Building a zenith 750

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by milesdr1m, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. milesdr1m

    milesdr1m Filing Flight Plan

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    I was thing about building a zenith 750. I like the aluminum construction. I believe I have those skills, but was concerned over the cost of an engine and instruments might make the project out of reach. Just wondering who has built one and what is the total cost from kit to flight?
    Thanks
     
  2. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Join the Zenith Aircraft Builders and Flyers. Joining costs nothing, and there's lots of solid info and advice.

    http://www.zenith.aero/

    The cost really depends on how much you want to do yourself from scratch building from just the plans to purchasing the "quick build" kit and firewall forward kit for whichever engine you choose to install, and how sophisticated you want your panel to be.

    I have a friend who is building a CH750 Cruzer from a quick build kit and is planning on using a used low time Continental O-200 with Dynon VFR panel. He thinks it'll cost around $70,000 by the time he's finished.
     
  3. milesdr1m

    milesdr1m Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks, waiting for their approval to the group.
     
  4. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

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    I built one with a friend. It is a good first build and if you have good basic mechanical skills you will be able to finish it. He bought a UL-350 and all the firewall forward kit that made for a nice easy installation. I like the engine and it has plenty of power and is very smooth. He did a Dynon Skyview and in my opinion was overkill. Something like a Dynon D-180 or a basic steam gauge panel would be better. An O-200 is to heavy. The Rotax 912 is a good engine but the UL is fuel injected and doesn't have the added complexity of a cooling system. I have flown and been around several Jabaru's and don't like them at all. Stay away from auto conversions as they all have too many drawbacks and most will end up costing as much or more that the 350. You should be able to build a nice 750 for around $60,000. They are pretty docile and a good airplane for a low time pilot. Don
     
  5. skier

    skier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm considering building one. I intend to purchase the plans in a couple weeks and hopefully the first kit early next year.

    Depending on where you look people will say that both the O-200 and Corvair are too heavy, but plenty have flown on those engines. Even the specs on the website claim that their performance numbers were generated with a plane that was powered by an O-200. From my research, it sounds like either will work well, though the takeoff run will be slightly longer (and clumb slightly slower) than one equipped with a 912. Does that really matter for an aircraft that can take off or land within 150 ft?

    In opposition to the poster above, I will also say that there are many proven auto-conversions. I, personally, have no problems flying behind them. Especially with an aircraft that can essentially land like a helicopter if there is a problem. At this point, I'm leaning towards a Corvair, but don't think I'll really need to make that decision for another 4 years.

    The kits cost around 20k. Add another 10-15 for an auto-conversion + firewall forward. Add another 5-10 for instruments. Another 5-10 for painting. Another couple for the interior. And another 10% for contingency.
     
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  6. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There was a member on this board who passed away who had a Chevy v8 on his, from the video it made for one hell of a plane.

    Not sure if it could be duplicated or anything, but if it could I'd go that route.
     
  7. ACG

    ACG Pre-Flight

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    As someone that is looking into building as soon as I finish my PPL, what are the pros and cons between this and Vans RV-12?
     
  8. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    Really for different purposes. RV-12 is a nice LSA class airplane in the spirit of a Evector SportStar or the dicontinued (as a Piper) Piper LSA. Zenith is a short takeoff and landing back country kind of plane.
     
  9. ACG

    ACG Pre-Flight

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    Thanks, the RV-12 is a closer fit to my mission.
     
  10. Concorde

    Concorde Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You should also look into the new Sonex, very capable plane ,aerobic and now you can put Rotax in it. I am building one with Rotax 912 and Dynon .
     
  11. ACG

    ACG Pre-Flight

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    Which Sonex are you building? Do you mind telling me what you think you will have in it when finished? I am really open to about any of the kits. Vans has a great reputation and has mass produced them so I would hope about all the bugs worked out.
     
