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EAA AIRVENTURE (Oshkosh, WI - July 29 – Aug 4, 1998): New developments in aircraft engine design, which offer more power at lower weight, have created new and exciting opportunities for designers and manufacturers of light aircraft. The new Zodiac CH 601 XL from Zenith Aircraft Company is one such design, fresh off the drafting table of veteran aeronautical engineer Chris Heintz. This latest version of the Zodiac kit aircraft offers increased speed and a higher load carrying capability. The all-metal, two-seat design features a new wing and canopy design, as well as other new features. The XL model is powered by the six-cylinder Jabiru 3300 engine, a new 100+ HP direct-drive air-cooled aircraft engine from Australia.

"Since its introduction in 1984, the Zodiac series has become very popular with first-time builders and low-time pilots" says Heintz. "The new model is designed to achieve maximum performance and efficiency with the new generation engines: the Jabiru, the new 100-hp Rotax 912S, and Subaru automotive conversions."

The Zodiac CH 601 XL has a new airfoil and larger wing area than its predecessor, which allows the new aircraft to perform faster and with higher payloads. With wing flaps, stall speed has been kept low for recreational pilots.

The XL has been configured to take full advantage of its increased useful load: New and larger wing tanks offer a larger fuel capacity (26 US Gal.) resulting in superior range and endurance. The baggage area has also been expanded to 42 cu. ft. which is truly remarkable for this category of airplane. As with all other Zodiac models, the XL is available in either tricycle or tail-wheel configuration.

Complete kits for the Zodiac CH 601 XL are being manufactured at Zenith Aircraft Company. The kit manufacturer is currently in the process of doubling the size of its production facilities in Mexico, Missouri, and will host its 7th annual "Open Hangar Day" on Saturday, August 22, 1998.

Zodiac CH 601 XL Pages



July 29, 1998, Oshkosh, WI --  Chris Heintz, renown designer of the Zenith/Zodiac series of aircraft, is celebrating twenty-five years of Oshkosh fly-ins this year. A tireless promoter of light aviation and sport flying, Heintz has been involved in all facets of the industry over the past 37 years. Since 1973, when he first brought his prototype Zenith CH200 to the show, the remarkable engineer has given dozens of standing-room only forums at the convention, ranging in popular topics (for other engineers and novices) from advanced aerodynamics to aircraft construction as a family project. Active in setting industry design standards but also in prototype development and in manufacturing, aeronautical engineer Chris Heintz is recognized worldwide for his all-metal kit designs which have a reputation for ease of construction and operation as well as durability. Founder and president of Zenair Ltd., Chris is introducing one of his latest designs, the STOL CH 801 at this year's Oshkosh AirVenture. He can be heard and met this week at one of his popular forums (check EAA schedule) or at the Zenith Aircraft display in the North Outdoor Exhibit Area. Congratulations Chris, and thank-you.


Australian CASA Approves STOL CH 701

March 1, 1998, Australia:  The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) issued the Permit to Fly and Maintenance Release for the STOL CH 701 aircraft at 4.30 pm on February 27, 1998.

The aircraft was test flown on its conformation flight, at 7.00 am on February 28, by CASA's test pilot. His description on the General Remarks and Flight Operation were, "A stable/docile aircraft that is easily flown to set parameters. Excellent visibility and comfortable pilot seating...."

The STOL CH 701 is registered as a General Aviation aircraft in Australia, as a result of extensive work by the Australian dealers for the aircraft. This allows builders to place the aircraft on the general register; or alternatively, they may wish to construct the STOL CH 701 as an ultralight. By having the aircraft on the general aviation register, it has meant that all requirements have been met for the STOL CH 701 to be flown at any airport in Australia, rather than being restricted OCTA. The insurance on the aircraft is dramatically lower than for other products on the market; and this is attributed by the Australian dealer, to its ease of construction, availability of replacement parts and most of all, the extremely high safety record of Zenith aircraft.

The Australian STOL CH 701 will be flying from Alice Springs in Central Australia, to Narromine, in New South Wales, a distance of some 3,000 kms, to attend the national airshow.


Zenith Aircraft Company Expands Production Facilities

10/98:  Zenith Aircraft is currently completing expansion of its kit aircraft production facilities at Mexico Memorial Airport in Mexico, Missouri, to allow the company to meet increased demand for its line of popular all-metal kit aircraft.

Zenith Aircraft factory (10/98)   Zenith Aircraft factory (10/98)

Inside the Zenith Aircraft factory   Inside the Zenith Aircraft factory  Inside the Zenith Aircraft factory

May 27, 1998, Mexico, Missouri
Excerpted from the Mexico Ledger newspaper:

The Mexico city council approved an ordinance that sets up the funding for expansion of the Zenith Aircraft Company located at the Mexico Memorial Airport with $375,000 worth of industrial revenue bonds.  The deal will be at no cost to the city.

The expansion will double the size of the existing kit aircraft manufacturing facility.   The company pays for the building with a lease-purchase agreement.  The expansion will also involve the addition of employees at the facility.


New ZODIAC CH 601 XL named "Best Aircraft of Show" by US Aviator magazine

October 1998 - US Aviator magazine granted its "Best Aircraft of Show (overall)" award to the new ZODIAC CH 601 XL kit aircraft design by Zenith Aircraft Company in the November/December 1998 issue of the sport aviation magazine:

"Built for a welcome new generation of 100 HP engines, the XL is about as affordable and as accomplished as any aircraft in its class... and supported by one of the best companies it has been our good fortune to deal with... and a US Aviator ACE award winner at that."

"One of the finest sport aircraft in recent history has been upgraded and beautifully, we might add.  The CH 601 XL has been upgraded to accept either the lovely little six cylinder Jabiru 3300, 100-hp engine or the beefy Rotax 912S, 100-hp engine.  The XL also boasts a new canopy design, flaps, bigger baggage area, and more payload, a redesigned wing, and either trike or taildragger gear."

Complete kits for the new Zodiac CH 601 XL are being manufactured by Zenith Aircraft Company. Zodiac CH 601 XL Pages



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Zenith Aircraft Company
Mexico Memorial Airport, PO Box 650
Mexico, Missouri, 65265-0650 USA.
Tel: 573-581-9000 (Mon - Fri, 8-5 Central),
Fax: 573-581-0011
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