Zenith 701

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by Ted DuPuis, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    After Greg was kind enough to give Laurie and me rides in his 170 last weekend, Laurie and I got the bug to get a taildragger. I've wanted to build a plane for years (and have also wanted a go-count-cows taildragger), so this seems like a good combination. She's on board.

    I've started Googling around, and one plane that seems to hit the marks is the Zenith 701. Most are tricycle gear, but they do have a taildragger option. All-metal, side-by-side, can take off in a really short distance, foldy wings so we can keep it at the house, been around a long time, etc.

    Anyone have any PIREPs on the 701, good, bad, or indifferent?
     
  2. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    14,406
    Location:
    Behind you!
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    No first hand, but I've heard nothing but great things about them, or at least the trike versions.
     
  3. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    Yeah, it seems like there aren't many tailwheel versions. They make a good and practical argument for the trike variants, but we'd want tailwheel because it's a tailwheel. :)
     
  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    42,646
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DenverPilot
    Haven't really looked hard at either one, but from a purely emotional standpoint, I'd want the Zenith or a Rans for the next plane.
     
  5. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    Why's that, Nate?
     
  6. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    Iowa
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eggman
    How you going to mount the second engine?
     
  7. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    Similar to how this guy did it:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    Iowa
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eggman
    Isn't that going to make the fuel system more complicated?

    BTW, taildragger with afterburner sounds like fun, but i think you're going want to be careful out west when it is dry.
     
  9. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    42,646
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DenverPilot

    Dunno. Low, slow, taildragger seems like the next owned airplane for me. Something to go learn from some old timer backcountry guys in before they're all dead. Ha.

    Backcountry is too rough on a 182. Especially if you're not the sole owner. We'll do grass and gravel, but I'm not a fan of the prop clearance on really rough stuff.

    That makes the assumption that something happens to the co-ownership and I want to "go it alone" on something. Don't think that's happening anytime soon. But it'll happen "someday". I'm leaning toward not doing a co-ownership next time, but that's not because there's been anything bad about ours. It's been great, really.

    The downside would be the Rotax to me. At least at this altitude. Puny payload.

    Don't want to go anywhere near the prices of a 180/185 but that'd be a better transition from a relatively monster hauler like our 182 to tail wheel that can also haul stuff. I just doubt I'll feel like spending that much coin on an airplane if I own it singly.

    This is all very very much not thought through at all. Ha. I just miss the tiny bit of tail wheel time I had (in a virtually brand new Husky) and don't really have a mission profile that needs XC speed very often.

    Oh and I'm partial to high wings. ;)

    I think it was the damned Ohio Bush Planes video silliness that got me liking the Rans S-7. He's made most of the fun stuff private now, which is too bad.

    And of course he's in Ohio where the air is thicker... I need to move downhill so I can buy cheaper airplanes. Haha.
     
  10. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Messages:
    8,675
    Location:
    Southeast Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    This page intentionally left blank
  11. JoeSelch

    JoeSelch Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Detroit
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    JoeSelch
    Ooh. I could totally be down with a 701 in TW config. Didn't know it was an option; and the trike is so ugly I never looked any further.

    I've heard nothing but good from builders and owners. I assume you (Ted) have spent some time with the guy who was building at KIPT? or was it so far off your radar...
     
  12. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,123
    Location:
    Twin Falls, Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    yellow peril
    If you are set on a Zenith get a 750. A LOT more room in the cockpit, EAB gross weight is 1450#, more engine selections and the rivet holes are pre punched at the factory. I'm flying off the hours on a 750STOL with the UL Power 350is engine. Pleasant flying airplane with descent performance. Good kit for first time builder. Ugly as sin though and I would do a Rans S-7, Kitfox 7 ot a Just Super STOL instead. Don
     
  13. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    The fuel system can be worked out. I could grab a CJ610 from a Lear 23 easy enough.
     
  14. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    Some good thoughts above.

    The Super STOL is more expensive, at least looks it on the surface. Cost is a factor. Liz, I never met the guy at IPT who was building one, in those days my focus was more on a Lancair if I built.

