Zenith 750 cruzer future builder questions?

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snowy_50

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Hey every one !
I got into this after getting my first few copies of kitplane magazine and now my future goal is to build one.
My background is I'm a recent graduate mechanical engineer with focus in aviation,I started with rc cars but moved to rc planes,I built from micro to giant scale warbirds, also I'm pretty handing with my hands from working with cad to replacing a transmission to building and 3d printing complex pieces and parts.

So when it came to research I was over whelmed, and I'm not sure what I'm missing to complete the price of the build,here's my specs:
Zenith cruzer 750 kit.
Dynon package (radio,transponder,gps...ECT avionics).
Viking 130 (motor mount,sensors,duc prop,pre wired harness,oil,cowling,computer....)

What I don't know is do I need a flap controller? Trim motor? Extra wiring or hoses? In tank fuel pump? Not sure,it's the small details I'm missing to know the total price I will have to cough up or save to get to my goal.

Thank you in advance :)
 

Victor Bravo

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The basic standard Zenith kit will have the basic system, and they offer an upgrade for whatever you want to add.... like electric trim, or electric flaps, etc. All those items are listed with a price on the ZAC website.

I have no idea what the Viking engine needs, but good old free gravity feed will get the fuel from the tanks down to whatever engine-mounted fuel pump Eggenfellner uses on the engine itself. You may well not need another pump, and if you do it will be a $39.95 Facet "cube pump" from Aircraft Spruce that does not go in the tank itself.

Please accept my (and many others here) advice that you should worry about the Dynon avionics (or Garmin or whatever) much much later. Buy and build the airframe first.

While you are building, research and figure out what engine is the right decision.... you do NOT have to make that decis ion any time soon. Viking, Continental, Lycoming, UL Power, whatever.

Then, whenever your aircraft is about 75% done, then at that time you start looking at collecting avionics. A good, small, light digital COM radio will run you about $450 on Barnstormers (used European take-out Becker, Dittel, sold by two or three sellers, IDEAL for this type of aircraft) The GPS/NAV can be your iPad or tablet, with free AvAre app giving you a full-screen color moving map. A Garmin G5 or the Dynon equivalent will give you everything else in one small gauge. That is really really really all that you are going to need for the 750, until you start flying in real "hard IFR", at which time the 750 airframe is probably not going to be the right airplane anyway.

If you will forgive me for making assumptions about your primary use for the 750 - IMHO t ake that "ten grand for the panel!" that many people are trying to convince you of, and put 3/4 of it into the aircraft iself.
 
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TFF

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You don’t really know the total price until it’s done. You might redo something, new stuff comes along. Time is always more than you think. I would say you want 20% more than your best estimate to complete one with no modifications. Most projects die because lack of money.

Panels are last to worry about; easy to dream about. My friend said to me, “ the panel dates the build.” I know people who are 20 years in with old panels that still haven’t flown.
 

snowy_50

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Jan 16, 2022
Messages
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The basic standard Zenith kit will have the basic system, and they offer an upgrade for whatever you want to add.... like electric trim, or electric flaps, etc. All those items are listed with a price on the ZAC website.

I have no idea what the Viking engine needs, but good old free gravity feed will get the fuel from the tanks down to whatever engine-mounted fuel pump Eggenfellner uses on the engine itself. You may well not need another pump, and if you do it will be a $39.95 Facet "cube pump" from Aircraft Spruce that does not go in the tank itself.

Please accept my (and many others here) advice that you should worry about the Dynon avionics (or Garmin or whatever) much much later. Buy and build the airframe first.

While you are building, research and figure out what engine is the right decision.... you do NOT have to make that decis ion any time soon. Viking, Continental, Lycoming, UL Power, whatever.

Then, whenever your aircraft is about 75% done, then at that time you start looking at collecting avionics. A good, small, light digital COM radio will run you about $450 on Barnstormers (used European take-out Becker, Dittel, sold by two or three sellers, IDEAL for this type of aircraft) The GPS/NAV can be your iPad or tablet, with free AvAre app giving you a full-screen color moving map. A Garmin G5 or the Dynon equivalent will give you everything else in one small gauge. That is really really really all that you are going to need for the 750, until you start flying in real "hard IFR", at which time the 750 airframe is probably not going to be the right airplane anyway.

If you will forgive me for making assumptions about your primary use for the 750 - IMHO t ake that "ten grand for the panel!" that many people are trying to convince you of, and put 3/4 of it into the aircraft iself.
Thank you !
And i tried to find a much more basic panel lay out with electric powered instruments,piecing together from the pruce catalog, and the difference was a couple thousan and wouldnt have to deal with much wiring.
And yup i think that be a very good idea since technology and prices for them keep evolving, i didnt think of that till now.
My main goal in the future is a plane me and my girlfriend can fly crosscountry to see friends and events but also be somewhat stol capable, and i love building. And from doing some research on over 100+ kits,best price for my specs was the zenith 750 line, my second was the rans s21 but it was out of budget
And im still new to this whole aircraft kit so any advice is welcoming
 

snowy_50

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You don’t really know the total price until it’s done. You might redo something, new stuff comes along. Time is always more than you think. I would say you want 20% more than your best estimate to complete one with no modifications. Most projects die because lack of money.

