Friday 1 May 2020

Zenith Zodiac CH 650s (Only One) of New Zealand

Surprisingly, our second new model of Zenith aircraft appeared (after the CH 801), also in August 2014:

This was the latest model Zenith Zodiac CH 650 which is the successor to the very successful Zenith Zodiac CH 600 and CH 601 models.  The CH 650 is improved in several areas including a larger cabin with a new canopy and improved roll over protection.  It has a new swept back rudder and the wing is also improved with larger chord ailerons and flaps with a new thinner airfoil that has less drag.  It is available as a series of kitsets.

The CH 650 is 300 mm longer than the CH-601 at 6.10 metres (20 feet) while the wingspan is the same at 8.23 metres (27 feet).  The empty weight is a little heavier at around 312 Kg while in New Zealand the MAUW as a LSA is 598 Kg.  The engine choices include the Jabiru 3300, Lycoming O-200 or O-235 or various models of the Rotax 912.  With 100 HP the cruise speed is around 134 mph (116 knots), and the stall speed with flaps is around 44 mph (38 knots).

We have had only one Zenith Zodiac CH 650 in New Zealand to date but I suspect we will see more.

ZK-LMG2 (c/n 65-8884) was built by John and Lyn White of Takapau and was registered to J G P White on 19/8/14.  It is the second ZK-LMG that John and Lyn White have owned, their first being their Impulse 100TD.  ZK-LMG2 was built over an 18 month period from a quick build kit and is powered by a 135 HP UL Power engine.  It was test flown by Jerry Chisum at Bridge Pa on 14/12/14 and it is photo'd above at the 2016 SAANZ flyin at Bridge Pa, on 20/2/16.

And here it is also photo'd at Bridge Pa in the late evening light, on 29/11/19.

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