Huttinger Zenith CH 750 STOL

4

When I made the decision to purchase the kit after attending a rudder workshop in November of 2015, I envisioned a three-year process at the outset. I based that on the experience of another CH750 builder here in Prescott that completed his in three years while working full time and supporting a young family. As a retired empty-nester with a supportive wife, I figured three years would be plenty. I received the kit on January 12th, 2016 and began the most rewarding project I have ever undertaken. I enjoyed the build process so much, my three years became five, and in January of 2020, almost to the day, got my Airworthiness Certificate.

Sue Hilton and Jay Huttinger.

The genesis of the project began many years ago. My father and I got our private licenses in 1978 and flew together on business. We often talked about building an airplane “some day”. He passed away before we could make it happen, and I resolved then that I would build one in his honor. He was part of the greatest generation and as a 20-year-old lieutenant, flew B-25s in the Pacific theater. I painted the airplane in his squadron colors (13th Air Force, 42nd Bomb Group, 390th Bomb Squadron). My sister Sue Hilton (ex-Air Force mechanic) fabricated the interior upholstery and other appointments including custom travel bags, cowl plugs, pitot covers, etc.

The airplane is powered by a UL Power 350is turning a 3 blade Whirlwind ground adjustable prop. Avionics include TQ comm radio and transponder, ADSB in and out, GRT Sport 10X, connected to a GRT Engine Information System. I installed a single ambidextrous grip on the stick with push to talk and elevator trim. The airplane has the long range tank option and 6 x 8.00 tires.

As a low time pilot with no time in type, I chose to have an experienced test pilot friend perform the first flight honors. At 0600 on March 8th 2020 he flew the airplane and reported that the trimmed airplane flew hands off, straight and level the first time around the patch. Since then I have been flying the airplane and am in the middle of my 40 hour phase one.  I’m extremely pleased with the airplane and am looking forward to using it for its designed purpose—exploring the Arizona and Utah backcountry. I just wish my Dad could see the airplane that my sister and I built to honor his memory.

—Jay Huttinger, Prescott, Arizona

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4 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a beautiful airplane and a beautiful way to honor your Dad. Your sister did amazing work – not to say you didn’t !! Daryl

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