Panels are last to worry about; easy to dream about. My friend said to me, “ the panel dates the build.” I know people who are 20 years in with old panels that still haven’t flown.
Dang! Thanks for the advice
 

Rhino

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The Cruzer kit (non-quick build) goes for around $30k right now, not including shipping. For a Viking 130 and firewall forward (FWF) setup, count on around $14k to 17K. You don't need in tank pumps, but you will need a header tank. That's a bit more complex, but not much additional cost. The Viking site has info on that. You've gotten good advice on waiting before deciding on a panel, but you need to have a more realistic idea of what you want. The panel in the Cruzer is bigger than in my STOL model, and there's a fair amount of real estate there for a small LSA. As for the panel contents, there's a huge amount of leeway from Dynon right now based on your desires, and the prices vary accordingly. A full-up, two screen EFIS package from Dynon can cost around $20k at today's prices, but you can reduce that significantly by simplifying your setup. As has been said, it's too early to make definite choices, but their sales site does have a configurator tool that'll give you a price on any panel configuration you might want to plug in. That can give you a rough idea as to how the costs can vary with complexity. But remember that the supply chain and parts availability issues are making engine and panel prices hard to predict (along with everything else), so you can't accurately assess what those prices might be in the future, even in the near future.
 

AeroER

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There's still merit in steam gauges and limited electronic gadgetry such as a full feature engine monitor. Past that, real time weather in the cockpit is great aid and convenience, but a cell phone works, too, and both must come second to good judgement.

The mistake to avoid is scrimping on tools, fixtures, and assembly aids. Don't scrimp, buy the tools needed in order to make the project progress. There will be plenty of challenges without fighting tools.
 

charosenz

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It is wise of you to come to a forum and seek advice. If you can connect to a local EAA chapter that would be an excellent place to meet people to gain more insight on the build process. In regards to your question, "what am I missing"....I would add to your list. Tools, paint, propeller, but most of all....."time". The time commitment is probably the biggest obstacle that prevents many builders from actually competing their kit.
 

Rhino

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I have a very low time prop for a Viking 130 that I could let go very cheap. I'd have to check the logbook, but I think it's around 60 hours. I bought it when I was still planning to go with Viking. Now it's just sitting there.
 

snowy_50

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There's still merit in steam gauges and limited electronic gadgetry such as a full feature engine monitor. Past that, real time weather in the cockpit is great aid and convenience, but a cell phone works, too, and both must come second to good judgement.

The mistake to avoid is scrimping on tools, fixtures, and assembly aids. Don't scrimp, buy the tools needed in order to make the project progress. There will be plenty of challenges without fighting tools.
I had this happen on many of my personal projects and college ones, get the tool for the job in hand
 

snowy_50

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It is wise of you to come to a forum and seek advice. If you can connect to a local EAA chapter that would be an excellent place to meet people to gain more insight on the build process. In regards to your question, "what am I missing"....I would add to your list. Tools, paint, propeller, but most of all....."time". The time commitment is probably the biggest obstacle that prevents many builders from actually competing their kit.
I have rc planes and clasic trucks and always look into information before doing something,i dont like jumping in blind
 

snowy_50

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I have a very low time prop for a Viking 130 that I could let go very cheap. I'd have to check the logbook, but I think it's around 60 hours. I bought it when I was still planning to go with Viking. Now it's just sitting there.
Thank you for your input,my initial plan was get steam/electric gauges combined with uavionics instruments.
I got a basic guote of 15k if i want a single panel but with all the switches,cables,antenas,pitot tube ect.... only thing mising would be a battery
Thank you for the offer but in this moment im gathering information to see if its financially viable
 

TFF

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I know you want to build your own, but you can get a Taylorcraft or Champ for about the money you have saved and be flying right away. Not an excuse to not build, but it might be better adventure down the road.
 

b7gwap

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Since you are an RC guy you must like wrenching. If you want to build your own Lycoming or Continental you can get below 13k.

Victor Bravo already mentioned the advantages and reliability of gravity fed fuel systems. I would add that the mechanical simplicity of a direct drive propeller was what mechanical engineers at Lycoming and Continental chose to achieve the literal hundreds of millions of flight hours in the general aviation fleet.

VB don’t start with your GO-300s now.. :)

good luck and stick to it! It’s your plane, do it your way!

-Austin
 

snowy_50

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I know you want to build your own, but you can get a Taylorcraft or Champ for about the money you have saved and be flying right away. Not an excuse to not build, but it might be better adventure down the road.
Not a bad idea,but im not a huge fan of tandem seating,but its a very atractive price so ill put it on my list
 

snowy_50

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Since you are an RC guy you must like wrenching. If you want to build your own Lycoming or Continental you can get below 13k.

Victor Bravo already mentioned the advantages and reliability of gravity fed fuel systems. I would add that the mechanical simplicity of a direct drive propeller was what mechanical engineers at Lycoming and Continental chose to achieve the literal hundreds of millions of flight hours in the general aviation fleet.

VB don’t start with your GO-300s now.. :)

good luck and stick to it! It’s your plane, do it your way!

-Austin
Yes very much! I even built a giant scale vintage aircraft byron p51 from the 80's
And love working on my truck

Seriously? I tried finding one around the 130hp but they where 25k new or used,the best deal i found wad viking with a liguid cooled engine and at 12k
Agreed,im thinking of going with a basic ground adjustable prop from duc or whirlwind,i would love a hatzell but the price kills me
 

snowy_50

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Heres a question for late late future, what is the phase 1 of experimental aircraft and for how long do i need to do it for?
 

Rhino

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Generally it was 40 hours, but a new task based approach makes that flexible according to the complexity of the aircraft. Simpler aircraft may take less time, and more complex aircraft may take longer. Additionally, this approach allows you to have a list of tasks to follow that insure you cover what's needed to confirm the safety of your aircraft for normal flight. Documenting the tasks also gives you a lot of the data you need to create a flight manual/pilot operating handbook (POH). Or.... you can stick with the old 40 hour approach.


By the way, I recommend purchase of the EAA Flight Test Manual and test cards, currently second edition I believe.
 
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