Zenith CH 701 Utility Kit Aircraft
By ANN Correspondent John Ballantyne
In an exclusive interview with ANN, Zenith's Customer Service
Representative, Roger Dubbert, he reported that the CH 701 is
preferable over the competition because it is an all-metal airplane
capable of take-off and landings in less than 100 feet, and which
can be built in less than 500 hours.
The standards standard kit (firewall back) costs approximately
$14,000 and, depending on which engine one chooses (Rotax 912 is
often used), will range between $28-30,000. Zenair will soon offer
a quick-build kit as well, Dubbert said.
First introduced in
1986, the STOL CH 701 aircraft was developed as an "off-airport"
short take-off and landing kit aircraft to fulfill the demanding
requirements of both sport pilots and first-time builders. The CH
701 is a side-by-side, two-place conventional three-axis aircraft
with a standard tail and tricycle gear. It has leading edge slats,
full-span Junker type flaps/ailerons. With a two people (useful
load of 520 pounds), a Rotax 912, and standard atmospheric
conditions, the factory reports a take off roll of 90 feet. The
cruise speed at 75% power will be 80 mph, stall speed 30 mph, rate
of climb 1,400 feet per minute with a full, 20 gallons of fuel,
will go 400 miles before engine sputtering commences.
The Zenith CH 701 has a thick wing, 27 foot wing span with,
full-length leading-edge slats and trailing edge Junker type
flaperons allowing development of a maximum wing lift coefficient
of 3.10. The flaperons act as both full-span ailerons as well as
full-span flaps. For maximum reliability and to keep construction
simple, the leading edge slats are engineered to remain in a fixed
position in all flight attitudes, and do not retract
Factory literature says the STOL CH701 design meets the
requirements of the FAA's Sport Pilot / Light Sport Aircraft (LSA)
The reference is to the experimental amateur-built or to the
experimental light-sport categories, either of which may be flown
by sport pilots so long as the weight and speeds do not exceed the
LSA requirements in FAR Part 1.
In the parade of light sport aircraft, the CH 701 is a
tried-and-true kit which has been in service for many years. It
surely is at, or near, the front of the parade.