ZODIAC CH 601 Series Kit Plane




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June 21, 2016


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ZODIAC XL - powered by the 100-hp Rotax 912S

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Coming Events

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Visit ZENITH.AERO Online Community for Zenith Aircraft Builders & Flyers for news and updates from owners and pilots from around the world.
Rudder Workshop Start building your own Zenith for just $375 at the factory or with the Rudder Starter Kit
Next hands-on workshops held at the factory
2016 Open Hangar Day 25th annual Zenith Aircraft Open Hangar Days & Fly-In: Friday and Saturday, September 23 & 24, 2016 at the kit aircraft factory in Mexico, Missouri!  Come for two days of fun activities and educational seminars!  The 25th annual event will feature new fun social (and flying!) activities and expanded seminars and workshops over two full days.

See photos from the 2015 Zenith Open Hangar Day and Fly-In, including the STOL competition!

Flying the Zenith CH 650 New Video: Flying the Zenith CH 650
Give Flight How do we top last year's highly successful One Week Wonder project (where a complete Zenith CH 750 Cruzer was built in less than seven days at EAA Oshkosh AirVenture)? 
EAA has announced their "Give Flight" project where five (5) complete sets of wings will be started during the week at Oshkosh by various EAA Chapters (to be taken home after the show to become part of a group-built airplane). We're thrilled that EAA has asked Zenith Aircraft to provide three sets of wings for the Give Flight project. Three new Zenith aircraft (two Zenith CH 750 Cruzers and one Zenith CH 650) will be started at Oshkosh this summer with the help of volunteers! If you're a Zenith builder (or want to learn) please join us in building and teaching others about the joys of aircraft kit building!
Zenith Aircraft magazine Second edition 2015: We've published a new Zenith Aircraft magazine, chock-full of information on building and flying your own Zenith. This free 48-page full color magazine provides an excellent introduction to the world of recreational flying and kit aviation, and covers all Zenith aircraft kit models, including the STOL CH 701. Contact Zenith Aircraft Company to have one mailed to you. 
Two Planes in Three Years EAA Experimenter magazine (March 2015): 
Bob Rychel's two Zenith planes: "Two Planes in Three Years"

"My CH 650 was a joy to build and is a joy to fly."

OWW Time Lapse Video One Week Wonder Time Lapse Video | One Week Wonder Summary Video
Watch as the entire One Week Wonder Zenith CH 750 Cruzer comes together in just 45 seconds!
Open Hangar Day 2014 Five Zeniths CH 650 (and CH601XL-B), all powered by Corvair engines, at the 2014 Zenith Open Hangar Day and Fly-In (September 20, 2014)
STOL Competition at the Open Hangar Day 2014 Lynn Dingfelder in his Corvair-powered Zenith CH 601XL-B competing in the Zenith STOL competition, at the 2014 Zenith Open Hangar Day and Fly-In (September 19, 2014)
Zenith Aircraft magazine Summer 2014: We've published a new Zenith Aircraft magazine, chock-full of information on building and flying your own Zenith. This free 48-page full color magazine provides an excellent introduction to the world of recreational flying and kit aviation, and covers all Zenith aircraft kit models, including the Zenith CH 650. Contact Zenith Aircraft Company to have one mailed to you.
Return of the One Week Wonder One Week Wonder - Oshkosh 2014

What an awesome week it was!  Thank you to all who helped with this project, especially the volunteers and sponsors!
Photo album of the One Week Wonder project | First Flight Video | Volunteers at Work - Day 3 of 7 Video

Zenair Open House Chris Heintz joined Zenair Ltd. to celebrate its 40th anniversary on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at the Zenair factory at Huronia Airport in Midland, Ontario, Canada.

Photos from the event: Facebook photos | More Photos

Zenair 40th anniversary Zenair Ltd. (Canada) Marks 40th Year in 2014:
One of North America's leading manufacturers of recreational aircraft kits is turning 40 this year. Zenair Limited was founded by Chris Heintz in his 2-car garage in 1974... More

Open Hangar Day at Zenith Aircraft Company

Follow-Up: Photos from the 2013 Open Hangar Day (from September 20 & 21)
2013 "Fly In to Summer" Open Hangar Day Video Clip and photos from the 2013 "Fly In to Summer" Open Hangar Day and Builder Fly-In Gathering at the Zenith Factory (June 22, 2013).
EAA Experimenter magazine, June 2013 The new Zenith CH 750 Cruzer on the cover of EAA Experimenter magazine, June 2013 issue (Vol. 2 No. 6): "The Zenith 750 Cruzer"  Pages 14 - 19, cover story by Budd Davisson:

Compared to the STOL CH 750:
"It's a much more efficient airplane for those who really don't care about having the absolute ultimate in off-airport performance."  Read the entire article

...more Press Reviews

First flight video

First Flight Video: Frank and Dave's completed Zenith CH 650 B with the 130-hp ULPower UL350iS engine.
CH 750 CRUZER Check out the new Zenith CH 750 CRUZER aircraft.  Zenith's latest design is based on the STOL CH 750 but optimized for more speed, and features a new wing design (without slats) and an all-new tail.

Flight Simulator

Updated New X-Plane 10.20 Flight Simulator files for the Zenith CH 650 (now supports 64-bit computing!).  

Fly the Zenith cruiser from your armchair!  
View Screenshots 
Video clip

Volez! Zenair feature

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

CH 650 B

October 2013: New Builder Completion Photos: 127 pages of just some of the hundreds of completed and flying Zodiac projects!
Video Clips

CONTACT! Magazine, Summer 2012, #105

On the cover of 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 (France) September 2012

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

2012 Open Hangar Day Follow-Up from Zenith Aircraft Company's 20th anniversary / Open Hangar Day & Fly-In held this past September 21 & 22, 2012
Thanks to great weather and great company we had a wonderful Open Hangar Day and Fly-In to celebrate Zenith Aircraft Company's 20th anniversary.