    I'll look into the 750 some more. The 701 boasts that people have put in all kinds of engines. Our preference is an O-200 - we don't like Rotax. Don't want to argue, we just don't like it. What I like with the 701 is the extremely short advertised takeoff roll. This would be a factor here, as we'd keep it at the house (we live in the middle of nowhere).

    The factory isn't far from us, about a 40 minute flight. Might be worth a visit.

    How are the flying/handling characteristics for those who know?
     
  15. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,123
    Location:
    Twin Falls, Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    yellow peril
    If you want to do the O200 go with the 750. The 750 performs just like the 701 but has a lot more cockpit room and useful load. I have flown both and they fly about the same. Don
     
  16. kmacht

    kmacht Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kmacht
    if you want to build how about a bearhawk? Can be plans or kit built. The company also has two and four seat models.

    Keith
     
  17. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    17,188
    Location:
    Jackson Hole Wy
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FBH
    Who the hell would want a Zenith aircraft..:dunno:..


    As previously stated.. They are UGLY...:vomit::vomit:..

    With that said.......

    I LOVE mine (801)... The real problem with any Zenith STOL design is the very high tail...... Making one a taildragger has it sitting at an ungodly nose high attitude.. A few guys tried it and none like it at all...
     
  18. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,123
    Location:
    Twin Falls, Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    yellow peril
    They are kind of like a helicopter. They are so ugly the earth repels them. I agree with Ben on the deck angle. I have seen pictures of one 750 tailwheel and the factory doesn't really have the parts for the conversion. Do it tri gear or go with a Kitfox. Don
     
  19. DFH65

    DFH65 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,374
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DFH65
    Just googling some images and beyond the nose high attitude it looks like you lose some ground clearance as well seems to defeat the purpose.
     
  20. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    12,008
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cowboy - yeehah!
    I have zero hours aloft in one, but I seriously considered it for my back country needs. I too at first thought that TW was the way to go, but after reading the designers philosophy, and the way he engineered the 701/750, it made perfect sense, and I would leave it a trike. It is not what I would consider an attractive aircraft, but it is very utilitarian.

    Since there were so many complaints(like me) about the slow speed, they've introduced a newer, faster, cleaner, betterer version called the 750 Cruzer. If I were to get involved with one, this is the type I would choose as it's book speed is 118MPH. I don't know what was done, or how it was done, but the thing is significantly faster(on paper) than the other versions. They didn't sacrifice much STOL performance as far as I can see either.

    Again, I have zero hours in it, but I looked a couple over pretty close, and I wouldn't change to a TW config just because TW is cool, or retro. The reasoning behind the design is solid, and the penalty of the nose gear is well offset by the ease of use and comfort.

    http://www.zenithair.net/introduction-cruzer/
     
  21. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    Appreciate the inputs. The taildragger aspect may make the Zeniths less desirable in the end, we'll have to see. A taildragger is a big part of the goal for us. All-metal is another plus.

    I need to talk to Zenith to understand what a true total cost would likely be. The 750 looks more expensive on the surface, but it also offers a quickbuild variant. Also need to understand the engine aspect better. The 750 might be better overall for us, but speed doesn't matter. This is for stick and rudder, counting cows. It's not for fast, that's what the 310 is for. This should be the opposite of the 310.
     
  22. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,123
    Location:
    Twin Falls, Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    yellow peril
    The quickbuild option on the 750 won't gain you a heck of a lot of time for the money it costs. I built the fuselage and did the engine installation and finished putting it all together on the one I am flying. I am an experienced builder and might have 400 hrs in all I did. The Zenith kit parts and fit are very good. The instructions could be better but there is lots of support in their forums and on the net. Kitfox and Rans kits are superb with great instructions and fit and finish. Fabric work is not that difficult and one of these could be built in about the same amount of time. Resale value of the Kitfox and Rans is very good. Both are nice docile tailwheel airplanes. Don
     
    Steven Untet likes this.
  23. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    12,008
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cowboy - yeehah!
    Man, that's good info to have. I was looking at the Cruzer and considering the QB kit, but you saved me $5k if I go for it. I was on the fence about it, but now it's off the table.
     
