Zenith 801 for African high altitude flying

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Kitplanes

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
10
Location
South Africa
Hi Africanlion. I hope I am posting out of my turn now but being a South African myself and doing extensive bushflying, I could not find anything in the market that suited my needs. The Bearhawk came close but was a bit small for my extensive (overweight) :) frame so I decided to build an airplane that will be able to carry me and 3 of my friends with full fuel and must be able to t/off in less than 200m when fully loaded. Most of all it must be affordable. So we are now working on the new aircraft which is called the Xpedition4. The front seats space is 51 inch over the shoulders and the rear seats are 42inch. If you would like more info then just follow this link. AvCom • View topic - Xpedition 2, 4 and 5 project
Kitplanes For Africa | Facebook

If you have just started flying I would suggest that you first gain some experience, visit a lot of airfields and check out other airplanes and then decide what your mission with the plane will be, what your budget is and how much time you will realistic be spending flying and then make a decision based on that. Building a plane is a lot of bloodsweat and a huge investment and making the wrong choice could just frustrate you later and cost you money.
 

Battson

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Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
610
Location
New Zealand
Had never heard of the Bearhawk and just checked it out on their website. I like the superior speed/performance but it is far larger than the 801 which i am drawn to because its smallish and still carries 4. The take off roll for the Bearhawk is also longer

Apart from the speed why fo you personally favour the Bearhawk if i may ask
I can speak with a bias :grin:

If you are talking bush flying requiring high performance but also load hauling ability, these are some reasons (not all of them) to consider the Bearhawk, compared to say an 801:

Much more rugged and strong build - easily repaired in the field if it breaks.
Taildragger and all the benefits that provides in the bush.
Massive load carrying and cargo space, it comfortably carries 4 plus a realistic amount of gear, or can carry +1.
Range of fuel capacity and engine choices.
Higher speed for covering longer distances.
A versatile template to build your own design features into.

Possible issues:
Not quite as extremely STOL as the 801, but for both that depends on the load aboard and build weight.
Fabric covering is apparently "edible" to big cats & cattle once they figure that out.........

4000ft is not a massive deal, you're not talking huge degradation of glide slope etc, but the answer to passenger parachutes is almost certainly no.

But like you say, you've decided on the Zenith which is cool.

Just to illustrate my point about the versatility and because we all love pictures, here are some I collected:
Fuel injected model
image001-1_zpsf990e0f9.jpg

Auto engine conversion
Bearhawkrover_zps1a474d87.jpg

Modified cowl + spring gear
BearHawk_springgear_zpsda0cc411.jpg

Heavily modified for load hauling missionary work + other changes I can't explain.
image001_zpsba5c6d31.jpg
 
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JIC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
290
Location
Middleton, Idaho
I have some experience in African high altitude flying, I was there once.

The pictures where taken from a DHC-2 Beaver, as the Army called Them U-6.
These were taken somewhere between Addis Abbaba and Asmara Ethiopia many
years ago.

jic
 

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thjakits

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
52
Location
Panama, Rep. of Panama
Longshot dare - reviving a thread after 7 years is probably not going to work...

WHAT happened to this case?
801, Bearhawk - anything else flying by now?


Cheers,

thjakits
 

Pops

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Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
7,666
Location
USA.
In post 22, the bottom picture of the Bearhawk with the cargo pod on the bottom. It was built from the steel tooling and jigs that Dallas Shell and myself built.
 

Mike Stewart

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
53
Location
San Diego, CA
Just came across this thread and it caught my eye for a couple reasons. African flying being one of them and the Zenith under consideration the other. I'm sure the Zodiacs or whatever they're called have their proponents but I've talked to a couple people who did some initial flights after being built and they didn't have any good things to say about them. Following the old adage, "If it looks good it'll fly good,", the Zenith designs fail badly . . . although the one they certified (601?) is a nice looking plane. Didn't it have a structural problem or two however?

Pay no attention . . . just babbling.
 
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