Video Flight Review

Video Flight Review:  This is a new video clip from France of the new European CH 650 (powered by Rotax 912 ULS).
Flight training in the Zodiac! August 17, 2012:
Zenith builder and pilot Earl Downs reports that he's just recently received a FAA Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) to provide commercial training in the  Zenith that he built himself:  Earl is a CFI and a sport pilot designated flight test examiner who built a Zenith Zodiac CH 601 XL-B, and he is now approved for training in his Zenith.  For more information Earl can be reached in the evening (central time) at 918-840-2200 or email.  He is based out of Cushing, Oklahoma.

Zenith CH 650 at AirVenture 2012

EAA AirVenture (Oshkosh) 2012 follow-up report.  Five video clips and photos of the many Zenith activities at AirVenture 2012... Read more...

Video Clip

Video Clip from Zenith.Aero:

Flying the Zenith CH 650 cruiser on a Hot Day:  Flight Testing the UL Power UL350iS Engine Cooling

From Zenith.Aero:


Ron Garrison, builder and pilot of a Zenith CH 601XL-B:  

"I have flown a lot of different planes in my life, but i have never flown one that eats rough aircraft like the 601XL. It was a fun plane to build, and is a great plane to fly. I love it!  Thank you Zenith for such a great design. 

  • View Ron's video clips

  • Kitplanes magazine, June 2012

    On the cover of 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..."

    Pilot magazine, May 2012 The Zenith CH 650 on the cover of Pilot magazine

    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."

    Avion & Piloto magazine, June 2012 The new Zenith CH 650 with the UL350iS engine, on the cover of Spain's Avion & Piloto magazine (June 2012).
    View Video Clip New Video Clip:
    • The sights and sounds from this year's Quality Sport Planes Open House and West Coast Zenith Fly-In. Saturday, May 5, 2012 at the Cloverdale Municipal Airport in northern California.
    Side View: New UL Power Cowl Flying the CH 650 with the new UL Power UL350iS engine cowl
    Kitplanes flight review Kitplanes on FacebookKitplanes magazine photo previews of upcoming flight review of the Zenith CH 650 cruiser.

    "Piloting the CH 650 is Roger Dubbert (Zenith demo pilot) with passenger Joyce Fort (Zenith office manager)"

    UL Power Firewall-Forward (FWF) kit package The UL Power Firewall-Forward (FWF) kit package from Zenith Aircraft Company. Shown here: The 130-hp UL350iS powerplant in the CH 650 cruiser.

    New 3rd edition Zenith CH 650 Drawings (2/2012).  Builders: Click here for details.

    Video Clip: Zenith CH 650 New Video Clips:
    Video Clip

    New video report on Zenith from AircraftReporters.tv 

    Dan Johnson interviews Zenith Aircraft Company's Roger Dubbert about the full line light sport aircraft kits from Zenith, including the CH 650.

    Video Clip Video Clip:  From Russia with Love... Flying the Zodiac in Russia, as seen from the wingtip.
    UL Power firewall-forward installation Zenith Aircraft Company and UL Power North America announce availability of complete firewall forward kits for the UL Power engine following the successful installation and testing of the 130-hp UL350iS powerplant in the CH 650 cruiser.  Details on the UL Power engines and firewall-forward kit
    2011 Open Hangar Day: September 17, 2011  Photos and follow up report from the 20th annual Zenith Aircraft Open Hangar Day and Builder Fly-In Gathering (held on September 17, 2011)
    Zeniths to Oshkosh 2011 Video Clip From the zenith.aero online community for builders and flyers:
    CH 650 Roger Dubbert with the CH 650 aircraft, equipped with a brand new UL350iS engine installation and cowl.  More photos.
    Video Clip New Video Clips in HD: Cabin views: Flying the CH 601 / CH 650: Notice the exceptional visibility and the shoulder / elbow room.
    Low flying... New Video Clips in HD: Scenic flight in the CH 601 / CH 650.
    Zeniths to Oshkosh 2011  Updates from EAA AirVenture 2011:
      Video Clip:
    Great views of the CH 601 / 650 at work with flight instruction from Buzz Air Flight Academy in Nevada. 
    Call Aumie or Buzzy for more information. Tel. 775-781-4411

    Aviation Consumer magazine The July 2011 issue of Aviation Consumer magazine has a 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.  Read more press reviews.

    First Flight Video First Flight Video Clip  | New: Second Flight Video Clip

    Sweet Flyer!  See Zenith's new factory demonstrator CH 650 fly behind UL Power's UL350iS engine and with the dual Dynon SkyView panel

    See it fly!  Click here to view the video in full HD

    Zenith's new factory demonstrator CH 650 with UL Power's new powerful yet lightweight UL350iS engine: This four-cylinder, direct-drive air-cooled engine puts out 130-hp with an installed weight of just 172 lbs., and features full FADEC (full authority digital engine control) with multi-point electronic fuel injection and dual electronic ignition (with variable timing).
    Click here for more details on this engine.

    Hear it and see it!  Click here to view a HD video clip.

    CH 650 instument panel The instrument panel of Zenith's new CH 650 factory demo aircraft features dual Dynon SkyView glass panel multifunction displays. As a sleek cross-country cruiser, the autopilot will be a welcome feature in the CH 650 kit plane on long cross-country flights.

