STOL CH 701 receives
Zenith Aircraft Company has received Amateur-Build Aircraft Approval (ABAA #117) for its STOL CH 701 aircraft design in Australia. The STOL CH 701 is a two-place, all metal short-take off and landing aircraft.
The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority's (CASA) support in the STOL CH 701 aircraft approval process was excellent, according to the Australian representative for Zenith's designs. He attributed much of the confidence shown by CASA to the very high standard of construction technique employed by Zenith Aircraft designer Chris Heintz in the design and construction of the STOL CH 701, which was first introduced in 1986.
With the ABAA seal of approval, the STOL CH 701 now joins the ZODIAC CH 601 low-wing commuter and the other Zenith designs seen around Australia. The STOL CH 701 is capable of carrying around 275 Kg of useful load, climb out at 1,400 ft. / min at sea level and has a cross country range of 400 NM with the optional wing tanks. Its stall is 18 knots and cruise is around 75 knots IAS. With its 30 meter take off and landing roll, it is an ideal bush aircraft. With the skin being made of metal instead of fabric, it can be left out in the sun without fear of surface deterioration from UV light.
The strongest feature of the aircraft is its great bush handling, short field working ability and the rugged "jeep" undercarriage, making it ideal for Australian conditions. There are around 700 of the STOL CH 701's being built and flying around the world, where they are being used extensively in Africa for safari's and bush work where its STOL capabilities come to the fore. The rugged yet very light aircraft features a new tricycle all-terrain landing gear (ATG) and a new cowl design for 1997.
EAA Oshkosh Convention, August 1, 1996: Zenith Aircraft Company has introduced a new design at the EAA Oshkosh'96 convention. The new design, called the GEMINI CH 620, is a twin-engine two-seat kit aircraft, based on the successful ZODIAC CH 601 (single-engine) kit series. The retractable gear aircraft is powered by two 80-hp Jabiru aircraft engines (4-cyc., 4-cyc., air-cooled, direct drive).
The GEMINI CH 620 breaks new ground in the field of sport aviation. Until now, no affordable light twin-engine kit aircraft has been available, despite the proliferation of new designs and technology in the kit aircraft industry.
A twin-engine aircraft represents more than just additional power: The utility of a twin-engine aircraft increases - where night, weather and altitude travel take on added meaning and versatility - where flights over long distances are more likely to encounter varying weather conditions.
Increased payload capability makes the GEMINI a true cross-country aircraft for extended overnight trips (and additional panel space, especially space behind the panel, allows for full and complete custom avionics installations for instrument flight operation).
While designed by veteran aeronautical engineer Chris Heintz, the design is the first all-new aircraft developed by Zenith Aircraft Company, which manufactures and markets the popular kit aircraft line developed by Zenair Ltd., of Midland, Ontario. Far from being Chris Heintz' first design, the Gemini project draws on Heintz' vast light aircraft design experience. A veteran aeronautical engineer, Heintz has design experience from Aerospatiale and Avions Robin (France), and has introduced more than 12 new designs through Zenair Ltd., the company he founded in 1974. In 1995, Zenair Ltd. became the first (and only) kit aircraft manufacturer to certify an aircraft (the ZENITH CH 2000) with the FAA under the Small Aircraft Certification Compliance Program. In fact, Heintz already has twin-engine kit aircraft development and manufacturing experience: During the '80s, Zenair Ltd. marketed and manufactured the Cricket MC12 design, a diminutive twin-engine single-seat French kit design.
The prototype aircraft (serial #5-0001, reg. N6265N) was completed on July 15 and received its FAA airworthiness certificate (Experimental) the same day. Gemini project manager Nicholas Heintz states he has been pleased with the prototype development: "Based on our ZODIAC CH 601 series, the GEMINI airframe was really quite simple to build, taking just three months to put together. The finished prototype weighs less than we forecast, and powerplant installation was rather simple, despite the fact that there were two engines to bolt on."
Most of the flight test program has been completed, and the new design is making its first public appearance at this week's convention. Company officials have announced pricing and availability details for the new kit design at the convention.
