ZODIAC CH 601 Series Kit Plane




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Press Reviews
Summary of Press Reviews

May 2014 Issue of LIGHT AVIATION (UK)                                 Volez! Zenair feature
  • Light Aviation magazine (UK, Light Aircraft Association), May 2014, cover story and flight review.

  • Volez! magazine (French Flying), Issue 177, February 2013, cover story with a 12 page feature on designer Chris Heintz and the Zenith CH 650 and the four-seat CH 640 cross-country cruiser.  Read the full story.

  • CONTACT! magazine, Issue 105, cover story and joint "Zenith / Corvair" issue, with 8 separate articles on Zeniths. From the introduction by editor Pat Panzera: "Recognizing Chris Heintz and his family business is something I've wanted to do for a long time, and I can never get tired of publishing information on the Corvair [engine]. The two seem to have been made for each other, as do the efforts of William Wynne and Zenith"

  • AVIASPORT magazine (from France), September 2012 issue, cover story: "Zenair CH 650E (European model): The latest light sport aircraft from Chris Heintz."

                Flugel magazine (Germany, 5-2012)
  • KITPLANES magazine, June 2012 issue, cover story: "Simply Advanced"  Cover story and flight review by Marc Cook, pages 8 - 17. "New to the CH 650 B is a canopy that provides excellent visibility even for tall pilots.  It's a comfortable cabin for two in the CH 650 B."

  • PILOT magazine, May 2012 issue, cover story: "Zippy Zodiac"  Cover story and flight review by Dave Unwin, pages 26 - 32. "I liked the CH650 a lot ...it offers exceptional value for the money."  Read the full Flight Review

  • Flugel magazine (Germany), May 2012 issue, cover story: Zenair CH 650Ei (European model)

PILOT magazine, cover story, May 2012                 KITPLANES magazine, cover story, June 2012                
  • Aviation Consumer magazine, July 2011 issue: Feature story / flight report on the CH 650 LSA: "Based on the CH601, the design is sporty and fast and has a new, beefed-up wing structure."  Aviation Consumer editor Paul Bertorelli writes that "The CH650 has superb cockpit visibility... The baggage compartment, which is adequate if not generous, is an easy-to-access shelf behind the two seats.  That makes it perfect for grabbing stuff during cross-country flight."  He concludes that "...the CH650 seems like an honest, straightforward low-wing cruiser..." and that kit manufacturer Zenith Aircraft Company "stands behind what is designs and builds."
    Excerpted from Aviation Consumer magazine, July 2011 issue, pages 13 - 16.

  • KITPLANES magazine, March 2011 issue: "Four Zeniths, One Day — A Flying Delight"  Cover story and flight review by Marc Cook, pages 37 - 42. "Climbing out of the [Zenith STOL CH] 801 and hopping into the CH 601 XL B is a bit like leaving the rental-car shuttle bus to find a sleek sports car with your name on it.."
    Read the entire article

EAA Sport Pilot & Light-Sport Aircraft magazine, December 2006                   Kitplanes magazine, January 2004                   Vol Moteur magazine (April 2009)

  • PilotMag, the magazine and online guide for adventure flying, chooses Zenith Aircraft Company as the "Best Overall Kit Aircraft Manufacturer Pick for 2010" (PilotMag's Best Picks for 2010, Nov./Dec.2009 issue)

  • PilotMag, September/October 2009, "A Life Better Lived - Building An Airplane That Suits Personal Needs" by Jim Cavanagh, pages 98 - 101. The article profiles a few active Zenith flyers and builders: "That these few people recognize that a homebuilt airplane can give them the life they want at a price they can afford. It is a testament to Homebuilding and Light Sport, and underscores the vision Chris Heintz had when he designed his first airplane nearly forty years ago. There are another four thousand stories like these out there, and there will be many, many more."  Read the article

  • Flugel magazine (Germany), Volume 2, 2009, Flight Test Report :  "Zenair CH 650: US - European LSA (Light Sport Aircraft." Cover story.

  • EAA Sport Pilot & Light Sport Aircraft magazine, October 2008: "The Chris Heintz-designed CH 600 Zodiac spawned a series of designs, each of them an improvement over the earlier iteration, and each became easier to build and more versatile in the air.  The latest models, the CH 650 LS AND LSi, introduced at AirVenture 2008, combine the best of a European-built CH 601 XL sold as a ready-to-fly aircraft, the AMD CH 601 XL sold as an S-LSA, and the Zenith Aircraft Company’s amateur built CH 601 XL kit."