    Kit pick-up at the factory  July 8, 2011:
    Steve A. and Ron G. (right) each picked up a complete kit of their favorite aircraft yesterday: A CH 750 for Steve and a CH 650 for Ron. Despite the rain, they loaded the two kits in the Budget rental truck for the drive home to Detroit (where the two are GM engineers).
    By picking up the kit at the factory, Steve and Ron saved both the crating charges and the freight charges, and they were able to share the rental truck fees, while also being able to visit the factory (for the first time) and go up in a demo flight in the aircraft.

    Video Clip: FAA Kit Evaluation Zenith.Aero Video Clip:
    May 2011: FAA's National Kit Evaluation Team (NKET) visited the Zenith Aircraft Company factory to evaluate and determine that the CH 650 B kit meets the intent of the "51% rule," allowing an amateur-builder to register the plane as an "amateur-built - Experimental" (kit) aircraft (meeting the "major portion" requirement of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations part 21, Certification Procedures for Products and Parts, § 21.191(g).  More info
    From the zenith.aero online community for builders and flyers:

    Two Zodiac aircraft flying cross county

    Dave Gardea's Corvair-powered CH 650 B: First Flight Video and Photos

    ULPower engine on the CH 650 Kitplanes.com Video Clip from Sun'n Fun 2011:

    Zenith introduces the ULPower engine on the sleek new CH 650.  The ULPower engine is a lightweight direct-drive, air-cooled engine with full FADEC.

    CH650 Flying! From the zenith.aero online community for builders and flyers: 

    March 2011:
    HD Video Clip: Flying the CH 650 over Lake Tahoe as seen by the pilot (with camera mounted to the headset).

    1/25/2011: FAA has re-evaluated the Zodiac CH 601 XL kit changes, specifically the 6-ZU  Upgrade Package and confirmed it is eligible in meeting the "51% rule". All revisions have been evaluated and determined to meet the “major portion” requirements of 14 CFR, Part 21, § 21.191(g).  Amateur-Built Aircraft Kit Updated Listing (PDF)
    Note to builders: When registering your kit aircraft with the FAA for the first time use the model name as it appears on the FAA listing of aircraft kits ("Zodiac CH 601 XL"). Do not add "B" to the name when registering, as this will not match the information on file and may cause delays.
    First Flight Video! From the zenith.aero online community for builders and flyers:

    Michael Herder's First Flight Video
    Flying the Zodiac CH 650 and the Zodiac CH 601XL-B Video Clip
    Pre-flight walkaround the Zodiac CH 650

    See also: Flying the Zodiac CH650 and the Zodiac CH601XL with Paul Hamilton.

    CFI Paul Hamilton offers LSA flight training in the Zodiac: SportAviationCenter.com

    Flight Test

    Flight Test Report:
    Steve Flattum flight tests the upgraded Zodiac XL B model at the Zenith Aircraft factory. He reported: " I used a calibrated G meter for some dive tests. The airplane is very strong. I won't give any details on how many G's I pulled because I don't want anybody trying this at home. I tested for flutter at various speeds. This may not sound very scientific but I used the stick bump, shake and jerk methods that are standard for flight testing. The results were impressive with no flutter characteristics observed. "The 601 family of airplanes are a delight to fly. Simple and easy to fly with a great view and they are very comfortable for long flights. The airplane is very strong and it is backed by a company that has been around for a very long time."   Click here to read the report (posted on Zenith.Aero).  Steve Flattum is a 20,000 hour pilot who has flown over 100 types of aircraft

    EAA Oshkosh AirVenture 2010

    From Zenith.Aero:
    EAA AirVenture (Oshkosh) follow-up report

    Flying Adventure! From the zenith.aero online community for builders and flyers:

    Photo gallery: Steve and Woody's Grand Adventure
    Flying Video Clip From YouTube, a great video clip of a Zodiac CH 601 flight.
    First flight

    First flight Video Clip: Zodiac CH 601 XL B built and flown by Rich Vetterli

    Zodiac Flight Review

    Video Clip:
    Join CFI Paul Hamilton for a Flight Review in the Zodiac Light-Sport Aircraft for Sport Pilot Training

    New Video Clip: Simulation Flight Training - Comparing an Actual Airplane (the Zodiac) to a  Flight Simulator (X-Plane)

    STOL CH 701 (Orizon, Guadeloupe, Caribbean) June 2010:
    From Zenith.Aero: Heintz brothers Mathieu and Sebastian visit two Caribbean flight schools that use Zenith for flight instruction: STOL CH 701 on Zenair amphib floats, and Zodiac low-wing tricycle gear.
    • Click here to read the report with photos and video clips

    Aero-TV Video Clip:
    Zenair's Matt Heintz discusses the Zodiac CH601XL upgrade package and the future of the Zodiac series design... (from the Sebring LSA show in January 2010).

    We're flying again!
    12/28/09: Following the installation and completion of the Zodiac XL Upgrade Package kit, we're flying our demonstrator Zodiac XL once again! 

    View two new video clips of Roger flying the upgraded Zodiac XL, one viewed from the ground and the other viewed from inside the plane.

    November 7, 2009: FAA Issues Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin: Zodiac CH 601 XL and CH 650: Updates and news on this important topic, and the Upgrade Package kit offered by Zenith Aircraft Company.

