Visit to Zenith’s factory

I (Ben Hallert) visited the Zenith factory last month and toured their facility.  Please see the following gallery showing the place where many of the Zenith kits are built, including the new CH-750 (which I test-flew with Roger, one of their pilots).  Regarding the factory floor, it’s obvious that these guys are putting an amazing amount of care into everything they do.  The interlocking pre-drilled & cut parts for the 750 are beautiful, it’s almost like building with Legos by the look of it.

It was the day after the NTSB released their controversial report on the 601XL in-flight breakups, but the attitude at the factory was positive and I saw a lot of dedicated people working hard to keep up with the surging demand for LSA kits.

The flight performance was impressive too.  The plane did feel like a light aircraft in the light turbulence, but the extremely short takeoff distance was very impressive.  I mentioned to Roger that I was having a hard time getting a feel for the rudders, and he told me to make some turns without it and see what happened.  That tall tail must really stick to the winds on its own because it stayed almost totally coordinated through some 30 degree turns without me even touching the pedals.

Conclusion: An impressive operation and an even more impressive aircraft.  I may want to purchase a rudder kit in the near future to play with.  Visions of a Corvair powered 750 dropping into tiny fields in interesting out-of-the-way locations is quite tempting.

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