Atrosa wrote:Great point Paul. Hey saw a video of you in a zenith. There is one locally for sale so i start to research those....and viola... Paul Hamilton in a Zenith. How did you like that machine?
A few comments on the Zenith 601XL Zodiac if I may. I bought a CH601XL quick build kit in 2006 and began work on it when several unexplained fatal mid-air breakups occurred. Chris Heintz, the designer, insisted that nothing was wrong with the design and that builders hadn't properly tensioned control cables to the specs in the kit instructions. The European regulators grounded the airplanes and the FAA stopped issuing new airworthiness certificates pending the outcome of an intensive design review by Zenith, the NTSB, and a number of independent consultants. I stopped work on the kit waiting for the investigation to be completed and recommendations for structural modifications to the design published, along with kits made available to builders at cost by Zenith. When the structural upgrade kits became available in 2010, I bought one and resumed construction. Years went by without my making much progress, but there were no more unexplained mid-air breakups to airframes that had been modified. In fact, the 601XL is the most critically scrutinized LSA design since the light sport rule was codified and published in the Federal Register in 2004, and the safety record since the design review and airframe structural modifications incorporated has been enviable.
Because progress on my kit was so slow, a close friend suggested I'd be dead before it was finished, and if I wanted to fly I should just buy one that was already flying. I took his advice and sold the partially completed kit, and bought a low time 2008 factory built AMD CH601XL with the structural mods performed in 2010 by a certified FAA repair station. After owning and flying it for three and a half years, I am confident it is a safe, reliable airplane. Because of the design history, resale value has remained depressed making them a relative bargain.