    Zenith Aircraft Builders & Flyers:  Join the new ZENITH.AERO Online Community

    EAA's Tom Poberezny (left) with Sebastien Heintz of Zenith Aircraft Co. September 3, 2009: 
    Tom Poberezny, EAA's president and chairman, visits the Zenith Aircraft factory in Mexico, Missouri.
    Open Hangar Day - Group Photo

    Photos from Zenith Aircraft Company's 18th annual OPEN HANGAR DAY and Fly-In Gathering held on Saturday, September 19, 2009 at the factory.
    View a video clip | View photos

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

    Around the USA

    May 2009:
    A few photos from Stephan Smith's 8,500 mile around the country adventures, including a stop at Sun'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida:

    "On April 18th my brother David and I left Santa Rosa, California heading east over the snow covered Sierra Nevada mountains on an adventure of a lifetime. We left with great confidence in my sturdy Zodiac XL. After all, last year it had safely taken me and my brother Alan to Oshkosh, why would it behave differently on this trip?
    In thirteen days we flew 8,490 miles. Along the way we took over 1,500 pictures. A few can be viewed in this photo album.

    "Conclusion: This was a grand adventure, a trip of a lifetime. A journey with beauty and challenges; challenges well met by my Zodiac XL. I have need of no other airplane."


    Equipped for serious cross country flying...
    Flight over New Orleans 

    Zodiac CH 650

    Zenair Europe's Zodiac CH 650 (powered by a 100-hp Rotax 912 ULS engine) at AERO Friedrichshafen on April 4, 2009.  AERO Friedrichshafen (in Germany) is the showcase for new products for the European sport aviation scene.

     Zodiac CH 650 The European "Zenair CH 650E", featured on the cover of Vol Moteur magazine, April 2009. Story on pages 20 - 27 (France).

    Zodiac CH 650

    Zenith introduces the newest Zodiac model, the Zodiac CH 650

    Zodiac CH 650

    Photos of the lighter European Zodiac CH 650E powered by the 100-hp Rotax 912 ULS engine.

    Aviaion Quebec magazine - 3-2009

    The European "Zenair CH 650E", featured on the cover of Aviation Quebec magazine (March 2009 issue)

    October 28, 2008:  Zenair Europe issues a safety alert / service bulletin to Zodiac pilots and owners in response to the preliminary findings of an investigation into an accident involving a Czech Aircraft Works Zodiac CH 601XL in the Netherlands. Note that this safety alert does not provide new information regarding the aircraft; it requests verification of what should already be in place, namely, proper tension of the control cables.  Click here to view the Safety Alert.

    650 Flight with ULpower Video Clip: Gus Warren of FlyWithGus.com flies a Zodiac CH 650 with the new UL260I engine from ULPower
    First flight... On October 15, 2008, Barrington Irving took off in Inspiration II, a Zodiac plane built entirely by Miami high school students in the Experience Aviation Build & Soar Summer Program.  Barrington Irving is the youngest person and first pilot of African descent on record to fly solo around the world. Read more and watch report from MSNBC.

    17th annual Open Hangar Day 2008

    Saturday, September 20, 2008: Zenith Aircraft's 17th annual OPEN HANGAR DAY and Fly-In Gathering was a great success, with a lot of sun, planes, food, and great company.  Thanks to all who participated and made this a fun event!

    At right, builders and their planes pose in front of the Zenith factory for the traditional group photo. Thanks to great weather, several dozen Zeniths flew in to the Open Hangar day


    An outdoor dinner buffet was enjoyed by more than 120 builders and Zenith employees on Friday evening prior to the Open Hangar Day.


    Workshops and seminars kept builders busy all day.  At right, a Dynon Avionics demonstration.

    • Click here to view more photos of this year's Open Hangar Day event

     Zodiac XL Fuselage Assembly DVD NEW Zodiac Horizontal Tail DVD
    Zodiac Fuselage Assembly DVD - Part 1, 2, and 3
    This DVD is a double disk volume in a series of videos being developed by HomebuiltHELP.com to cover the entire build process for the Zodiac kit. To get started, you only need a set of plans and manuals for the aircraft and at least the fuselage component kit.  The FUSELAGE Part 1 DVD takes you from the very beginning steps to completing the rear section, the floor, and the firewall components of the aircraft fuselage. Click here for more DVD's from HomeBuiltHELP.com

    Plane & Pilot magazine Plane & Pilot
    March 2008 issue of Plane & Pilot magazine
    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."
    Cover: Volez magazine June 2008  Volez! magazine, June 2008, Zodiac XL Cover Story (France). 

    Zodiac CH 650 Zodiac CH 650, introduced at EAA AirVenture (July 2008)
    Landing in the desert...

    From the zenith.aero online community for builders and flyers: 
    Photo from Steve Smith showing an off-airport landing "on a random dirt road in the middle of nowhere, Nevada"

    Fly-In gathering

    Photos from Zenith's "Spring into Summer" Fly-In Gathering: June 21, 2008, at the Zenith Aircraft in Mexico, Missouri

    Aero-TV: Builder Talks About His Personal LSA -- A Zodiac 601XL Aero-TV.net - Friday, 29 February, 2008. Zodiac XL builder Mike Sigman Talks About His Personal LSA
    Aero-TV talks to Mike Sigman, a builder, pilot and owner of a Zodiac 601XL about his personal choice for an LSA... how it went together during the building process, and now that he was finished -- how he liked it all. Mike explained how he was looking for a cross-country aircraft that was good on fuel, dependable and reasonably priced. He wanted to build 'all-metal,' but he did NOT want to buck rivets (the Zodiac uses the Avex 'pop' riveting system), and finally, he wanted a Jabiru engine for the front end... and thereupon decided upon the Zodiac.  Click here to view the interview.

    Glider towing with the Zodiac XL Glider towing with the Zodiac

     Tall pilots November 19, 2007:  Measuring 6-feet 9-inches tall, Ron Steele (right) towers over Zenith demo pilot Roger Dubbert (six feet).  Ron visited the Zenith Aircraft factory recently from Virginia to try-on the Zodiac for size and for a demo flight and factory tour.  Though head room was limited, Ron and Roger were able to fit in the 44-inch wide cabin well enough for a demo flight.

