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The airplane is very strong and it is backed by a company that has been around for a very long time The Chris Heintz-designed CH 600 Zodiac spawned a series of designs, each of them an improvement over the earlier iteration, and each became easier to build and more versatile in the air.
The latest models, the CH 650 LS AND LSi, introduced at Air Venture 2008, combine the best of a European-built CH 601 XL sold as a ready-to-fly aircraft, the AMD CH 601 XL sold as an S-LSA, and the Zenith Aircraft Company's amateur built CH 601 XL kit.
The CH 650 is now offered to markets worldwide, with detail changes as needed to comply with governmental regulations. The 650 is available as plans (with CAD drawings and assembly manuals), a complete kit (or a series of sub kits) from Zenith Aircraft, Mexico, Missouri, ( or as a ready-to-fly S-LSA from Aircraft Design Manufacturing & Design (AMD) ( The CH 650 LS's improvements include a more-convenient hinged clamshell bubble canopy, with dual tube 4130 roll-over protection.
The new canopy keeps the traditional look of the Zodiac alive while adding headroom.
(The new roll-over protection and redesigned canopy latching system are also available from Zenith Aircraft as an upgrade kit for existing Zodiac Owners.) In deference to the CH 650 LS's anticipated role as a primary trainer, its landing gear is tougher and sports standard aviation 500-by-5 wheels and brakes.
The gear system is bigger, making the aircraft taller, and the AMD main gear spring is gun-drilled, for cleaner, more protected brake line routing. The European wing angle is now standard on the 650 LS, with the trailing edge of the wing tilted down about 2 inches.
Performance and safety options include a BRS all-aircraft parachute system, Am Safe airbag-seat belts, full electric gyro instruments, and wheelpants.
In the experimental kit version, the CH 650's firewall-forward will accommodate a Jabiru 3300, Lycoming O-235 or -233, or Rotax four-cylinder powerplants as alternatives to the S-LSA version's TCM O-200.
The interior sports carpeting, and parts familiar to other Heintz-designed airplanes include the rudder pedals, the cowl, the nose gear strut, and firewall, all similar to the larger CH 640, CH 801, AND CH 2000.
Thanks to all who visited and participated at our 25th annual Zenith Aircraft Open Hangar Days and Fly-In 2016! This free 48-page full color magazine provides an excellent introduction to the world of recreational flying and kit aviation, and covers all Zenith aircraft kit models, including the Zenith CH 650.
Contact Zenith Aircraft Company to have one mailed to you.
We're thrilled that EAA has asked Zenith Aircraft to provide three sets of wings for the Give Flight project.
Three new Zenith aircraft (two Zenith CH 750 Cruzers and one Zenith CH 650) will be started at Oshkosh this summer with the help of volunteers!
How do we top last year's highly successful One Week Wonder project (where a complete Zenith CH 750 Cruzer was built in less than seven days at EAA Oshkosh Air Venture)?