The ramp queen...

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Victor Bravo

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Well, I'm pretty sure we all really want to hear this story! Which 4 seat Zenith... 801, 640? What was the cause of the handling difficulty? I've seen the Zenith flight test video where the test pilot (Van Prey Jr.) is using full locked pro-spin controls and the aircraft (the CH-750) refuses to spin.
 

Tiger Tim

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here is another 801 with a 210 hp six cylinder
inline in this case
There used to be a couple inline 801s that would fly over the house I grew up in. I remember them hunting in yaw quite markedly as they flew.
Just a heads-up; one of our chapter members built a 4 seat Zenith with (IIRC) a Lyc 390". Had handling issues bad enough (verified by a couple of highly experienced CFIs who've flown probably hundreds of types) that he took it to Zenith so they could analyze the problems. Their test pilot got into an unrecoverable spin & had to pull the airframe chute. Airframe was destroyed. Needless to say, he didn't build another one; bought a Bearhawk project.
Jeez, that sure sounds related.
 

bkc

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The CH750 stol that I built and fly is a very docile machine and easy to fly. I hear of similar behavior from 801s as well. However, it is draggy, drops like a rock when you chop the power, and energy dissipation is fast. The non-recoverable spin story sounds uncharacteristic based on what I am used to. Who was the test pilot, Roger Dubbert? I’ve never heard the story. Sounds like somebody put the wings on backwards :)

Would be great to see an accident report reference.
 
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rsrguy3

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The CH750 stol that I built and fly is a very docile machine and easy to fly. I hear of similar behavior from 801s as well. However, it is draggy, drops like a rock when you chop the power, and energy dissipation is fast. The non-recoverable spin story sounds uncharacteristic based on what I am used to. Who was the test pilot, Roger Dubbert? I’ve never heard the story. Sounds like somebody put the wings on backwards :)

Would be great to see an accident report reference.;);)
It didn't happen if there wasn't a report or flight testing cards... ;)


 

rv7charlie

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Plane was N801GR.
Attached is the mention in our chapter newsletter of the owner's report at the previous meeting (I was there; it was...'interesting reading').
 

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  • July 2019 Newsletter zenith.pdf
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rsrguy3

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This is the text under the video on the zenith site..

This is Gary Reeves' awesome CH801-SD, equipped with a modern Titan IO-370 engine, custom Catto prop, Garmin avionics and a long list of special features and custom options including autopilot, BRS whole aircraft rescue parachute system, and extended range fuel system.
 

Victor Bravo

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So the video doesn't show any uncontrollable behavior that I can see. He appears to be doing stalls and spins with the propeller stopped (unless it's an optical illusion) and to me the airplane appears to be spiraling instead of spinning. The test pilot seems to be saying "re-attach, re-attach, re-attach" which I am guessing means he's waiting for the airflow to reattach to the wing in some manner???

Am I missing something here?
 

rsrguy3

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It looks completely normal to me. I'll be calling Gary today.
Yesterday if flew the pattern once but had radio issues so the cfi landed.
He didn't have anything negative to say with regard to handling characteristics.
He said it felt perfectly normal and that it felt a little heavier than a 172.
 

rsrguy3

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Just got this from the horses mouth so to speak.
Turns out the plane flew beautifully. Being the first completed customer ship flight testing for load and cg were offered at Mexico MO. Multiple cg configs were being tested. The test pilot was a little low on the spin and felt more comfortable pulling the chute... wind dragged the chute and caused the total loss.
 

Tom DM

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Victor Bravo suggested a thread for this odd bird so here goes. I put it in the bush forum, so you guys can join in ... call me a bone head, give off airport or other advice or anything else... my skin is pretty leathery.
View attachment 130453
snip

She might be a ramp queen but she then has seen quite a fair amount of ramp :)
But as with stuff in a bottle: it is not the fancy glass work that counts.
She flies , so she is beautiful.

220 HP combined with the exquisite aero of a rounded brick: you own oil wells?

Life is strange: your airplane reminds of a -very nice- Ucranian girl I knew swiftly: we worked there and at noon were invited (invited as "No is not an option") to dinner. She poured us transparant lemonade out of a coca-cola-bottle, 25 cl at the minimum. We saluted and drank. To my mate and I the liquid felt first as water, then it ached, then it came back as a blazing dragon... our heads more red than your spinner. She didn't flinch and reached for the plastic bottle to refill. My friend Peter and I were by that time close to death.

I like your plane but then the wolf in sheep's clothing thing always does me in.
 

rsrguy3

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Interesting... a very different story from the one told at the EAA chapter meeting after the incident.

Apologies for passing on bad info.
Not technically false info. Gary said it flew very nicely but there was something wonky about the design specified cg. The factory volunteered flight testing to nail it all down... it all seems completely understandable to me. Everything except posting a video of spin tests publicly without a complete narrative on the outcome of testing .... odd
 

rsrguy3

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The airplane says "Super Duty" on the side, but I had been under the impression that the 750 was the only "Super Duty" model. Have they made the "801 Super Duty" or the "801 Cruzer" models without telling anyone?
My understanding is there were 3 801's the original design (ours) the hd and sd.
 

rsrguy3

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She might be a ramp queen but she then has seen quite a fair amount of ramp :)
But as with stuff in a bottle: it is not the fancy glass work that counts.
She flies , so she is beautiful.

220 HP combined with the exquisite aero of a rounded brick: you own oil wells?

Life is strange: your airplane reminds of a -very nice- Ucranian girl I knew swiftly: we worked there and at noon were invited (invited as "No is not an option") to dinner. She poured us transparant lemonade out of a coca-cola-bottle, 25 cl at the minimum. We saluted and drank. To my mate and I the liquid felt first as water, then it ached, then it came back as a blazing dragon... our heads more red than your spinner. She didn't flinch and reached for the plastic bottle to refill. My friend Peter and I were by that time close to death.

I like your plane but then the wolf in sheep's clothing thing always does me in.
She's a drag queen for certain. It'll burn around 15 gph on lift off and down around 10 for level cruise.

Wolf in sheep's clothing, I like it. Always did get a kick out of a good sleeper.
 

rsrguy3

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Flew it again today.... the governor is on the fritz... 2.5 amu for a new one and a 4 week wait. We have a used one coming Monday. Fingers crossed we'll have a flyable bird till the new one makes it .
 

Victor Bravo

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That is actually pretty darn good economical fuel flow for something that can put four people and some gear into a 500 foot clearing at 5000 DA and get them safely out again.

My old 172 will cruise around at 8 GPH... but it will need 1000-1250 feet for the clearing - and two of the four people will have to be three-year-olds. So you're doing pretty well in my opinion.
 
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