ZODIAC CH 601 Series Kit Plane




  CH 601 HD
  CH 601 HDS
  CH 601 UL


Design Info

Kit Construction

Kit Info

 Photo Galleries 


The Cabin

Engine Info

Instrument Panel

Building & Flying

Pricing Information

Drawings & Manuals

Introductory Starter Kit

Press Reviews

FlightSim Files

Builders on the Net

Building & Flying in Seven Days!

Virtual Tour

Subscribe to Mail List
Your Email:

Follow us:
Zenith on facebook

RC Scale Model

Builds & Flies the ZODIAC

ZODIAC Information Kit
For More Information...



The underlying philosophy behind the ZODIAC kit is to provide the builder with everything needed to complete the airframe - without the need for special skills or tools. The complete ZODIAC airframe kit requires about one year (or about 400 hours) to build.

The detailed ZODIAC Drawings and ManualsAll you need to get started is a level workbench and basic hand tools. The detailed DRAWINGS & MANUALS guide the builder through the kit assembly process. The Drawings and Manuals supplied with the complete kit are not just instructions (as with most kits) but are detailed blueprints of the complete aircraft.
       [View AutoCAD Drawing Samples] [Sample Drawings]

Actually, a ZODIAC builder is really assembling the kit from quality parts and components supplied in the kit. All components, parts and hardware are supplied - labeled and numbered for easy identification. Every bolt, fastener, and rivet is supplied; from the propeller spinner right down to the rear fuselage tie-down bracket.

Center Wing Assembly
Click here for an animated drawing of the wing assembly

The airframe kit takes an average time of just 400 hours of straight-forward and basic assembly work to put together using only simple tools, such as an electric hand drill, a hand rivet puller, 'Cleco' temporary fasteners, a set of wrenches, a few hand files, sheet-metal snips, etc.

ZODIAC Fuselage (assembled)

Importantly, virtually no jigs and fixtures are needed in the building process, as all sections are built up from the flat workbench. A bending brake, shear or other machinery is not needed, and assembly is easily done in a single car garage or basement workshop.

basic hand tools

  • BASIC HAND TOOLS: Tape Measure, Electric Hand Drill, Hand Rivet Puller, Cleco Temporary Fasteners, Sheet Metal Snips, Hand Files, etc.
  • Related Topic: Required Tools & Workshop

sample workbench

ZODIAC CH 601 Series DesignWhile previous aircraft building experience and sheet-metal skills are always an asset, the kits and assembly instructions have been developed specifically for the inexperienced novice builder. In fact, an overwhelming number of ZODIAC builders are building their very first aircraft ! The simplicity of construction, quality of parts and components, and the completeness of the kit translates into low build-times and a very high kit completion ratio, even for novice builders.

The ZODIAC kits meet the requirements for amateur-built (experimental) categories in the United States and Canada, as well as in most countries around the world. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has determined that ZODIAC kits meet FAR section 21.191(g), making them eligible for amateur-built registration.

"A tour of the factory demonstrates the work which goes into producing a kit. Using state-of-the-art fabrication techniques, the skilled staff produces all kit parts with special attention to detail. All parts supplied in the kit are ready-to-assemble." - CANADIAN FLIGHT

AutoCAD rendering: ZODIAC CH 601 HD NoseribIn the kit, all the wing ribs and fuselage bulkheads are supplied pre-formed. For example, the internal wing ribs are first press-formed, with lightening holes cut and flanged, and then hand finished at the factory for a perfect ready-to-install fit. The strong wing spars comes complete with all solid (bucked) rivets already set by factory professionals.
Surface skins - wings, ailerons, elevator, rudder, and fuselage - are ready for fitting, and many flat skins are supplied pre-drilled to minimize construction time.

Pre-assembled parts (such as the wing spar) are factory-treated with zinc-chromate primer for maximum corrosion resistance. Welded parts, such as the engine mount, control assemblies, and fuel tank, come factory welded and ready to install.

Zenith Aircraft's kits are complete: landing gear, wheels, fiberglass wing tips, control systems, welded aluminum fuel tank, etc., are standard equipment in the complete airframe kit. Every part, component and sub-assembly is made only from quality materials, passed through a strict quality control program before being shipped to the customer. With the addition of the 'firewall-forward' Rotax powerplant and instruments package, the builder gets everything needed to build and fly the ZODIAC. The only items not included in the kit are the exterior paint, cabin upholstery, and battery.

ZODIAC: Installing the nose ribs to the main wing sparA ZODIAC builder can start assembly right away after taking delivery of the kit. Working from a flat table, the builder can immediately begin to build the wings - simply by measuring, drilling and riveting, and thus progress through the whole airframe section by section, aided by the detailed blue prints, step-by-step manual and visual photo guide supplied with the kit. Building an all-metal ZODIAC kit is straight forward, requiring no complex jigs, and no messy (and hazardous) doping or epoxy work is involved. With the proven and simple all-metal construction technique, the ZODIAC builder does not have to worry about having a temperature controlled dust-free workshop environment, and does not have to mix compounds and wait for parts to cure.

Parts Manufacturing at the Zenith Aircraft factory:

Using the CNC router to pre-cut and pre-drill fuselage skins

Zenith's new 12-ft x 4-ft CNC router table allows for more prefabrication and pre-drilling of kit parts.

Click here to view a video clip of parts manufacturing with the CNC router (3 min. / 5.75 mb).




Stamping the wing ribs

Shearing the flat skins

Rib Stamping

Shearing wing skins to size

Riveting the wing spars at the factory

Welding the aluminum wing tanks

Riveting the factory-built wing spars

Welding the aluminum wing tanks

ZODIAC builders are buying more than a box full of aircraft kit parts: We take customer support seriously, and take pride in the reputation we've developed over the last twenty years. Our relationship with the customer only begins when the kit is delivered. Direct factory support is always available - just a phone call, fax or email message away, which is promptly answered by the same professionals who build the kits. Whether building from plans-only, component kits, or from the complete kit, direct technical support is available to every ZODIAC builder. The exclusive online builder resources and the ZENITH.AERO online community are other forms of continuous builder support, providing ongoing updates, building tips and news from other builders. Also, there are already hundreds of active ZODIAC builders around the world, happy to help other local builders complete their projects.

Workshops at the factory allow first-time builders to gain hands-on experience in building their own aircraft with the guidance and help of experienced factory professionals.

ZODIAC CH 601 Series Fuselage Assembly

Compare the value and quality of the ZODIAC kit to the competition for completeness, pre-manufactured parts and components, standard equipment, low build time, building ease and required skills. The high kit completion ratio for the ZODIAC aircraft speaks for the quality of the kit and the level of available customer support.

The ZODIAC fuselage / center section (factory jigged fuselage)


ZODIAC Updates 

Search zenithair.com



Recommended Reading

Building Videos from HomeBuiltHELP.com
Produced by an actual builder, the DVDs provide practical hands-on information:
Metalworking 101 | Weight & Balance101 | Scratch-Building Basics | Rotax 912 Installation | Electrical Wiring101 | How to License your Homebuilt


Zenith Aircraft at Work and Play... Click here for photos and stories from around the world

Sport-Pilot Ready Kit Planes from Zenith Aircraft Company

 Zenith Aircraft Company

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
Comments or questions? Click Here

Zenith Aircraft Company: 2012-07-06