General Aviation. Direct & Unfiltered.


Kit manufacturer Zenith Aircraft Company will be showing off its popular two-seat aircraft at EAA AirVenture with a new line of engines under the cowl.

The new engine powering Zenith’s factory demonstrator planes are the ULPower line of light aircraft engines from Europe. These are modern technology, direct drive, air cooled, light weight and high fuel efficient aircraft engines. The current product line ranges from the UL260i at 97HP to the UL350is at 130HP. All the engines are horizontally opposed four cylinder engines with FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control): multipoint electronic fuel injection with automatic altitude and temperature compensation.

“We’ve been very impressed with ULPower and the technology that they bring to the light aircraft industry,” stated Sebastien Heintz, president of Zenith Aircraft Company: “For many years our customers have been asking for lighter, more fuel efficient engines, and for modern technology such as FADEC. ULPower appears to deliver both unmatched fuel efficiency and high power to weight ratio, while also being simple, with conventional direct drive and air cooled cylinders.”

Both the 97-hp UL260i and the 130-hp UL350is can be installed on either Zenith two seater: the high-wing STOL CH 750 or low-wing CH 650 cruiser. Zenith Aircraft Co., in conjunction with UL Power North America LLC, is developing full firewall-forward (FWF) packages for these engines to be able to supply builders with “plug and play” ready-to-install powerplant package for the Zenith kit planes, and is introducting the CH 650 aircraft to the public for the first time with the UL350iS installed.

The CH 650 B is the latest updated and upgraded model in the popular low-wing Zodiac series from Zenith Aircraft Company, with a new roomier canopy system and swept back tail. Powering the sleek CH650 with a ULPower engine will provide very high efficiency, especially with the lightweight 97-hp UL260i engine. The four cylinder direct-drive engine boasts a fuel burn of just 3.2 gallons per hour at typical cruise rpm, yielding a cruise speed of nearly 130 mph (or about 40 miles per gallon!)

Zenith's other popular aircraft is the STOL CH 750: an amazing short take-off and landing (STOL) design often called a “sky jeep” by its owners due to its rugged appearance and outstanding short field capability. Thanks to its industry-leading hight power-to-weight ratio, the ULPower engines will further enhance the already super-short take-off performance of the popular all-metal STOL airplane.

The ULPower lines of aircraft engines is manufactured by UL Power Aero Engines nv. of Belgium and is distributed and supported by ULPower North America, LLC.


Zenith Aircraft Company manufactures the kits for the popular two seaters in Mexico, Missouri in a modern factory utilizing CNC technology extensively in kit manufacturing. The aircraft can be assembled from complete kits, as well as from component kits or scratch-built from blueprints. The kits are sold without an engine, allowing the builder to choose a engine to power their planes. Other than ULPower engines, available engine choices include the Continental O-200, Rotax 912 ULS, Jabiru 3300, Corvair, and others. Zenith Aircraft Company holds monthly hands-on kit building workshops at its factory to allow builders to geain first-hand building and flying experience and to “try before they buy.”