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Zenith 650 'Plans Built'

Posted By:
Ronald Moore
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#1 Posted: 2/12/2010 19:37:21

Getting geared up to build a 650 mostly from plans and looking for tips and info on forming Ribs and Fuselage pieces.

Any info shared would be super.

I'm a new member of the EAA and just joined Chapter 1 (Flabob/Riverside) and as an older guy who has some building experience in metal aircraft I know that those who have hands-on experience in a project like this are invaluable resources.

Thanks to anyone who connects :)


Pierre D'Entremont
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#2 Posted: 2/13/2010 08:56:06

I am really liking your avatar ...is that you dad ???? 

I am assuming you already have your Corvair engine....

any info on your avatar would be cool.

Tooky or Pierre
Jon McDonald
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#3 Posted: 2/13/2010 22:13:02

I'm building a Sonex from plans.  The materials and building methods are identical to the Zenith line (6061-T6 aluminum and pulled rivets).  As far as building aluminum ribs, there are two great video sources.  The first is the Homebuilthelp DVD by Mark Townsand called Scratch Building Basics For Metal Aircraft .  It is a really useful video.


An equally great source of info are the EAA "Hints for homebuilders" videos.  There are a ton of videos on sheet metal work, including a series of videos demonstrating the fabrication of a Sonex rib.  The process is identical to fabricating a Zenith rib, so it would be worth your time checking them out.


I am a beginner in the building process, but If I can help answer any other questions you have, let me know.

Jon McDonald Building Sonex #1287
William Lanman
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#4 Posted: 2/17/2010 19:01:26

Hey, Ron!

A scratch-builder, eh? You are much more adventuresome than I!

I am building a 650 by sub-kits--working on the wings right now. Two of the best resources that I can recommend to you are http://ch601.org/ and http://homebuilthelp.com/ZAC/Home.htm

My experience with the Matronics list for Zenith builders has been mixed--some good advice but a lot of harping and belly-aching.


Bill Lanman

Louisville, Ky

#5 Posted: 3/1/2010 20:00:09


I suggest that you look through the Matronics Zenith-List archives for Larry Winger and contact him. He is building a 601XL/650 from plans. His work is fantastic. I believe that his airplane is at Chino airport, close to you. And he is a super nice guy.

Good luck with your project.