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SLSA - Zodiac 601

It runs fast, carries a decent load and offers a comfortable cabin. As you might expect from a designer who has several certificated airplanes to his credit, it flies with no surprises...

Sport Pilot License

Custom Planes Magazine Important notes about the Zodiac CH601XL

  • The all aluminum airframe provides ease of manufacturing consistency. With metal you need not worry about all the variables of composite, i.e. Consistent mixture, the right temperatures, air pockets etc. What you see with metal is what you get.
  • Lightning - Composites can provide very aerodynamically clean aircraft with good performance and efficiencies, but there are other factors to consider. Electricity travels only on the surface. Nobody wants to be struck by lightning, but if it does happen you want the surge of electricity to pass harmlessly along a conducting surface. In a lightning strike non conductive surfaces can melt, warp and explode. A metal pole passes lightning to the ground where a tree can heat up and explode.
  • Continental 0-200 engine. Teledyne Continental Motors has been building the 0-200 style engine since the 1950s. Aircraft do require lots of scheduled maintenance and you don't want to extend down time looking for a mechanic familiar who is familiar with you engine. Unlike most other LSA engines the 0-200 is certified for night flight.
  • Sensenich fixed-pitched propeller. Sensenich is a standard in the aviation business. No additional down time for adjustable props with the Zodiac CH601XL
    • Large cabin area
    • Excellent Performance
    • Proven design
    • Highest quality standards
  Zodiac CH601XL Continental 0-200A
601xl-cad-slsa Picture Max Cruise 134 mph
VNE 180 mph
Vs1 Stall Speed 51 mph
Vs2 Stall Speed 44 mph
3v-dim-front Picture Rate of Climb 900 fpm
Take off Roll 550 feet
Landing Distance 500 feet
3v-dim-side Picture Range (std, SM) 600 miles
Endurance (std, NR) 4.8 hours
Load Factor + / - 6g

The Zenair Air Zodiac CH601XL is ideally suited for Sport Pilot training.

The CH601XL is a SLSA category. It is all-metal, similar to a Piper or Cessna aircraft, and uses the very popular Continental 0-200 (100 HP) engine, same as the Cessna-150.

The handling characteristics of the aircraft are very stable. Recovery from power off and power on stalls comes easily. There is a fantastic field of view helps the student pilot stay oriented in traffic patterns.

The Zodiac was designed by Chris Heintz, designer and owner of Zenair Ltd. (manufacturing aircraft since 1974) pioneered light aircraft rules throughout the world and has done so again with the LSA rule. He originally drafted the Canadian "Advanced Ultralight" regulations more than 15 years ago, which were largely copied by the European Community and other countries 5-7 years ago. Due to his vast experience in light aircraft designing, Chris Heintz was nominated to be a key person on the LSA design group. The Zodiac is one of more than 20 Chris Heintz designs. The original Zodiac was designed in the early 80's and re-engineered in 2001 as the CH 601 XL, meeting LSA compliance.

Specifications Zenair Zodiac AMD Build SLSA CH601XL

Specifications Zodiac CH601XL Continental 0-200A
Wing Span 27 ft
Wing Area 132 sq ft
Length 20 ft
Horizontal Tail Span 7 ft 7 in
rudder Tip Height 6 ft 6 in
Empty Weight 800 lb
Useful Load 520
Gross Weight 1320 lb
Wing Loading 9.85 psf
Fuel Capacity 28 Gal
Power Loading 11.4 lb / hp
Cabin Width 44 inches
Load factor (G) ultimate +/- 6g

Teledyne Continental Motors O-200 (100-hp) Aircraft Engine

Continental has been producing aircraft engines for since the 1930s. The company originally built the A40 engine, a 38-hp 4 cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled engine used in the Piper Cub. The original engine evolved into various models over the years, including the A65, A75, C75, C85 and C90, and finally evolved into the O-200 engine used in the popular Cessna 150. Over the years, thousands of small Continentals have been produced (Continental was producing more than 10,000 engines per year in the late seventies). Today, the O-200 engine is still available factory-new from Continental, and used ones are available from many sources.

Continental engines provide a history of performance and reliability, with available worldwide parts and service support. Many Zodiac builders have installed used and/or overhauled Continental engines. There is a large market for used Continental aircraft engines, with numerous sources for used engines, parts and after-market upgrades and enhancements. If using a older Continental engine, we recommend that the engine be upgraded with a lighter (and more modern) electrical system.

  • Four Stroke
  • 4 Cylinder Horizontally Opposed
  • Air Cooled
  • Overhead Valves
  • Wet Sump Oil Lubrication
  • Direct Propeller Drive (no reduction unit)
  • Dual Magneto Ignition (8 spark plugs total)

Zenith Aircraft - Designed By: CHRIS HEINTZ - Accomplished Aeronautical Engineer

Chris Heintz Awarded Picture

In 1996, Chris Heintz and Zenair Ltd. obtained FAA type-certification for the ZENITH CH 2000, a two-seat low-wing aircraft based on Heintz' kit aircraft designs.

Designer Chris Heintz Awarded Picture

Designer Chris Heintz was awarded the LAMA (Light Aircraft Manufacturers' Assoc.) / KITPLANES magazine 2001 PRESIDENT'S AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL at Oshkosh AirVenture on July 24, 2001.

Heintz was selected by his peers (aircraft designers and manufacturers) for this prestigious award from the Light Aircraft Manufacturer's Assoc. The award was presented to Chris Heintz by LAMA president Larry Burke and KITPLANES magazine editor Dave Martin.

As founder, president and chief engineer of Zenair Ltd. since 1974, Mr. Heintz has designed and developed more than 12 new aircraft models, which have been marketed as kit aircraft around the world.

After serving in the Air Force, Heintz worked for Aerospatiale on the supersonic Concorde jetliner, and later became chief engineer at Avions Robin (France) where he designed several fully-certified two and four seat all-metal production aircraft.

In his spare time, Heintz began to design and build his own aircraft, which he named the ZENITH, anagram of Heintz. Being an engineer and not a craftsman, his all-metal home built aircraft incorporated simple construction methods throughout. After a little more than a year's work, the two-place low-wing Zenith was rolled out and successfully flown in 1969. Soon after, detailed blueprints and construction manuals of the aircraft were drawn up and offered to the growing number of interested builders and flyers.

In 1973, Chris Heintz, his family and the Zenith moved to North America, where Heintz worked for de Havilland (in Toronto) as a stress engineer on the Dash 7 commuter. Chris decided to form his own aircraft company in 1974, and under the name of Zenair Ltd. started to manufacture Zenith kits himself from his two-car garage. Through the company, Heintz has introduced more than twelve successful kit aircraft designs over the years. In 1992, Heintz licensed the kit manufacturing and marketing rights to Zenith Aircraft Company for the STOL CH 701 and the ZODIAC CH 601 designs, and has developed the new STOL CH 801 and the new ZODIAC XL for Zenith Aircraft Company

More than 800 aircraft are presently flying around the world in 48 different countries.

Heintz designs have earned an excellent reputation among pilots, builders, the press, and aviation authorities for their durable all-metal construction, normal flight characteristics, reliability, and low maintenance requirements.

With a career-long dedication to aviation, Chris Heintz is a past recipient of the EAA's coveted Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award "for outstanding contribution to the advancement of the design of light aircraft," and his designs have been honored with numerous awards around the world.

In 1995 the Federation Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) awarded Zenair Ltd. the prestigious Honorary Group Diploma for "greatly contributing to the progress of aviation" and Chris Heintz was inducted into the EAA "Hall of Fame" in 1999.