I've been looking closely at Zenith's airplanes. They have a good reputation all around, from building to flying. I like the 701, it just looks like so much fun. However, When you put full fuel, me, & my wife in one we would start running thin on capacity (useable load) for weekend trips.
Rather than share a toothbrush to cut down on weight, I'd like something with a little more carrying capacity. I saw an article online that had a small mention of the CH750. For those who haven't heard, it's similar to the 701 (STOL capable) but goes up to the LSA limits.
According to Zenith's site, the CH750 is planned to be a production aircraft with no plans to market kits. They stopped short of saying they will not offer kits of the 750.
My gut says that the CH750 will be available as a kit, but if they let the word out too early people will stop buying 701s and wait for the new airplane. Can't blame them - it's marketing and if I had a business I wouldn't do anything to endanger current sales.
What do you think? Will the CH750 eclipse the CH701? Do you think it will be available as a kit?
If it has STOL ability and an expanded useable weight capacity, I think it would be another great product.
I visited the Zenith factory the week of Thanksgiving. The 750 was sitting there in all it's glory. It really looks just like a 701 to the untrained I (pun intended), but it's a whole new design. The cabin looks huge. They had just fitted a new landing gear to raise it up a bit.
I asked about a kit version and they said it's likely because there is so much interest from builders, but the final decision hasn't been made.
Had a good time at the factory. After a brief tour and a demo flight, I was allowed to just wander around poking my nose where-ever and chatting to people. I thought this was extraordinary.
Nope, no performance numbers at all. I didn't ask and they didn't say.
They did say the plane is designed expressly for the LSA rule and that it's not a scaled up 701. They said several times that they've taken the 701 as far as practical in terms of gross weight and speed. They, and builders seem to be quite happy with the 701 just the way it is and the 750 is for a different mission.
I'm in Virginia myself and was visiting family in Illinois for the holiday. It is was only a three hours drive (each way) for me to visit the factory. I'm very happy that I chose Zenith as kit builder. You feel like your are part of a family rather than just a customer.
As an aside. Most of the parts for the 701 and 601 are machine made and hand finished. For the 801 however most of the parts are hand made (relatively low volume). There was a guy banging out a wing rib with a hammer over forming blocks - just like scratch builders do it in their garages. It looked a lot better than the one I did though! (I destroyed one from my kit and decided to try forming a rib myself - never again!)
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 7:13 am Posts: 46 Location: Madison, WI
Though it was missed at Oshkosh 2007, I believe the Patriot 750 will be introduced at Sebring in Florida next month. I know I'm looking forward to knowing more about it and certainly find it an attractive alternative especially if it will be made in a kit form as well. I know nobody asked me, but it is a lot better looking than the CH 701 (certainly more elegant and aerodynamic) and has better crusing speed. I also hope it has a fit inside for us big U.S. made guys!
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