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Zenith's new CH 650 demonstrator to be showcased at EAA AirVenture


Zenith's new CH 650 demonstrator to be showcased at EAA AirVenture

Zenith Aircraft Company will be showing its popular new low-wing two-seat cruiser for the first time at EAA AirVenture. The CH 650 B model is a second generation light sport aircraft, developed specifically for Sport Pilots. It is the latest model in the Zodiac line of aircraft from aeronautical engineer Chris Heintz, first introduced in 1984. This newest model offers new and updated features including modern new styling with a larger cabin area.

What's completely new with this factory demonstrator aircraft is forward of the firewall: The new CH 650 is equipped with a brand new UL350iS engine installation. This is an exciting new engine from Belgium which introduces some exciting new technology (new to light aviation at least) with an engine that puts out 130-hp while weighing the same as the Rotax 912S engine. The UL Power engine is a horizontally-opposed four cylinder engine with FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control): multipoint electronic fuel injection with automatic altitude and temperature compensation. Furthermore, this engine is direct drive, air cooled, and fuel efficient. The current product line ranges from the UL260i at 97HP to the UL350is at 130HP.

Zenith Aircraft Company, together with UL Power North America LLC, has developed a new firewall-forward package for this engine installation (and other variants on the model from UL Power) housed under a sleek new cowl, as seen on the new factory demonstrator aircraft. The firewall-forward installation promises builders with easy "plug-n-play" installation available in a complete package.

“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 fuel efficiency and high power to weight ratio, while also being simple, with conventional direct drive and air cooled cylinders.”

The CH 650 B is the latest updated and upgraded model in the popular low-wing Zodiac series, with a new roomier canopy system and swept back tail, as well as many new smaller updates and conveniences. The company demonstrator is also equipped with a modern new instrument panel with the latest avionics suite from Dynon with dual SkyView glass panel display systems.

New aircraft models, like the Zodiac CH 650 and the STOL CH 750, keep Zenith Aircraft Company at the forefront of the light aircraft industry. The CH 650 B model introduces refinements that compete directly with European imports in the Light Sport (LSA) marketplace, while still offering an exceptional value and choices, allowing builders to construct the CH 650 from complete American-made kits, component kits, or even from plans-only, and offering kit builders a wide selection of engine choices to power their aircraft. 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 gain first-hand building and flying experience and to “try before they buy.”

The July 2011 issue of Aviation Consumer magazine has a feature story and flight report on the CH 650 LSA: "Based on the CH601, the design is sporty and fast and has a new, beefed-up wing structure." Aviation Consumer editor Paul Bertorelli writes that "The CH650 has superb cockpit visibility... The baggage compartment, which is adequate if not generous, is an easy-to-access shelf behind the two seats. That makes it perfect for grabbing stuff during cross-country flight." He concludes that "...the CH650 seems like an honest, straightforward low-wing cruiser..." and that kit manufacturer Zenith Aircraft Company "stands behind what is designs and builds."

See the new CH 650 at the Zenith Aircraft Company booths #640 and #641 in the North Aircraft Display Area on the EAA AirVenture grounds, or visit the company's website: