ZODIAC CH 601 Series Kit Plane




  CH 601 HD
  CH 601 HDS
  CH 601 UL


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The ZODIAC is a sleek and docile aircraft, ideal for both local and long cross-country flights. All ZODIAC models offer comfortable two-place side-by-side seating in an ergonomically designed 44-inch wide cabin. The huge tinted bubble canopy, which provides outstanding 360 degree visibility, is hinged on both sides of the cabin, to allow access from either side of the aircraft. Access to the cabin is easy over the 20-inch wide reinforced wing walkway on both sides of the cockpit, and facilitated by a ‘step’ located below the trailing edge of the wing.

"The Zenair shows that a relatively low tech aircraft, built traditionally, can still deliver hugely enjoyable flying and take you places for very little money."

- LOOP magazine (UK), August 2006

ZODIAC CH 601 HD / HDS Fuselage Assembly

The ZODIAC design is the product of extensive research and development, and the result of professional engineering by Chris Heintz, a leading designer of light aircraft. The modern ZODIAC design makes use of advanced technologies, while using proven design concepts and simple systems for easy assembly and maintenance. A professional design, the ZODIAC structure has undergone a complete and rigorous flight test and design stress analysis.
Developed for the inexperienced first-time builder and demanding recreational pilot, the ZODIAC aircraft is designed to be easy to build and to maximize flight performance and efficiency.

Simple systems, modern materials, and design ingenuity minimize required maintenance, and make the ZODIAC easy to build and fly, affordable, and very durable.

Wing Side View Schematic - Aileron

ZODIAC CH 601 WING The ZODIAC wings are made up of a single cantilevered spar with near full-span non-hinged ailerons. 

  • Click here for details on the "hingeless ailerons"

The CH 601 and CH 601 HD models use a simple constant-chord airfoil, while the CH 601 HDS and the new ZODIAC XL feature tapered ‘speed’ wings.

ZODIAC CH 601 HD Wing Assembly The high-lift low-drag airfoils provide an efficient cruise speed, as well as desired slow flight and gentle stall characteristics. Flaps are not required with the high-lift wing designs of the ZODIAC. The outboard wing panels can easily be removed in 15 minutes each for trailering and storage. With the wings removed, the fuselage fits through the door of a standard single-car garage and can be trailered. 
Click image on left for full-size view.

Hoerner wing tips have become a trademark of Heintz designs.   The tapered tips maximize the effective lift area of the wing while minimizing the wing span.

The wingtip is fitted with a fiberglass fairing to accommodate a wingtip strobe and/or navigation light.

The ZODIAC Wingtip

ZODIAC CH 601 Fuselage Assembly

The rear fuselage has a basic rectangular section with a rounded top. The bottom fuselage is flat, and aesthetically rounded at the front to join the sleek fiberglass engine cowl. The classic horizontal tail has a stabilizer and elevator, which is equipped with a standard electric trim tab.

All ZODIAC models feature a full flying (all-moving) vertical tail (rudder) section for maximum cross-wind capability. The all-flying rudder provides responsive rudder control, while also minimizing weight and complexity (there’s only one vertical tail section). Two rudder bearings bolt to the rear fuselage to fix the rudder to the fuselage.
The horizontal tail sections are made up of the elevator and the stabilizer.
The ZODIAC's all-flying rudder

The rugged landing gear may be configured either as tricycle (standard) or as tail wheel (a no cost option). Large wheels and a heavy-duty gear which uses dual ‘bungee’ shock absorbers provide effective rough field capabilities, while minimizing gear maintenance and complexity. The main wheels are equipped with standard hydraulic disk brakes, and optional wheel-pants (fiberglass fairings) are available to provide additional aerodynamics to the sleek aircraft.   Direct linkage from the rudder pedals to the nosewheel provides very effective ground handling capability.

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The large wheels, rugged gear, direct linkages steerable nosewheel, differential braking and excellent take-off and landing performance make the ZODIAC well suited for grass-field operation.

Ex-NASA chief Daniel Goldin checks out the ZODIAC and discusses the aircraft features with designer Chris Heintz at EAA AirVenture.

[Photo courtesy EAA]

Related Topics:

Grass-Field Operation

"[Chris Heintz] designs have earned an excellent reputation among pilots, builders, and aviation authorities for their durable all-metal construction, normal flight characteristics, reliability, and low maintenance."
     - EAA Sport Aviation magazine


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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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Zenith Aircraft Company: 2008-09-10