  24. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    Very good to know on the QB. So on the surface, that looks like roughly $6-7k more for the 750 than 701. Worth sitting in to see the differences, and also finding out what effort would be for an O-200 in a 701 if we went that route.

    Price wise, I'd like to spend under $30k. Not sure how doable that is with a 750, seems more doable in a 701.
     
  25. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    12,008
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cowboy - yeehah!
    I don't think you'll get out of either one for under $30k, but maybe closer on the 701. The added cost of the Cruzer is well worth it for me.
     
  26. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    Like I said, goal. There was a 701 done for $23k (with an article in kitplanes). That was done by plans only with a VW engine.
     
  27. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,123
    Location:
    Twin Falls, Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    yellow peril
    The 701 is a lot more work than the 750 as it is not pre punched. It would take you twice as long to build and you wouldn't have near the airplane. Sometimes cheap is not the least expensive way to go. Don
     
  28. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    3,311
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian Flynn
    A question please -

    Do you happen to know how much you spent in "extras" that weren't part of the kit? The major items that come to mind are instruments and engine, but I'm sure there are others.

    I did a rough pricing of a 650 and the "25k" airplane wound up in the 55-65 category after adding the little things like and ASI, tach, engine...
     
  29. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    Now that's a major plus on the 750. Very good info.
     
  30. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,123
    Location:
    Twin Falls, Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    yellow peril
    He bought the Avionics package with the Dynon Skyview and all the plug and play connections. I would NOT go this route. A nice Dynon D180 and a comm, transponder and a gps like an IFly 740 is more than you will ever need. Steam gauges would be fine for it also. Take it from a very experienced homebuilder it will cost you twice as much as you think it will to finish. One thing nice about the 750 it comes with pretty much all of the hardware you need to build it. If you keep having to order stuff as you go the shipping and handling will add 10-20% to the costs. If you want to put an engine in that the factory does not have a firewall forward kit for it will add a ton of hours and expense over ordering a factory kit. The project will take you twice as long to do as you planned especially if you are a first time builder. I don't want to discourage you but give you the cold hard facts. There are thousands of unfinished airplanes out there. Even Vans aircraft that has the highest completion rate in the industry has a less than half completion rate. Don
     
  31. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    Appreciate the info. I know it'll end up being a nickel and dime deal and take longer than planned, that's just part of how it goes. The 750 sounds like a better deal overall. Keeping things minimalistic, buying the whole kit at once (we can drive out to get it being close), etc. all help. Scope creep gets in often.

    The 750 seems like a high contender for sure.
     
  32. Theboys

    Theboys Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    823
    Location:
    Lincoln Nebraska- Plant city florida
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Theboys
    I would like to have a 750 myself.
     
  33. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    I wonder if they'd give us a discount on two?
     
  34. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    7,153
    Location:
    Lincoln NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
    Dad wanted to build 701 then went to the factory and changed his mind to the 750, now I think he's leaning towards an 801.

    Either way he can farm out some parts to me and I'll help so I told him to buy the whole kit at once.
     
  35. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    We'd buy the kit at once. Makes much more sense overall if we did it. Of course an 801 would allow for the HaasPower engine, but the 750 might be the best compromise.
     
  36. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    7,153
    Location:
    Lincoln NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
    750 I'd probably lean to Rotax. IDT Continental will have aftermarket PMA parts in the future.


    801 is hard to say.
     
  37. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,774
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    Point taken on the O-200. I just can't get over the chainsaw engine sound.
     
  38. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    7,153
    Location:
    Lincoln NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
    :rofl:
     
  39. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    15,497
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jesse
    Anyone wanna trade a 750 for a Sierra?
     
  40. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    7,153
    Location:
    Lincoln NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
    20 minutes of questioning
    ....
    ....
    ....
    ....
    ....
    Does it have an autopilot?