PilotMag, September/October 2009                  Fluger, Vol. 2, 2009    

  • Plane & Pilot magazine, March 2008, Zenith Zodiac XL Pilot Report :  "The Zenith of LSAs: Zenith Aircraft of Mexico, Missouri build durable, all-metal, light-sport aircraft with an emphasis on fun," by Bill Cox, photos by James Lawrence, pages 66 - 68. "Flying the Zodiac 601 XL is more reminiscent of a normal-category machine than an LSA [light sport aircraft]. The semi-bubble canopy hinges at the front and opens to reveal a wide comfortable office.  Elbow-to-elbow, the 601 XL measures 44-inches, so it's plenty big for two folks, actually as broad as a Cessna 206."

  • Vol Moteur magazine, April 2009, "Zenair CH 650E" Cover Story, pages 20 - 27. (France).

Aviasport cover - October 2008 issue                  Zodiac CH 650 on the cover of Aviators, Volume 30, No. 9, September 2008                   volez! l'aeropratique - June 2008 issue / magazine                   Cover - Aviation Quebec - 3-2009

  • Volez! magazine, June 2008, Zodiac XL Cover Story (France).

  • Aviasport magazine, cover, October 2008 (France).

  • Minnesota Flyer magazine, February 2008.  "Start of a Dream... Building my own aircraft," by Terry Croup, pages 10 - 13. Terry reports attending the Zenith factory workshop where he assembled his rudder kit: "Folks, the whole process is great fun. With the pride I felt after building just the rudder I simply cannot imagine what a thrill it will be to have the airplane completed and flying. An aircraft built with my own hands."

  • KITPLANES magazine, June to December 2007 issues: "A Sign of the Zodiac" by Rick Lindstrom.  In this seven part series in Kitplanes magazine, the builder and writer builds and flies the Zodiac XL - from start to finish. "Within 48 hours of opening the box, the very first Zodiac XL fast-build kit was up on its gear and happily rolling around the hangar. Fast indeed!"

CONTACT! Magazine           RAAC Recreational Flyer, Cover, March - April 2007

  • Recreational Flyer, the magazine of the Recreational Aircraft Assoc. of Canada, March - April 2007 issue, cover story: "Wings for the People: Chris Heintz' Superb Zodiac" by Gary Wolf, pages 22 - 29. "The Zenith Zodiac was introduced in 1984, and 25 years later is still selling strongly... a simple all-metal plane that provides good performance is perennially appealing to builders and pilots."

  • FLYING magazine, July 2007 issue.  "On Top" column by Richard L. Collins, Editor at Large. "The Zodiac is a brother to the Alarus, a Part 23 certified airplane, designed by Chris Heintz..." 

  • KITPLANES magazine, June 2007 issue: "A Sign of the Zodiac, part 1" by Rick Lindstrom, pages 16 - 23.  In Part 1 of this series, the writer takes tool in hand to create a dream machine: "Zenith's fast-build kit greatly exceeded our expectations for completeness and component quality."

  • Sport Pilot magazine, May 2007.  "The Factory Adventure - Visit before you buy," by Earl C. Downs, pages 52 - 57. "My overall impression of the plant was one of efficiency, cleanliness, and competence... My visit to the factory was worth every bit of what it cost."

  • EAA Sport Pilot & Light Sport Aircraft magazine, December 2006, cover story:  "The Zodiac CH 601XL - Ready-to-fly, ready-to-build, or IFR capable" Cover story by Dan Johnson, pages 24 - 31.

  • PLANE & PILOT magazine, February 2007: "10 New Planes Under $100K. The benefits of LIGHT-SPORT Aircraft extend beyond sport pilots to recreational and private pilots as well," by Dan Ramsey.  "Designed by Chris Heintz, the Zodiac series was a popular experimental kit aircraft well before LSAs were approved."

  • Aero-News Network, January 19, 2007: "Sebring Sport Aviation Expo 2007: Oh, The Planes!" Review of the factory-built Zodiac XL S-LSA by Rob Finfrock: "The word that comes to mind repeatedly when contemplating the Zodiac is "honest": honest construction, honest presentation, and honest flight characteristics."