    Quality Sport Planes - Fall 2007 Open House Quality Sport Planes of northern California held its Fall 2007 Open House on Saturday, October 13.  Michael Heintz of Quality Sport Planes reports that the event was a great success with an excellent turnout of both planes and people!
    Quality Sport Planes - Fall 2007 Open House

    scratch-building workshop 2007 brazil October 2007: Roberto Brito of AirFox (near Sao Paulo, Brazil) hosted a three-day workshop for builders in Brazil (Oct.12 - 14, 2007) to gain hands-on experience in scratch-building their own Zodiac aircraft.  
    Roberto Zodiac XL

    Zenith president Sebastien Heintz (right) made a surprise visit to the workshop in Brazil to meet with builders and to fly Roberto's beautifully built custom Zodiac XL.

     Group Photo Zenith Aircraft Company's 16th annual OPEN HANGAR DAY and Fly-In Gathering held on Saturday, September 29, 2007, was a great success with dozens of aircraft flown in and hundreds of active participants!  
    • Click here for a photo recap from the day's activities
     Zenith Open Hangar Day - Sept. 29, 2007

    Zodiac XL Quick-Build Kit Tips and Techniques DVD

    Zodiac XL Kit - Tips and Techniques: A video guide to help jump start construction of the popular Zodiac XL aircraft kit
    Get your Zodiac XL kit aircraft finished and in the air - now even faster!  The instructional DVD from HomebuiltHelp.com explains and demonstrates many common construction tasks.  If you're currently building, or thinking about starting a project, this is a highly recommended DVD.

    KITPLANES Magazine Builds a ZODIAC XL, Part 5, October 2007 KITPLANES Magazine Builds a ZODIAC XL Kit,
    Part 7, December 2007 issue:
    Writer Rick Lindstrom concludes the saga of building and flying his Zodiac XL kit plane in the final installment of this seven part series on building and flying his own Zodiac XL: "I purchased a kit from a well-respected and seasoned company that provides a superior level of support."
    KITPLANES Magazine Builds a ZODIAC XL Quick-Build Kit, Part 3, August 2007 KITPLANES Magazine Builds a ZODIAC XL Kit, Part 3, August 2007 Issue:
    Kitplanes magazine writer Rick Lindstrom continues the saga of building and flying his Zodiac XL kit plane in this third installment, as he reports in the August 2007 issue of Kitplanes magazine
    KITPLANES Magazine Builds a ZODIAC XL KITPLANES Magazine Builds a ZODIAC XL Kit, Part 2, July 2007 Issue: Writer Rick Lindstrom reports on building and flying his dream airplane, as he writes in the July 2007 issue of Kitplanes magazine: "A Sign of the Zodiac (Part 2)"

    "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!"

    Rick Lindstrom seated in his Zodiac XL KITPLANES Magazine Builds a ZODIAC XL Kit, Part 1, June 2007 Issue:
    Writer Rick Lindstrom took tool in hand to create a dream machine, as he reports in the June 2007 issue of Kitplanes magazine: "A Sign of the Zodiac (Part 1)"

    "Zenith's fast-build kit greatly exceeded our expectations for completeness and component quality."

    June 2007: Load testing the ZODIAC XL airframe June 2007: Load testing the ZODIAC XL airframe

    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."

    Earl Downs seated in the Zodiac XL

    The Zodiac XL demonstrator at the factory in Mexico, MO.

    cnc routing
    Inside the Zenith factory.

    The May 2007 issue of EAA Sport Pilot magazine features a story by Earl Downs on the importance of a factory visit before buying an aircraft. Following a visit to the Zenith Aircraft factory in Mexico, Missouri, he states: "My overall impression of the plant was one of efficiency, cleanliness, and competence. I also came away feeling I had the skills needed to turn the work of these craftsmen into a finished airplane, and that [my wife] Mimi and I would have fun while building."
    Earl Downs concludes: "My visit to the factory was worth every bit of what it cost, and I accomplished my mission goals. A build project involves a long-term relationship with the factory, and the only way to be sure is to test it out." Downs subsequently ordered a Zodiac XL Kit, which he picked up (at the factory) in early May.

    Aviation writer Earl Downs started flying more that 50 years ago and progressed to become an airline transport-rated pilot and served with the training department of a major airline for 23 years. He has logged thousands of hours flying and instructing in light airplanes and is a recognized aviation writer with EAA Sport Pilot and AOPA Flight Training magazines. In 2004 he co-wrote the popular book titled "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sport Flying" and is the current publisher and owner of The Oklahoma Aviator.

    Centrally located in the United States, Zenith Aircraft Company is situated 90 miles west of St. Louis. The Zenith factory is situated on the Mexico Airport (MYJ), making it easy to fly-in to visit. The facility is open Monday to Friday, and factory tours and demo flights are available by appointment. Before making travel arrangements to visit the factory, please make an appointment by calling 573-581-9000. Zenith Aircraft Company also schedules factory workshops throughout the year and holds an annual Open Hangar Day fly-in.
    Click here for details about visiting the factory.

    From Quality Sport Planes' Open House and Regional Fly-In (May 5, Cloverdale, Calif.):
    Quality Sport Planes Open House and Regional Fly-In, May 2007

    West coast representative Quality Sport Planes LLC held an Open House and Regional Fly-In held on Saturday, May 5, 2007 (Cloverdale, Calif.) 

    Quality Sport Planes Open House and Regional Fly-In, May 2007

    Builders and enthusiasts examine the high level of completion of a Zodiac XL Kit.

