Builders share their successes.


Al Stuber’s Zenith CH 750

I built this Zenith CH 750 kit in 14 months. It has a 100-horsepower Rotax 912S with a Warp Drive propeller. It really only looks fast. It cruises at 90 to 95 mph or 105 mph wide open. I beat a Luscombe that went 104. Hoorah.

Zenith has an excellent support team, and it was a fun project. I have flown it 110 hours in eight months (plus to Oshkosh AirVenture).

It is a very sexy airplane and people really dig it. Even Sky-Dog Tucker gets excited once the seat belt goes on.

Lawrence, Kansas
[email protected]

Steve Weston’s Zodiac 601 XL

It was a real bummer to dismantle my recently completed and
perfectly good Zenith Zodiac 601 XL to install the company’s “suggested” upgrades.

I had 77 hours on the airplane when there was all of the fuss about how six Zodiacs had crashed. More than 1000 of the aircraft were flying and, yes, there were concerns about the structure. So I ordered the modification kit, and six weeks later we were up and flying again.

The Zenith factory was great with the mod kits, and their people were very helpful with the rebuild. As I send this, here in the Mojave Desert, I couldn’t help but include this photo of my wife, Diana, and I over the Colorado River near Lake Havasu. What a great day to fly. The picture taken by George Hewitt with J-3 Cub pilot Stan Gatewood.

Fort Mohave, Arizona
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Carl Bell’s RV-7A

My RV-7A is finished after 2450 hours of building. Red Hawk N947CB is a great little flier, very fast and sure. It will do 200 mph and cruise comfortably at 185 to 190 mph. The plane has handbrakes and a push-pull rudder system that help facilitate better control because I’m an amputee. It also has a light IFR panel for misty and low-visibility days.

I have learned a lot about airplanes, airplane building and even a few things about myself taking on this project. It was trying at times, yet very rewarding. Van’s Aircraft, which builds the kit, gave me exceptional support as did Grand Rapids, Classic Aero and SteinAir-all great companies. I have some minor work left on the plane and some work yet on updating my flying skills.

You may see me someday soon, now that we can easily cover 1000 miles in half a day! By the way, Red Hawk gets more than 20 mpg, so I consider it an economy airplane, which you really need in this economy!

Aiken, South Carolina
[email protected]


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