Hi Everyone,

I have narrowed my search for a kitplane down to the Cruzer or perhaps a 650.  I can't seem to find any posts or articles comparing or explaining why one would choose one over the other.  My mission is primarily 150 to 250 mile hops, as well as pleasure flying.  I live in near San Antonio, TX and will fly to Houston, Austin, Big Bend and Corpus Christie.  I know the 650 is faster, but comfort is also a factor.  Any thoughts?

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Comment by Jim Huckins on April 27, 2017 at 2:04pm

I'm at 1te4, Zuehl field east of San Antonio. I'll give you a call. My neighbor also has a 601HD conventional gear.

Comment by Allan Gratia on April 27, 2017 at 1:20pm

That would be awesome, Jim.  I am in Bandera, just NW of SA.  Where are you?

Comment by Jim Huckins on April 27, 2017 at 11:51am

Allan, these comments are spot on. If you want to check out each, we can sync up at my hangar. I have a 601 and 701. Ive flown both to East Texas (241 miles) and Port Aransas (133 miles). Really depends on how much time you want to spend. The cruzer is faster with similar visibility to the 701.

Comment by Allan Gratia on April 27, 2017 at 7:10am

Thanks, Joe. I had a Commanche 250 for awhile.  As funny as it may sound, it was a great traveling machine (read: fast), but I found I missed the simple joy of slow-flying around the patch at lunch, sometimes.  So, I'm trying to find that compromise of slow and easy, but also reasonably fast for occasional short cross-country trips.  If I have to get there fast I'll fly Southwest.  Zenith looks like the company, now I just need to demo each model.  Thanks, everyone.

Comment by Joe Harrington on April 26, 2017 at 10:06pm

Allan, let me explain what my perspective on the visibility from each of these models is like. The bubble canopy on the 650 is expansive for 360 degrees in a horizontal plane and from there up. You can see down, but much of that is blocked by the wings. On the 750 the down visibility is much better when looking forward and down. One can see up through the skylight but nothing like the 601/650. The 650 sounds better doesn’t it? Even when you sit on the ground in both of these models, the 650 seems so much better. The issue is that these vehicles are meant to fly and when you are at 6000 ft, where are you looking? You will be looking forward and down. That is where all the scenery is. When you look up there is a lot of blue and some clouds. It all looks the same. Realize that this is only my opinion and it won’t be the same as many on this forum and elsewhere. So, if you put more emphasis on travelling faster and less on looking at what is on the ground, then the low wing 650 might be the plane for you.

I trained in Cherokees and owned a 601 for 3 years but I have found that the high wing 750 suits my preferences better. I recommend that you fly for a bit in both. Sitting in them on the ground will not give you the full picture.


Comment by Allan Gratia on April 26, 2017 at 4:15pm

Thanks, David.  Guess I'll take my wife to Mexico and arrange demos.  I find a common theme that the Cruzer has better visibility than the 650.  Seems just the opposite considering the bubble canopy.  Guess they mean looking straight down.  Do you have a comment on baggage capacity on the 650?

Comment by David Back on April 26, 2017 at 3:45pm

You have to sit in both.  They are both very comfortable airplanes, yet very different.  One of them will put a smile on your face that won't leave and you will have your answer.

Comment by Allan Gratia on April 26, 2017 at 7:02am

Thanks for the comment.  I guess I'm going to have to demo each.  I haven't even sat in either one yet.

Comment by Joe Harrington on April 25, 2017 at 10:10pm

I had a 601 XLB and now I have a 750 STOL that I built and have been flying for 9 months. The 601 is more comfortable IMO for longer flights. I had to work at it to make the 750 as comfortable as the 601 but think that I have achieved that. The 601 is way more difficult to get in and out especially if your mobility is not the best. The 750 has much better visibility and for that reason it is the hands down winner for me. If you put more importance on in-flight comfort and speed, then the 650 may be your winner.

Comment by Jerold Ebke on April 25, 2017 at 9:00pm

Been flying my 650 for almost 2 years.

Love it like one would love their child. Blind to any shortcomings after an eight year pregnancy.

You mention comfort.

I have been unable to get a few people in my 650 for fear their less than good mobility would not allow them to get up and out again.

High wing would likely been OK.

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