The retractable landing gear has been disabled for the first phase of the flight test program, and the aircraft will remain unpainted until production fiberglass nose cone and engine cowls are installed on the prototype aircraft. A tricycle retractable gear is also being developed, to be offered as a standard option.
Background Info: Despite the apparent advantages to owning and operating a light twin, twin-engine aircraft have been inaccessible to sport pilots, due primarily to prohibitively high purchase and operating costs. Designed primarily for professional pilots, flying most twin-engine aircraft also requires advanced piloting skills for high performance aircraft.
Heintz designed the GEMINI to overcome the high costs and complexity associated with owning and operating a twin, while still offering the advantages inherent to a conventional twin-engine configuration, such as reliability, performance, low cabin noise, superior forward visibility, and increased load-carrying capability.
True to Heintz' design philosophy, the GEMINI takes a complex and costly concept and turns it into one of simplicity and low-cost: "The relative simplicity of the GEMINI will be key to its success as a kit," says Heintz: "It's easy to build, easy to operate, and easy to maintain, while being affordable to build and operate. Our 22-year experience in the industry has taught us to design aircraft for builders and sport pilots."
The 80-hp Jabiru aircraft engine was selected primarily for its reliability and ease of installation. Two factory-new Jabiru engines cost about the same as a single 160-hp Lycoming or Continental powerplant.
Zenith Aircraft officials optimistically forecast that the GEMINI will create a whole new category within the kit industry: "While in the planning stage for the GEMINI, we thought that there would only be a limited specialty market for a light twin-engine design," explains Zenith Aircraft president Sebastien Heintz. "However, since we've announced our plans, we've been taken aback by the tremendous amount of interest in this design. Our Internet homepage has generated a huge number of serious inquiries, indicating the market demand and need for a personal twin-engine aircraft."
Company officials explained that the kit aircraft industry has matured over the years and that many customers are now second or third time builders seeking a new challenge to take on: "The GEMINI is definitely going to be a big step up for many builders, but only a very small step up, if any, in terms of cost and building time and complexity." The complete kit will sell for under $20,000. without engines and avionics (around $40,000. equipped with the two engines and basic instruments).
"If initial market demand is any indication, I think we'll be seeing a lot of new twins at airports around the country in coming years, [but] they won't be business planes, [they will] be personal twin-engine kit aircraft." forecasts Chris Heintz. "Recreational pilots will now have a reason to get a twin-engine rating!"
Lakeland, FL, May 1995- Cypress Gardens EAA Chapter 229 of
the Experimental Aircraft Association announced it has purchased a ZODIAC CH 601 kit
aircraft from Zenith Aircraft Company for its Young Eagles program. The kit aircraft is
being built by Chapter members and area youths as an educational project, and once
completed, the two-seat aircraft will provide pilot training to youths (for only the cost
of fuel) as part of the EAA Young Eagles program.
For more information: Dick Gibbs, EAA Chapter 229 Project Manager; Tel: 813-967-8043
Zenair Ltd. is to be awarded the 1995 Honorary Group Diploma from the Federation Aéronautique International (FAI). The prestigious Diplomas are awarded to "reward groups of people (design offices, scientific bodies, aeronautical publications, etc.) who have greatly contributed to the progress of aviation or astronautics during the previous year or years."
The award to Zenair reads as follows:
The FAI is an international body made up of national aviation organizations. The federation sets standards for aviation activities worldwide and provides judging from an international viewpoint to determine the "best in the world."
Other recipients of the Honorary Group Diploma include the NASA Langley Research Center for their Airborne Wind Shear Sensors Team; and the Czech Republic, Ministry of Defense, for its help in the conduct of sporting competitions.
The award will be presented to Zenair Ltd. at the 88th Annual FAI General Assembly Conference, to be held in Sun City, S. Africa, October 6 - 13, 1995, with representatives from around the world in attendance.
"We're one of the oldest and most reputable kit plane manufacturers in the business today," says Zenair president Chris Heintz. "Through continuous product innovation, focus on the customer, and long-term commitment to sport aviation we've managed to succeed and grow over the past two decades."