    Click here for more photos

    From the Sun'n Fun fly-in (April 17-23, Lakeland, Florida):
    Rick Lindstrom’s shiny new Zodiac XL  Rick Lindstrom’s shiny new Zodiac XL drew a lot of attention at the Zenith booth during Sun'n Fun. This is the aircraft that Rick built from a Kit and chronicled the construction in Kitplanes magazine.

    Lindstrom says his 601 cruises at 105 knots while burning under 6 gph. Follow the story of Lindstrom’s project beginning in the June issue of KITPLANESĀ®.

    Sun'n Fun Builders BBQ

    Great food and great company!
    The 3rd annual "Webmasters BBQ" was held on Thursday, April 19 at the campground.  Thanks BBQ sponsors: JabiruUSA, FlyCorvair.com, HomebuiltHelp.com, Quality Sport Planes, and the webmasters of www.ch601.org and www.ch701.com.

    ZODIAC XL S-LSA from AMD A new factory-produced ZODIAC XL S-LSA for Sport Pilots.

    Aviasport magazine, April 2007, pages 4 & 5 New European Zodiac
    In its April 2007 issue, French aviation magazine "Aviasport" reports on the new European Zodiac XL
    European ZODIAC XL
    European ZODIAC XL March 2007:  Nicholas Heintz test flies the new European ZODIAC XL, powered by the Rotax 912S engine.  The new model, manufactured and supported directly by Zenair, introduces some new (and lighter) features for the European market.  Details about the Zodiac XL ULM.

    Zodiac CH 601

    Zodiac in Action: Wingtip cam - unusual attitude!

    Video Clips from around the world on building and flying the Zodiac:

    Zodiac Cover Story:

    The Zodiac XL was recently featured on the cover of EAA Sport Pilot & Light-Sport Aircraft magazine (December 2006 issue).

    The Zodiac CH 601XL... Have It Your Way.  Ready-to-fly, ready-to-build, or IFR capable
    by Dan Johnson (pages 24 - 31).

    Click here to read the story

    GO! The Whole World of Transportation by DK Publishing.

    Zodiac XL featured in great new book:
    GO! The Whole World of Transportation by DK Publishing.

    Available now for about $18 from Amazon.com

    Picking up a new Quick Build Kit at the factory January 2007:

    Picking up a Zodiac kit at the factory, and loading it on a flatbed trailer. 

    Jabiru Engine Installation Seminar on DVD Engine DVDs from HomebuiltHELP.com

    Jabiru Engine Installation Seminar is a new 2.5 hour DVD filmed at the JabiruUSA workshop.

    "The 912 Competition" is a DVD video presentation from the vendors of various engines for experimental aircraft (80-120 hp), including the popular Corvair. 

    The Rotax 912 Competition DVD

    cnc routing

    With the help of Zenith's new 12' x 4' CNC router, the standard Zodiac kit now includes many precision CNC pre-cut and pre-drilled skins and components, and also includes new updated CAD Drawings and Photo Assembly Manuals.

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

    • more videos

    ZODIAC XL General Assembly Schematic

    Great new views of the ZODIAC assembly (3D CAD renderings).

    Zodiac XL S-LSA

    Photo galleries and details of the certified factory produced ZODIAC S-LSA

    NEW Fiberglass Wheel Fairings

    July 2006:  
    Thinner fiberglass wheel fairings increase aerodynamics, and give the ZODIAC a sleeker look. 

    Zenair Press Release (July 28, 2006): Zenair Ltd. announced that it has terminated its longstanding license agreement with Czech Aircraft Works, under which the ZODIAC designs were produced in the Czech Republic for the European market. The aircraft will continue to be available in Europe through the established Zenair dealer network, with kits coming from Zenith Aircraft Company (Missouri, USA) and assembled aircraft from Zenair Ltd.  (details)

    EAA Sport Pilot magazine:
    MS FlightSim aircraft files for the ZODIAC XL, as reviewed in the June 2006 issue of Sport Pilot magazine
    Train for your checkride in the ZODIAC XL using FlightSim aircraft files, as reviewed in the June 2006 issue of Sport Pilot magazine.


    May 2006:  AMD's production light sport aircraft (S-LSA) Zodiac XLi expands "operating instructions" to include Night and IFR operations.  Click here for details.
    ZODIAC XL Made in the USA: Producing the ZODIAC XL factory-built S-LSA aircraft powered by the Continental O-200 engine.

    AMD (in Eastman, Georgia)

    Video: Corvair power Click here to view a FlyCorvair.com video of the Corvair-powered ZODIAC XL.

    SNF 2006

    Sun'n Fun 2006: The 2nd Annual "Webmasters BBQ" was a great success, hosted by the www.ch601.org and www.ch701.com webmasters.

    Popular Mechanics magazine (April 2006 issue): "How I learned to Fly in a Week" by Davin Coburn. The writer obtains his sport pilot certificate in eight days in a Zodiac XL S-LSA trainer. 
    Davin Coburn celebrates with his instructor...   

    Popular Mechanics® Science Blog Air Challenge:
    Davin Coburn successfully completes a sport pilot license in a week.

    Popular Mechanics builds and flies a Zodiac

       Popular Mechanics builds and flies a Zodiac

    Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona

    February 20, 2006 - EAA's latest Sport Pilot Tour stop drew several hundred aviation enthusiasts to Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona, to learn more about opportunities in the growing sport pilot/light-sport aircraft community.

    from EAA Hotline (December 16, 2005, Volume 5, Number 57):
    Special Airworthiness Certificate For S-LSA Zodiac CH 601 XL
    AMD has received a Special Airworthiness Certificate for the Zodiac CH 601 XL. AMD completed all of the documents, flight-testing and quality control requirements with assistance from Zenair Ltd, and the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA). The all-metal Zodiac features a Continental O-200, 100-hp engine and Sensenich propeller. The original model was designed in the early ‘80s, and reengineered in 2001 as the CH 601 XL. 

    AMD Zodiac XL S-LSA

    AMD starts deliveries of the Zodiac XL S-LSA aircraft in December 2005.

    Dynon avionics Panel includes a Dynon EFIS (Electronic Flight Information System) and EMS (Engine Monitor System), autopilot, and Garmin stack.

    RC Kit

    zodiac-landing.jpg (39953 bytes)

    This radio-controlled scale model of the ZODIAC XL is now available directly from Zenith Aircraft Co.  This is a 1:5 scale (60-inch) model that is sold as a firewall-back "almost ready to fly" (ARF) kit. 

    Read the review from RC Universe Magazine and download videos:

    "The R/C Zodiac XL is a well-constructed Stand-Off Scale Model that Home-Built lovers will really appreciate. It assembles easily, flies well, and really looks."

    • Click here for more information about the ZODIAC XL model

    601flight-o200-boom.jpg (66435 bytes) AMD Zodiac XL S-LSA test aircraft with a Continental O-200 powerplant and Dynon EFIS (Electronic Flight Information System) and Engine Monitor System.

    Notice the boom on the left wing for testing and calibrating airspeed figures for LSA certification.

    • Click here for details on AMD's ZODIAC XL S-LSA aircraft
    • Click here for Sport Pilot category details.
    cont1.jpg (53185 bytes) Continental O-200 engine installation.
    • Click here for other custom engine installation photos
    Building Videos from HomeBuiltHELP.com
    Produced by an actual builder, the DVDs provide practical hands-on information:  Complete Zenith kit project series
    Metalworking 101 | Weight & Balance101 | Scratch-Building Basics | Rotax 912 Installation | Jabiru Engine Installation | Electrical Wiring101 | How to License your Homebuilt | ...more.
    Zodiacs at Zenith's 14th annual Open Hangar Day

    July 2005:
    X-Plane Zodiac XL flight simulator aircraft files now available from 2V2 Sim Aircraft Company
    Flight Crafters Sun'n Fun 2005:  Flight Crafters Builder Assistance Center (of Tampa, Florida) sponsored a week-long workshop on building the ZODIAC kit.
    Zodiac XL Sun'n Fun 2005:  The FAA approved the first factory-assembled CH 601 as an ELSA at the 2005 Sun'n Fun Fly-In.
    Continental O-200 powered ZODIAC XL with a Dynon equipped EFIS (Electronic Flight Information System) and EMS (Engine Monitor System). 

    David Henry Wins EAA Land-A-Member Zodiac XL Kit
    d-henry1-zodiac-xl.jpg (58650 bytes) January 12, 2005 (from EAA):  David Henry, a 24-year EAA member from Perry, Oklahoma, is the lucky winner of a complete, ready-to-build Zodiac XL kitplane and Rotax 912S powerplant package through the 2004 EAA Land-A-Member contest. "Holy cow!" Henry exclaimed when EAA President Tom Poberezny called on Tuesday to deliver the good news. "I am tickled to death, thank you so much!" Just to verify his good fortune, Henry then asked, "You want to run that by me again?"   Click here for more details from EAA.
    Mr. Henry drills the rear skin of the rudder assembly David Henry attended Zenith's factory workshop on to gain hands-on building experience.

    At left, Mr. Henry is shown drilling the rear skin of the rudder assembly.


    Gleim Publications now offers a Sport Pilot Kit designed to help expedite training for the sport pilot certificate. They offer a complete training program at an affordable price, with user-friendly self-study materials that are carefully designed to make it easy to learn and understand. 
    The Sport Pilot Kit contains everything you need (except airplane and instructor).

    The January 2005 issue of KITPLANES magazine profiles designer Chris Heintz in a cover story by Tim Kern (pages 12 - 19). "Zenith designer Chris Heintz has combined innovation and forthrightness to achieve success."

    October 2004:  
    Designer Chris Heintz is profiled in the October 2004 issue of Kitplanes magazine: “The Top 20 – Meet the most influential figures who have shaped the homebuilt aviation industry” by Rick Lindstrom (pages 59 – 63):  
    “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."
    “You must use creativity and responsibility together to build airplanes,” Heintz says. “And considering the past 30 years, I have not wasted my life”

    Zenair Zodiac CH601 load test

    Load testing the Zodiac XL airframe for LSA certification.
    xl-osh2004c.jpg (50227 bytes) Corvair-powered ZODIAC XL at EAA AirVenture (Oshkosh).
    xl-arlington2004.jpg (78381 bytes) Demo pilot Roger Dubbert and the ZODIAC XL at the Arlington NW EAA Fly-in: July 10, 2004, Arlington, Washington

    04snf-eaa2.jpg (55987 bytes) ZODIAC at the EAA Membership tent at Sun'n Fun 2004, as part of EAA's Land-a-Member program.

    Kitplanes magazine, January 2004 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."

    flightsim-xl.jpg (25238 bytes)

    flightsim-xl1.jpg (34746 bytes)

    FlightSim aircraft files for the ZODIAC CH 601 series.
    • Click here to download the free aircraft files for your flight simulator.
    • Click here for RC scale model info


    zot2.jpg (54244 bytes)

    zot-bbay.jpg (61099 bytes)

    Flying in New Zealand... landing on the beaches and flying over the glaciers...  Click here for great new photos.

    strausak9.jpg (75871 bytes)

    strausak2.jpg (92411 bytes)

    Viktor Strausak of Switzerland writes:

    These pictures over the Swiss Alps were taken on the 18th of December 2003. In the last 7 months I've spent over 135 hours in the air over these beautiful mountains in my Zodiac. I'm enjoying every minute with my flying machine.  