  • PLANE & PILOT magazine, February 2007: "10 New Planes Under $100K. The benefits of LIGHT-SPORT Aircraft extend beyond sport pilots to recreational and private pilots as well," by Dan Ramsey.  "Designed by Chris Heintz, the Zodiac series was a popular experimental kit aircraft well before LSAs were approved."

  • KITPLANES magazine, October 2006 issue. "Buying Used: All Things Zenith" Cover story by Cory Emberson, pages 18 - 25. "The line of Zenith aircraft has proven to be dependable and straightforward, with considerable factory support."

  • LOOP magazine (UK), August 2006, issue #11. Feature story: "Zodiac CH 601, built by James Tannock": "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."

EAA Experimenter magazine              SA Flyer (South Africa), March 2004

  • POPULAR MECHANICS magazine, April 2006 issue. "How I learned to Fly in a Week" by Davin Coburn. Cover story, pages 80 - 83. The writer obtains his sport pilot certificate in eight days in a Zodiac XL S-LSA trainer. 

  • KITPLANES magazine, September 2005 issue. "The Corvair Craze: Yep, Corvairs can fly. And quite well, too," by Rick Lindstrom, pages 21 - 27. "With the Corvair engine, the ZODIAC XL fits neatly into the Light-Sport Aircraft category and still provides a respectable 570-pound useful load."

Kitplanes magazine, September 2005

  • KITPLANES magazine, January 2005 issue. "Chris Heintz has the innovation and forthrightness to achieve success" by Tim Kern. Pages 12 - 19. Designer Spotlight Cover Story.

  • KITPLANES magazine, October 2004 issue. "The Top 20 - Meet the most influential figures who have shaped the homebuilt aviation industry" by Rick Lindstrom. Pages 59 - 63. Designer Chris Heintz profile: “The Zenith philosophy helps customers all the way through flight testing, ensuring that the completed kit will meet expectations and fly safely as well.  Zenith’s goal? Happy customers."

  • SA Flyer (South Africa), March 2004 issue. "Zenair Zodiac Flight Test: Great handling and ease of construction have seduced many homebuilders into Zenair's arms." Flight test report by John Miller 

"Although the aircraft appears minimalist as far as metal construction is concerned, it is obvious that Chris Heintz has done a great job of providing honest and safe flying qualities. The Zodiac is lovely to fly without too many compromises in cabin space and comfort. It's easy to understand why the design has become popular."

  • KITPLANES magazine, January 2004 issue. Cover story: "Easy to Build, Fun to Fly: Which Zenith is Right For You?" by Dave Higdon.  Pages 8 - 15. Comparison of the ZODIAC XL and the STOL CH 701 designs: "The bottom line: Hands down, both airplanes easily fulfill their respective missions. Best of all, they do so with flying traits that should challenge few pilots of average competence."

  • Pacific Flyer (Australia), January 2004 issue. Cover Story by Dan Johnson. Pages 26 - 31.

FLUGEL (Germany) May 2003              GA Europe (August 2003)

  • Flugel der Welt magazine (Germany).  Cover, May 2003 issue.

  • KITPLANES magazine, July 2003 issue. Cover story: "Try Before You Buy," by Brian Clark.  Pages 54 - 57. Kitplanes' editor participates at Zenith Aircraft's factory workshop.

  • PLEIN VOL magazine (French) cover story. Quebec, April 2003 issue.

Plein Vol magazine (French)

  • General Aviation News magazine, August 5, 2002. "Pilot's Report: Zenith Aircraft's Zodiac series" Cover story, pages 34 - 37. Click here to read the story.

  • KITPLANES magazine, May 2002. "Zodiac Stars - Two new Chris Heintz designs improve an already impressive lineup, by Howard Levy.  Pages 18 - 24.

Aero (Brazil), Spring 2000               Aviazion Deportiva

  • EAA Sport Aviation, November 2001. "Three Part Planning - Getting Ready for Light Sport Aircraft", by Ed Kolano. 

  • Flieger (Germany), June 2001. "The Zodiac XL: Faster, more modern and elegant..." Flight report.  

  • CustomPlanes, February 2001. "The Zenith Zodiac goes one size larger - Flying the new Zodiac XL." Flight report by LeRoy Cook, pages 26 - 31.  Read the article

  • InFlight USA, November 2000. "Building a ZODIAC," by Brent Battles.  Read the article

 Flyer (11/99)                Aviation Quebec (2000)

  • AVIATION QUEBEC (Canada), April-May 2000 (Cover), "Zenith Aircraft Company's ZODIAC."