  12. zaitcev

    zaitcev En-Route

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    Sonex just came up with the "B" model, which very unfortunately helps fats pilots but fails to help tall pilots.
     
  13. Skywalker

    Skywalker Line Up and Wait

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    We are building a Zenith 750 Cruzer. Very happy with the kit. Some things could be improved but I think you will find this with every kit.

    We have received our kit at the end of May and have finished riveting the fuselage. Tail feathers are finished too. Wings are next. Nice evening project and you see a lot of progress in a short time.

    We love the good visibility of the 750 and that you can fly the plane with doors open or off. We hope to have the plane finished by next year. :):thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  14. milesdr1m

    milesdr1m Filing Flight Plan

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    Great info, I really like the zenith 750 because of the metal construction. Maybe there is other planes I should be researching also?
     
  15. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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    There was a period where I was debating metal LSA kits. I'd ruled out the sonex for being below 1320 and ruled out the vans for the lack of engine choices, though both looked solid. Went to see a couple of 750s with O-200s and they looked like nice planes. I had no need for STOL so that left the Cruzer for me.
     
  16. milesdr1m

    milesdr1m Filing Flight Plan

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    I don't understand what you mean by being below 1320?
     
  17. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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    The sonex gross weight is only 1150, LSA allows up to 1320.
     
  18. Concorde

    Concorde Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Mine is the Sonex A model with 100 hp Rotax and 7” Dynon HDX with AOA and auto pilot ,electric flaps and trim and I have modified the panel from 30 degrees to vertical,to get rid of the glare . After working on it for 3 years and about 80% done and 80% left , I believe it would cost me around 55 K. Just remember to add about 20% to the cost of completed plane to what ever price that the kit company tells you .
     
  19. Concorde

    Concorde Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You are correct how ever you could register it for higher gross weight like many do , as long as you fly it at higher weight in your phase one. Also Sonex is lighter and with 1150 gross it would leave you with 500 lbs,and you can fly with two people 200+200 and have 100 lbs left for fuel and baggage.
     
  20. Concorde

    Concorde Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The 750 is a great plane And with excellent customer support . When I was looking for my kit the final choices were between Sonex And 650.
     
  21. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    Wow! With 100hp that should be a real rocket! Sounds nice.
     
  22. ACG

    ACG Pre-Flight

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    Sounds great. Any idea on the total amount of hours you will have in it upon completion?
     
  23. Concorde

    Concorde Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I lost track of my hours a long time ago, but I take lots of pictures to use in my build log.
    Mine was a basic , but complete kit so I had to build all my angles and spars... but if you want to spend more ,you have more options like pre built spars or factory made angles or the quick built, each of these will save you hundreds of hours. What it comes down to is Which you enjoy more - building or flying,it’s hard work but very rewarding. If flying is what you really want ,you can buy certified plane for a lot less than what it cost you to build one.
     
  24. German guy

    German guy Line Up and Wait

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    A direct competitor would be the new RANS S-21. Very impressive, easy to build design: https://www.rans.com/s-21-outbound

    If you're looking for something faster, but still very easy and quick to build, the Sling 2 and 4 are also worth a look: http://www.airplanefactory.com/

    Once we're done with the Zenith CH750 CruZer, we might actually build a Sling 4 in the upcoming version with the Rotax 915, to replace our Mooney. As it is turbocharged, they expect it to cruise at altitude at +150 kts! :eek:
     
  25. zaitcev

    zaitcev En-Route

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    Just remember one thing: flutter occurs at a certain true airspeed, not indicated. I'm not joking. So, if you take a common LSA and put a turbo into it, at altitude you can easily get tail fall off. This came to light most famously with RV-9. It was intended to fly with a O-235, but builders started to put O-360 into it. Not sure if anyone died.
     
  26. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    Famously? To the best of my knowledge, no RV-9 has ever been damaged by an overspeed event despite many flying behind O-360's.

    Although it does give Van's heartburn.
     