Zenair Ltd. is a pioneer in the kit aircraft industry - with 20 years experience designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing light aircraft. With over 2,000 customers in 48 countries worldwide, Zenair Ltd. has been a leading player in the growing kit aircraft industry in both domestic and international markets, and is now a player in the light general aviation market with the recent FAA type-certification of its ZENITH CH 2000 design, an all-purpose light aircraft
Managed by Zenair-trained staff, Zenith Aircraft Company was formed in 1992 to jointly develop the certificated ZENITH CH 2000 and to expand Zenair's kit aircraft production capacity and market base. The U.S. company is based in production facilities at Mexico Memorial Airport in Missouri, centrally located in the United States to efficiently service customers across the country.
Zenair designs are manufactured of modern all-metal (aluminum-alloy) construction. A trained Zenair work force uses computer-controlled (CNC) equipment and modern production machinery, tools and jigs to produce quality aircraft parts, and traces parts with an on-line bar-code quality control, parts tracability and inventory system. Ongoing investments in production technology and employee training have provided premium quality and innovation, while maximizing productivity and minimizing costs to consumers.
Dedication to quality designs, manufacturing and support has allowed Zenair Ltd. to grow over the past twenty years - during a time in which most other segments of the aviation industry have declined. With the introduction of the ZENITH CH 2000, Zenair Ltd. has ambitious plans of becoming a major manufacturer of type-certificated trainer and personal light aircraft.
Follow-Up: September 26, 1995
Tom Poberezny, president of the Experimental Aircraft Association, writes to Chris Heintz:
From kits and ultralights... to certified light aircraft.
1994 marks Zenair Ltd.'s twentieth year anniversary in the light
aircraft industry. Founded in 1974 by aeronautical engineer Chris Heintz, Zenair began its
presence in the light aircraft industry with a single aircraft design, the ZENITH CH 200.
This two-seat kit aircraft was designed by Heintz during the sixties while he was chief
engineer of French aircraft manufacturer Avions Pierre Robin. The ZENITH CH 200 was an
all-metal two-seat low-wing monoplane, designed to be simple and affordable: Simple
because Heintz was an engineer and not a craftsman, and affordable because he was raising
a family with five children while building the prototype.
Mexico, Missouri - Zenith Aircraft Company, manufacturer of the ZODIAC CH 601 series kit aircraft, recently completed installation of a 100-hp Subaru EA-81 Stratus engine conversion in its popular Super ZODIAC CH 601 aircraft, introduced at Sun'n Fun 1996.
While performance tests are still underway, Nicholas Heintz of Zenith Aircraft Company was pleased with the ease of installation and preliminary performance results following a 2,000 mile round trip to the EAA Sun'n Fun fly-in in Lakeland, Florida: "In addition to the extra power and lower cost, I think customers will also like the serviceability of the engine, and the low-cost availability of replacement automotive parts."
The ZODIAC CH 601 is designed to accommodate a wide array of engines, ranging from 65 to 115 hp. Other than the standard Rotax 912 powerplant, customer installations include VW, Continental, Lycoming, and various Subaru conversions.
"We selected the Stratus conversion because we liked the simplicity, serviceability and attractive price of this conversion," stated aeronautical engineer Chris Heintz, the designer of the ZODIAC. "We believe this engine is an excellent alternative engine for the ZODIAC, which I designed for ease of construction and serviceability. We'll be offering a full firewall-forward installation for Stratus' EA-81 powerplant with an installed price of about $2,000 less than the standard Rotax 912 installation, further adding to the affordability of the ZODIAC."
The ZODIAC CH 601 series kit aircraft is a line of popular all-metal two-seat kitplanes. In its 12th year in production, there are three different models of the sleek low-wing aircraft available. Pilots can build the aircraft from complete kits (in less than 500 hours) or from component kits available from the factory. Detailed drawings & manuals are also available for scratch-builders.
WWW.ZENITHAIR.COM Awarded Ultralight Flyer's Pick of the Week for Jan 29 - Feb 4, 1997
From Ultralight Flyer Online:
- your webmaster has done an outstanding job in developing your web site. Because of the
high quality of your site, the Zenith Aircraft Company homepage has been selected as
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