  • FLYER (UK), November 1999 (Cover), "Little Red Racer: Zenair ZODIAC: The all-metal, all fun taildragger kitplane." Flight test report by Bob Davy, pages 23 - 28.

  • CustomPlanes, April 1999 (Cover), "Zenith ZODIAC CH 601 - Like diamonds, all-metal aircraft last forever," by Norm Goyer, Sandy Henry and Steve Whitson, pages 46 - 53. Subscriptions, call 800-999-9718
  • Popular Flying (UK), March / April 1999 (Cover), "ZODIAC CH 601 HDS"

Custom Planes - April, 1999                   August 1997 Popular Mechanics magazine: http://www.popularmechanics.com

  • Aviacion Deportiva (Spain), October 1999, Cover Photo and Story, "ZODIAC CH 601UL"
  • US AVIATOR, November / December 1998, "Oshkosh'98 Best of Show," by J.R. Campbell, pages 32 - 35.
  • KITPLANES magazine, November 1998, "Zenair Builders Speak Out - CH 601 and CH 701 builders/pilots tell their stories," by Don Downie, pages 62 - 67.
  • AVION REVUE magazine (Spain), "Zenair CH601 Zodiac, fruto de la experiencia," (flight test report), May 1998, pages 84-88.

Popular Flying (UK) - March/April 1999                 December 1997 Kitplanes magazine: http://www.kitplanes.com

  • KITPLANES magazine, December 1997 (cover), "Southern Relatives - Cali Columbia is the home of this version of the popular Zenair 601." Cover story by Howard Levy, pages 30 - 35. 
  • POPULAR MECHANICS, August 1997 (cover), "You Build It, You Fly It! We Built This Super Zodiac Sportplane. You Can Too - For The Price of a Toyota," cover story by Cliff Gromer, pages 46 - 51. Part 1 of 2.
    POPULAR MECHANICS, September 1997, Part 2 of 2.
    PM Zone.

Sport Pilot magazine                 EAA Experimenter: http://www.eaa.org

  • FOX ECHOS, July-August 1997 (France), "Construction du Zenair CH 601", pages 29 - 33. (French)

  • KITPLANES, September 1998, "For the Future - Youth Flight turns out new Homebuilders," story by Jamie Beckett on ZODIAC project built by kids, pages 25 - 27.

  • SPORT PILOT, January 1996 (cover), "Super ZODIAC CH 601 HDS is fast, docile, and ready for cross-country flights," feature story, pages 8…62.

  • FLYER (UK), September 1993, "The Super ZODIAC 601," flight report by Jim Reynolds, pages 30 - 35.

  • CONTACT!, Issue 13 (cover and feature story), "ZODIAC CH 601 - A kit aircraft for the first time builder and the demanding sport pilot."

Kitplanes magazine (www.kitplanes.com)                Sport Pilot magazine (May/June 1996)

  • KITPLANES, September 1993, " Testing the Waters - A weekend workshop like Zenith Aircraft’s sheetmetal course lets you try before you buy," by LeRoy Cook, pages 34 - 39.

  • PILOT, December 1996 "The Quick and Easy Zenair Zodiac" pages 44 - 48.

  • AIR PROGRESS, July 1996 "SUBARU ZODIAC CH 601" page 21.

  • US AVIATOR, July 1996 "Subaru Powered Zodiacs!" by J.R. Campbell, page 38

  • EAA SPORT AVIATION, June 1996 "Yes, I Can Build A Kit Plane!," Report on the EAA / Zenair Kit Aircraft Air Academy Workshop, by Chuck Larson, pages 86 - 87.

  • EAA EXPERIMENTER, April 1996 "EAA & ZENAIR Aircraft Building Workshop," by Mary Jones, pages 37 - 39 (photo article with 10 construction photos).

  • SPORT PILOT, December 1995, "Zenair ZODIAC to teach young eagles to soar," pages 8 - 9.

Vol Moteur magazine (France, 3/97)               EAA's Experimenter magazine (2/93)

  • AEROKURIER (Germany), Sept 1995, "ZODIAC CH 601: All-Metal Ultralight," pages 102 - 105.