  27. German guy

    German guy Line Up and Wait

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    I am aware of this (Van's wrote a longer article about this topic), the Sling is however designed for the speeds it can reach. The current version of the Sling 4 is designed for the also turbochargerd Rotax 914. I was told that a big part of the development work, to make it suitable for the Rotax 915, has indeed to do with increasing the Vne and the flutter resistance.

    I however have to admit that I only partially understand Van's strong opposition against the installation of stronger / turbocharged engines (you can always throttle back), as well as an increase of the gross weight of their aircraft. This is actually something I find a bit frustrating. Instead of being helpful and providing constructive criticism, they just say 'no'. Liability is likely a part of this. Since their kits sell like hot cake anyways, they can probably also afford such an attitude.
     
  28. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    Their opposition is a cost issue. They don't have the in-house engineering to review every Wylie Coyote scheme their builders come up with. Paying for those resources would cost a fortune. So they say "no".
     
  29. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    That. And maybe they can roll those changes into the next design they start selling.
     
  30. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What's your mission?
     
  31. TylerSC

    TylerSC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My starter rudder kit is coming next week for a 750 STOL. I am a fairly new pilot and have never been much of a mechanic, but started watching some videos of construction and decided to give it a shot. I like the Zenith because I like the plane, and the pop-rivet construction is a lot less intimidating than flush riveting. The HomebuiltHelp video arrived yesterday and will definitely pay for itself with the information it provides - I could have built two planes and not figured some of that simple stuff out!

    I am planning on about a three-year timeline.
     
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  32. skier

    skier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just got my plans for the 750 STOL on Tuesday. It will be a few months before I order the full tail kit, but in the meantime I've been having fun building the -601 rudder kit that I had lying around. It's surprisingly easy once you get over the fear of making the first cut.

    Can I suggest posting a build-thread over on the Homebuilt Airplanes forum for your build. There are a few people over there that have built Zenith Aircraft and a few others that have been around them so it could be a good resource for help. Rockiedog2 built a 701 (I believe he was the one that first did the beanie mod that was recently added to the STOL 750) and Wayne built a 750 Cruzer. addicted2climbing also mentioned in one thread that he knew a few people out in California with 750s. It would be great to see another build thread there. http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/
     
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  33. TylerSC

    TylerSC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I may do that, I will need some kind of builder’s log anyway. I got to go see one in person this morning, was offered a ride but didn’t quite have time. The visibility really is amazing. There is almost zero cargo space though. The builder told me he flies with the slats off on a regular basis (with vortex generators installed on the wing). He get about 10 mph higher cruise and almost no loss of STOL capabilities, except at the very edges of the envelope. With slats there is no stall break at all, and without it will drop a wing a little bit.

    That made me feel better about picking the STOL vs. the Cruzer.
     
  34. milesdr1m

    milesdr1m Filing Flight Plan

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    As for a mission, I just want to go up and see some country and enjoy flying.
     
  35. Daren Hrabe

    Daren Hrabe Filing Flight Plan

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    Nice plane
     
  36. ironnerd

    ironnerd Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The Zenith 750 is a pretty cool plane - just not a long X/C plane - or particularly pretty. For your mission, I think it's a pretty good match.
    LOTS of engine options, and there are some cool (cheap) experimental instruments out there ► LINK
    Scrounge a little, do some research, and you might pull it off for less than you think. Look around a bit, and you may even get a deal on a partially completed kit cheap.
     
  37. milesdr1m

    milesdr1m Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks, I was starting to look for a started kit. I am sure there are allot started but never completed. I am looking for a project since I am getting close to retirement.
     
  38. milesdr1m

    milesdr1m Filing Flight Plan

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    Does a light sport require the same annual inspection as a regular airplane does?
     
  39. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yes, But it is called a Condition Inspection and can be signed off by an A&P.
     
  40. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Can it also be signed off by a builder with a Repairman Certificate? Seems very single threaded.