips replaced w/ Type B clips.

Added by charles hughes on August 27, 2012 at 10:17am — No Comments

How to calculate glycol Radiator needed to cool your engine ???


This is a very interesting question, especially if your engine shows signs of overheating while inflight...

I built a CH701 and, for the engine package, I decided to go with an auto conversion done by a pro.

The engine is a Subaru EA-81 reworked to produce 105hp at 5600rpm. It came with its matched redrive and it works pretty good.

The preferred water cooler for this setup is a radiator from a diesel VW Rabbit/Golf but I was told that something else,…


Added by Normand Lambert on August 23, 2012 at 1:00am — No Comments


Put the horizontal stabilizer issues aside and concentrated on the elevator assembly yesterday. Rib assembly is built and cleco'd. Tips are drilled but need to do some sizing on the hinge pins. Got the rear channel assembly built and installed. Should finish elevator next weekend. Will then resume work on the stabilizer. Looks like I'll be able to use A5 rivets where I have had some rivet removal damage, thus saving me from having to purchase a new stabilizer skin!

Added by David A. Judkins on August 20, 2012 at 7:07pm — 1 Comment

Trip Report #1

I really like reading trip reports, so here is my first trip report of hopefully many more. I have flown many cross country trips before but they were in my Beaver RX550 ultralight. This trip was the first long(ish) flight that we have taken with our CH601XLB. It was almost a year ago that Dave, Glen and myself bought this 601 from Howard Parr. Howard lives in Regina,…


Added by Joe Harrington on August 19, 2012 at 8:00pm — 8 Comments

Chasing perfection

Drilled and clecoed my right wing top skin yesterday. Today I turned the wing over, jiged it up and drilled the bottom skin. Rechecked all measurements with main spar at 9 degrees and both spars centered bubble level. All measurements were exact except one spar tip was off 1mm. I just can't seem to get anything perfect!

Added by Jim Palmer on August 18, 2012 at 9:14pm — 11 Comments

Preview: 2012 Zenith Aircraft OPEN HANGAR DAY and BUILDER FLY-IN GATHERING

Here's a preview of our planned activities for the upcoming Open Hangar Day and Builder Fly-In Gathering.  

This year we're celebrating the 20th anniversary of Zenith Aircraft Company, and this will be our 21st annual event!  Plan to join us on …


Added by Sebastien Heintz on August 15, 2012 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

1,403 mile trip to Solvang with return via the Sierra Nevada Mountains under God’s leaky parasol

Several of the members of EAA chapter 1230 (based @ Nut Tree - KVCB) planned a trip to the tourist town of Solvang in southern California.  I was invited to join in.


The town of Solvang does not have an airport, however the town of Santa Ynez near by does have a nice one (KIZA).  You can rent a car at the airport by prior arrangement.


We flew in to Santa Ynez on Friday. On Saturday we went wine tasting at a few of the many nearby wineries. Saturday evening we…


Added by Stephen R. Smith on August 15, 2012 at 10:30am — 3 Comments

Bob Barte builds a "sky jeep" in his garage

The following was sent to us by STOL CH 701 builder Bob Barte of Gustavus, Alaska:

Added by Zenith.Aero on August 14, 2012 at 9:35am — 1 Comment

Horizontal Stabilizer - Rivets Removed

After realizing I have rivetted the wrong side of the stabilizer first, I drilled out the rivets and removed the skin. At first, I thought I was going to be able to salvage everything, but upon closer examination, it is obvious to me that I have to replace the skin as there is too much hole damage in some areas from removing the rivets. It looks as though the spar and ribs are ok. Putting the stabilizer aside for now and starting on the elevator. May try to pick up a new skin at Open Hangar…


Added by David A. Judkins on August 13, 2012 at 4:30pm — 4 Comments

130 hours mods

Brought my plane home yesterday. We have spent 130 hours together learning how to fly. Due to some less than perfect landings a new main spring needs fitting. I have also decided to carry out some mods. I have never been happy with the fit of the bubble doors so I am going to fit some extra latches to hold the door better. I have also been looking at some of the mods done on this site and have decided to fit VG onto the elevator, ordered from Zenith. I am also removing the folding wings… Continue

Added by Gordon Watkin on August 12, 2012 at 5:59am — 2 Comments

Updated X-Plane Flight Simulator Files for Zenith Aircraft

February 14, 2013 Update:

We've posted updated X-Plane flight simulator files for both the STOL CH 750 and now for the Zenith CH 650-B!  The new files take advantage of great new flight simulator technology and are optimized for X-Plane X (version 10.20) which now support 64-bit computing power!

Let us know what you…


Added by Sebastien Heintz on August 11, 2012 at 9:00am — 23 Comments

Mountain Flying

I do not want to cast aspersions on anyone, but Steven might have been lucky during his mountain flying.  I have flown over the Cascade mountains, the Rocky Mountains, and such many times.  The fellow in the Cub was also lucky.  Here are some tips offered "free of charge".


Before flying in the mountains, get some introduction from an expert.  Mine was my dad, who among other things, flew the Hump in WW II, accumulated…


Added by William R Arnold on August 8, 2012 at 7:06pm — 1 Comment

Desert, mountain and river flying trip through California, Nevada, Oregon and Idaho

Les Goldner (701 builder/pilot) and his wife planned a two week flying trip into the Idaho back country.  Les and I belong to both the Petaluma EAA chapter and the Santa Rosa, CA EAA chapter.  We fly together from time to time.

Even though it was "his trip", Les let me plan the route from Santa Rosa, CA to Boise, ID.  I chose a little low-level desert flying in Nevada from Carson City (CXP) to Battle…


Added by Stephen R. Smith on August 8, 2012 at 12:42am — 12 Comments

My Big Mistake, My Friends

Hi All,

When my wife and I first visited ZAC years back, Shirley suggested me to buy the pneumatic riveter. I did not need one, I believed. Simple hand riveter should be OK with me. I would not do too much building/re-building anyway, since I'd…


Added by Chumphol Sirinavin on August 7, 2012 at 10:48am — 5 Comments

A HUGE Mistake

Began the final assembly of the horizontal stabilizer this weekend. Finished riveting the rib assembly and started to lay the skin on for the final time to begin riveting. But in an act that I can only attribute to carelessness or stupidity, or both, I layer downed and riveted the top side first. When I tried to pull the skin over the gussets, I realized I was in trouble. There is no way I can do it. I will try drilling out the rivets and salvage what I can, but my first attempts resulted in…


Added by David A. Judkins on August 6, 2012 at 7:14pm — 5 Comments

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