    My Zodiac is one of the lightest aircraft in the area with the best useful load, best endurance and most fuel economy and shortest take off run. I am proud of the simple and beautiful design and the fresh looking colors.  Please forward my special regards to Chris Heintz, the father of my baby HB-YKV!

    Builder Story:  "Tim Garrett designs military fighter planes by day and is building his own airplane in the basement of his home by night, all while battling multiple sclerosis."
    timgarrett1.jpg (60079 bytes)


    Dual Control Sticks July 2003:

    Dual Control Sticks now available for the ZODIAC XL

    xl-td.jpg (85612 bytes)

    Tailwheel Gear Configuration for the ZODIAC XL

    ZODIAC XL school project in Washington

    July 2003:
    Dave K., of Bright, Ontario, completed his Lycoming powered ZODIAC XL in "11 months and 11 days." 

    He reports:
    She flies and handles like a dream, just plain beautiful.
    It was worth every minute of effort it took to accomplish this."

    schn03-j.jpg (37575 bytes)

    schn03-f.jpg (35617 bytes)

    June 2003:
    to Chip Erwin and his ZODIAC XL amphibian for winning the 2003 Piccola Schneider Cup seaplane race.

    Click here for details and pics.

    Brian Clark, managing editor of Kitplanes magazine reports on attending Zenith’s factory workshop in the July 2003 issue of Kitplanes magazine: He concludes that it’s "…a worthwhile investment to attend a workshop before making the larger decision of whether to build the kit."
    "Try Before you Buy" by Brian Clark, pages 54-57.
    Read the full story in the July 2003 issue of Kitplanes magazine.  Details about about factory workshops.
    July 2003:
    Click here for the latest photo gallery / builder photos.

    March 2003:
    March 2003:
    "PLEIN VOL" magazine features the ZODIAC XL in a cover story (Quebec, April 2003 issue).
    February 2003:
     Sightseeing in Europe with the ZODIAC XL
     ZODIAC XL builder completions.
    Photos of the ZODIAC XL Amphibian

    EAA Experimenter magazine, August 2002 issue. Cover story: "Zenith's Sport Pilot Entry: The ZODIAC XL fits perfectly," by Dan Johnson.  Pages 18 - 23.
    • Click here to view the article online (pdf document, 250 kb)
    • Click here to download a high resolution copy of the article (pdf document, 2.74 mb)
    • Click here for subscription info to EAA Experimenter, or call 800-843-3612.
    General Aviation News magazine, August 5, 2002. "Pilot's Report: Zenith Aircraft's Zodiac series" Cover story, pages 34 - 37.  Excerpt:

    "Vigorous performance: 
    "My evaluation of cruise speed showed about 140 mph at 2800-2900 rpm, however, the company plans a different prop for Sport Pilot. At a 130-mph cruise, Zodiac XL felt faster. The numbers don't relate perfectly to the sensation of speed. It might have been the open bubble canopy, which insures massive visibility, but also imparts a sense of motion. The canopy had good optical qualities, seeming distortion free to my eyes.
    "Using 100 mph for good over-the-nose visibility, Zodiac XL's climb rate hit 900 fpm with two on board weighing something less than full gross. Using a climb prop installed for Sport Pilot — to restrain its speed so as to stay within the definition — the climb rate might exceed 1,000 fpm. My trials with steep turns done at 45-50Ā° of bank showed stable and steady characteristics. It reveals the Zodiac as an efficient flying machine...
    "During steep turns it was simple to visually keep the maneuvering area free of other traffic. In straight and level flight, my view of the world was enormous in every direction..."

    Patriotic ZODIAC XL powered by the Jabiru 3300 on amphibious floats.
    • Click here for more photos of the ZODIAC XL on amphibious floats

    Photos of Zenith Aircraft's demo ZODIAC XL powered by the Jabiru 3300 engine.



    • May 2002 issue of Kitplanes magazine: "Zodiac Stars: Two new Chris Heintz designs improve an already impressive lineup," by Howard Levy, pages 18 - 24, Kitplanes magazine.

    The first European ZODIAC XL in an air-to-air photo-shoot with the STOL CH 801:

    osh01-b.jpg (26718 bytes) July 2001: Jabiru 3300 engine installation in the ZODIAC XL at Oshkosh AirVenture 2001.

    Click here for more AirVenture photos.

    3300-d.jpg (56698 bytes) July 2001: Photos of the Jabiru 3300 engine installation in Zenith Aircraft's factory demo ZODIAC XL.

    ZODIAC XL Kit Eligible for Airworthiness Certification.

    April 6, 2001: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completed evaluation of the ZODIAC XL kit and determined that the kit, as evaluated, met the intent of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 21, Section 21.191(g).  The FAA notes that the evaluation should not be construed as meaning the kit is FAA CERTIFIED, CERTIFICATED, OR APPROVED. 

    Photos of Zenith Aircraft Company's demo ZODIAC XL, powered by the 100-hp Rotax 912S.  

    The ZODIAC XL's weight and performance will allow it to be operated under the new FAA Sport Pilot category.

    December 2000: CustomPlanes magazine flies the ZODIAC XL. Click here to read the flight report.

    "It runs fast, carries a decent load and offers a comfortable cabin. As you might expect from a designer who has several certificated airplanes to his credit, it flies with no surprises, just as it should."

    Click here for "old" updates

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