  • SPORT FLYING (New Zealand), Fall 1995, "First of Type: Zenair ZODIAC CH 601," pages 9 - 10.

  • SPORTPLANE RESOURCE GUIDE 1995/1996, 1995, by J.R. Campbell (Kindred Spirit Press): Flight reports, ZODIAC CH 601 series aircraft: "Highly recommended" rating, pages 527-529.

  • SPORT PILOT, September 1994, "South of the Border Down Mexico (Missouri) Way!" (factory visit)" pages 22 - 27.

  • US AVIATOR, March 1994, "Affordable Flyers - ZODIAC CH 601 series," pages 56 - 57.

  • THE RECREATIONAL FLYER, July/August 1994 (cover), "Zenair Zodiac." Also May/June 1991, "Zenair Zodiac: New Versions - New Values," by Ken Armstrong, pages 31- 33.

  • EAA EXPERIMENTER, February 1993 (Cover), "Zenair Expands South," by Mary Jones, pages 6 - 7.

  • KITPLANES, April 1993, "Zenair Super Zodiac," flight report summary by Dave Martin, pages 43 - 44.

  • FLYING REVIEW, June 1993, "Seven Day Wonder Zodiac Flies", pages 42 - 43. Also February 1993, page 38.

  • VOLARE SPORT (Italy), July 1993, "Sette Giorni per Volare (Seven Days for Flight)," report on the seven-day Zodiac construction project at the Sun’n Fun fly-in, by Giorgio Apostolo, pages 16 - 21.

  • PLANE & PILOT, August 1993, "Speedier Zodiac," by Kenneth D. Armstrong, pages 81 - 82.

  • SPORT PILOT, September 1993, "Seven Day Wonder Zodiac a Flying Success," pages 50 - 59.

  • AOPA PILOT, December 1993, "What’s Your Sign? The Zenair Zodiac," by Marc Cook. Also see April 1993 issue, page 12.

  • KITPLANES, December 1992 (cover), "A Visit to Zenair South," Zodiac flight report by LeRoy Cook, pages 10 - 19.

  • POPULAR FLYING (UK), December 1992 / January 1993, "Zenair ZODIAC CH 601 HD," flight report by Alan Cozens, pages 35 - 38.

  • "Choosing Your Homebuilt - The One You’ll Finish & Fly," by Ken Armstrong (Butterfield Press, 1992), pages 255 - 270.

  • FLYING REVIEW, January 1992, "Evolution of an Aircraft - the Zenair Zodiac CH 601," pages 10 - 14.

  • EAA EXPERIMENTER, February 1992 (cover), "Signs of the ZODIAC," by Mary Jones, pages 5 - 7

Aviacion Deportiva (Oct'99) - Spain

  • Canadian FLIGHT, February 1992, "Meet the ZODIAC CH 601," pages 6 - 8.

  • US AVIATOR, July 1992, "The Plane Fun of Sun’n Fun," by J.R. Campbell, p. 41.

  • PLANE & PILOT’s Budget Flying, Fall 1992, "Zippy Little Zodiac: Chris Heintz’s metal marvel: Quick cheap & fun," by Ken D. Armstrong, pages 63-70

  • AVIASPORT (France), January 1991, "Le ZODIAC CH 600," by Michael Battarel, pages 8 - 10.

  • SPORT PILOT, August 1991, "Zenair’s all-new Zodiac CH 601," by Norm Goyer, pages 50 - 52.

  • GENERAL AVIATION NEWS & FLYER, 2nd December issue 1991 (cover), "Zenair, Rotax 912 team together for a beefed-up Zodiac series," page A34

  • SPORT PILOT’s Hot Kits & Homebuilts, December 1991, "The New Super ZODIAC from Zenair," by Robert Goyer, pages 44 - 48.

  • SPORT AVIATION (EAA), 1991 - 1995, various reports and updates.

  • "Kitplane Construction," by Ron Wanttaja (TAB Boobks, 1991), pages 239 - 240, 271.

  • GULF COAST AVIATOR, 1988, "Signs of the Zodiac - we fly the extra-affordable Zenair Zodiac," pages 30 - 32.

  • SPORT PILOT, May 1986 (cover), "Signs of the Zodiac: An exclusive pilot report on an incredible new VW powered homebuilt," Flight report of prototype ZODIAC CH 600 by J. Campbell, pages 26 - 32.


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Zenith Aircraft Company: 2014-05-16