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Thread: Zenith CH-701

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    Zenith CH-701

    I am interested in building a Zenith CH-701. Is this a good project for a beginner? Anyone have likes or dislikes with this plane?

    Several years back I worked on a Rans S-6, but found many of the parts just didn't fit right. Rans advised to grind down parts and this just did not feel too good. I finally gave up and sold the plane half done.

    Diane

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    Registered User DarylP's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    Quote Originally Posted by dianeb View Post
    I am interested in building a Zenith CH-701. Is this a good project for a beginner? Anyone have likes or dislikes with this plane.
    Several years back I worked on a Rans S-6, but found many of the parts just didn't fit right. Rans advised to grind down parts and this just did not feel too good. I finally gave up and sold the plane half done.

    Diane
    Say it isn't so! I figured that Rans had good fit and finish. I will have a CH750 before I die.

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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    The 701 is a good project for a beginner, but realize there's a lot of drilling and fitting involved. None of it's hard; but if you're shy of fixing your own mistakes (and you'll have to get over that to some extent no matter what), the pre-drilled 750 will be about half the frustration.

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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    Thanks. I don't have a problem with fixing my mistakes, but the 750 sounds like something I need to take a look at. Any negatives to the 750?

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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    Bigger (90% good, but not entirely, especially if you're putting the same engine on it), slightly more expensive, wants a bigger engine to be equally climby, very slightly longer takeoff roll, no additional useful payload.

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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    On the 701 I would be adding folding wings. I'd like to keep the plane at home and trailer it to the airport. I've got the room and will save the tie-down fees. I've noticed that some people don't really like folding wings. Why?

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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    Hi,
    Folding wings? It's just a matter of real-world experience. Guy in the hangar next to me has a T-18 with folding wings. His hangar is narrow, so he has to fold/unfold his wings every time he flies. It drove him nuts. So much so, that he's now moving to a bigger hangar.

    I think you'll find it OK for a while - but let's be honest - this sort of thing gets old very quickly...

    Duncan
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    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder's Blog:
    http://rtfmaero.wordpress.com/

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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    Everyone thinks they're going to do the folding wings option on the 701, then they realize it's not worth it. That's why there's no option for that on the 750.

    1) It's a pain in the neck.
    2) It adds weight and complexity.
    3) It takes as long to fold the wings as to remove them.
    4) Very few people end up trailering their planes to and from the airport; instead, they sit at home unused, because it raises the bar on deciding to go for a quick flight.

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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    There is a folding wing option for the 750.



    The 750 definitely has more useful payload. The 750 specs on the website are with the standard O-200. Lots of planes are coming in lighter with the use of lighter engines and gaining even more useful payload. Recently, Gus Warren built a 750 with a UL 250 96hp engine, minimal interior, no paint and it came in at 701.5 lbs.

    I just heard from Roger at Zenith that they are going to be announcing soon a new Gross Weight for those that don't want to fly under Light Sport. He said expect at least another 100lbs.

    IMHO, the 750 has much more going for it compared to the 701. Throttle back to 701 cruise speeds and you will get the same fuel burn if that is something that concerns you. You will get a much bigger cabin, more payload, faster cruise if you want it, more engine choices, easier to build kit, more refined design etc......

    Quote Originally Posted by addaon View Post
    Everyone thinks they're going to do the folding wings option on the 701, then they realize it's not worth it. That's why there's no option for that on the 750.

    1) It's a pain in the neck.
    2) It adds weight and complexity.
    3) It takes as long to fold the wings as to remove them.
    4) Very few people end up trailering their planes to and from the airport; instead, they sit at home unused, because it raises the bar on deciding to go for a quick flight.
    Last edited by High Altitude; May 27th, 2010 at 06:01 PM.

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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    Thanks for all of the guidance. The video helps make me realize that this isn't something that appeals every time I fly. The one thing that folding wings would help with is when you need to do maintenance. Sure would be nice to bring the plane home and have the time to fix it when I want to.

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    Moderator addaon's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    Just keep in mind that, with a friend, taking off the wings (as opposed to folding them) isn't a big deal.

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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    Something else to think about when folding or removing wings, is whether or not you are going to have to trailer it. Most of the people that I knew transported the plane in a trailer rather than keeping it at a hanger. It is a hassle to fold wings and as addaon has pointed out it is a lot easier removing the wings instead of folding. Being able to trailer your plane is great if you have a boring area to fly in, especially for those that have ultralights. Why do I say that? Well it gets mighty boring seeing the same old stuff over and over again, and a light plane is restricted to early morning flying fro the most part. Being able to trailer the plane somewhere is great, as you can experience some really great places. I had a friend that did that, and he would travel to the east coast once a year to fly. Sure you could try fly there, but I will point out that in bad weather you can still pull the trailer, as opposed to being grounded. I met a couple of guys that trailered their planes to Monument Valley in Arizona, and man...you should have seen the sights they saw!

    But here is the catch, as I personally found out, that the trailer is an expense too. Yes it has to be long enough to fit the plane, and when removing the wings you will need to make a good way to hang the wings inside without damaging them. The trailer cannot be a generic trailer, as the regular storage trailers axles are way to heavy, and the plane will bounce around way too much. So a custom enclosed trailer is what you would need.

    I have revisited this method myself, as I could then just buy a lighter weight plane, and spend the difference on the trailer instead. Still another thing would be getting a powered trike, as some of them fit into a pickup box. Remember...it not so much the plane as it is the experience. The more the fun...the more you fly.

    DarylP

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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    Comparing the 701 to the 750, why is the 750 easier to build and a more refined style?

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    Moderator addaon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dianeb View Post
    Comparing the 701 to the 750, why is the 750 easier to build and a more refined style?
    It's just a more advanced, later kit, with more of the work already done.

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    Re: Zenith CH-701

    They redesigned how some of the skins go on to make it easier on the builder, the elevator trim tab is a different design, the cabin is different for more room but amazing visibility, they use an extruded piece for the rear fuselage corners instead of angle, no parts need to be made by the builder like on the 701, all matched holes, rear baggage compartment is different..........

    Like anything, you learn and incorporate that into later designs etc.....

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