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How much fun are Zenith CH-750's to fly?

Posted By:
John Eiswirth
112
Posts
19
#1 Posted: 4/13/2010 05:39:27

They are designed for getting in and out of tight places and they were tweaked from the 701 design to better accomodate light sport flying.  While you're in the air, how do they handle in cruise, how stable are they and when you pull the power do they glide well or do they need power all the time to overcome the dragginess of the STOL equipment?  Do they travel as well as they loiter?



Michael Johnson
Homebuilder or Craftsman
90
Posts
30
#2 Posted: 4/13/2010 12:07:18

I talked to a guy at Airventure 2 years ago that had an engine out on takeoff in his 701. He was 300' AGL and almost killed himself....and he had plenty of runway. They glide like a man hole cover! He sold the airplane shortly after.

This conversation took place with some RV builders, the guy is now building an RV-9a.

 

Just what I heard, so take it with a grain of salt.

MJ



Adam Smith
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
538
Posts
381
#3 Posted: 4/13/2010 18:18:40

We have a webinar scheduled with Zenith Aircraft president Sebastian Heintz on May 26th about the 701, 750 and 801 -https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/604248378  



John Eiswirth
112
Posts
19
#4 Posted: 4/14/2010 05:59:11

Michael

I read a posting by a builder a few years ago that the CH-701 may be un-recoverable on engine failure during a high pitch climbout.  It is a lighter plane with a lighter engine than the CH-750.  I'm hoping that the heavier 0-200 (or same weight Corvair engine in my case) will make a difference on the ability of it to pitch down and glide.

 Kitplanes had a good article on the CH-750 in the February 2009 issue that was all positive, but between the lines it sounded like you bring it in with power and pull the power in the flare.  It stalls35-38mph depending on flap deployment and final approach is flown at 65mph.

 I really like the construction and design of the CH-750 and that it can be plans built, but this is a concern that could keep me looking.  A tamer (CH-775?) without the STOL characteristics but with better cruise and glide qualities and a higher sport pilot cruise speed, buildable the same way would be of even more interest to me.

 

Adam

Thanks for the weninar info.  I registered this morning.

 

John



Todd Allen
Homebuilder or Craftsman
11
Posts
0
#5 Posted: 4/17/2010 01:16:13

 I flew the 750 at the factory a few weeks ago. That is a nice flying airplane. The demo pilot carries a little power on approach to flatten out the glide a little. It fits the standard pattern distances better. Keep in mind that most most of their customers aren't high time pilots and aren't used to a steep glide on approach. Yes, it is a STOL airplane and that means it must be able to glide steeply if you want it, too. That is not a problem, you can't do STOL without that characteristic.

 I don't care what the glide ratio is over a lake or swamp or in the mountains. It involves too much luck. Slow landing speed and prudent actions are more reliable. My last airplane glided fairly flat, but it stalled at 82 mph power off. Thankfully, I never had engine failure in it.

Any airplane glides like a manhole cover when you are looking for the smoothest place to crash. I have had one engine failure, the gps showed that it only took 20 seconds from failure to stop. I was very close to the ground, but I had a full head of steam in a very draggy production airplane.

High pitch climb-out? It won't be the airplanes fault if it doesn't pitch down. It takes forethought.

Here is my take on the aircraft as a kit. I think they have done a super job at making a very easy to build airplane. All the parts are cut, formed and ready to rivet together. The locating rivet wholes are already done for you. I used a tape measure one time to put the whole rudder together, and it wasn't really all that necessary. All the parts fit correctly. The skin leading edge is done for you. The instructions were step by step, and for the most part, easy to understand. I decided at the rudder workshop that I can build this airplane, in a reasonable amount of time and without investing a lot in space, tooling or education.

I flew the 750 on a brief demo flight. Take off run short, climb rate was very good. I thought the roll rate was a little slow for full span ailerons. I thought roll response was more akin to a production cessna or piper.  Pitch control normal. I did a few wing overs, speed bled off normally, didn't need to hold any aileron either way at the top, regained speed quickly.  It was a short flight, but I thought it flew fine.

It's hard to decide what kind of airplane to own. Fast, slow, sleek or classic. I say get one of each!

Hope this little book helps.



John Eiswirth
112
Posts
19
#6 Posted: 4/17/2010 06:20:18

Todd,

Thanks for the good news.  I wanted to hear from someone who had experienced flying it.  I have a very high opinion fo the 750, especially the construction and the fact that the wings can be foldable for storage in my shop or garage.  My biggest concern was the ability to glide in the event of engine failure (I hope I never have one).  Kit building sounds like the best way to go, but I am considering plans building.  Either way I will need to purchase the plans separately as a complete kit is too big a chunk of money to part with at one time for me.

Best wishes to you and your project.  I hope to get moving in that direction soon.

 

John



Todd Allen
Homebuilder or Craftsman
11
Posts
0
#7 Posted: 4/17/2010 21:23:06

John,

 Yea, the money... I debate the same thing all the time. I think that it depends on what you want out of the airplane. I get a lot of flying time during the year profesionally, and I want something aviationwise to occuppy my time when I am not in the air. Because of that, I am thinking scratch building. I want something I can finish, but I am not in a hurry.  However, I believe that if you want an airplane to fly quickly, you should probably either buy a flying airplane or do the kit build. Some of the less popular airplanes sell used for a lot less than they can be built for. Because of tooling and the learning curve (mistakes), I don't think you'll save any real money doing the scratch build. The beauty of an airplane like the CH is that you can do both. Scratch what you can and purchase the rest.

Have fun!