Zenith Aircraft Company has announced a design gross weight increase for the STOL CH 750 kit aircraft. The aircraft design gross weight has been increased from 1320 pounds to 1440 pounds, an increase of 120 pounds. The increase adds significantly to the load carrying capability of the Light Sport utility aircraft first introduced at AirVenture in July 2008. The weight increase applies without airframe modifications to all aircraft built to drawings Edition 2 (drawings dated July 20, 2010), and operated as Experimental/Amateur-Built aircraft. STOL CH 750 aircraft registered as (factory-built) SLSA and/or operated by Sport Pilots are not affected, as the weight limit per FAA rules for Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) remains 1320 pounds.
The company says several rigorous static load tests were performed on the structure in preparation for this gross weight increase. Aircraft built to Edition 2 drawings incorporate structural changes to justify the extra load, especially to accommodate larger (up to 160 horsepower) and heavier (up to 280 pounds installed weight) engines. “We have not changed the basic design, since the CH 750 offers such great performance, capabilities and features,” said Zenith president Sebastien Heintz. “With the Edition 2 drawings we have increased the capabilities of the aircraft, especially for pilots using the aircraft as a utility plane and to allow for additional larger engines, such as Lycoming’s new 233 powerplant. Sport Pilots [in the United States] will continue to be limited to the 1320-pound gross weight, but with the added peace of mind that the additional margins provide, and private pilots can take full advantage of, the added useful load now available for the STOL CH 750 registered as an Experimental/Amateur-Built (E/AB) aircraft.”
The STOL CH 750 is an all-metal short takeoff and landing (STOL) kit aircraft designed by veteran aeronautical engineer Chris Heintz. As a utility STOL design, the aircraft features a rugged landing gear with oversized tires for rough field capability, yet uses a tricycle gear configuration (with steerable nosewheel) to make it easy to fly (and taxi) even for low time sport pilots. The high-lift wing features fixed leading edge wing slats for maximum lift and full-length “Junker”-type flaperons (both ailerons and flaps) for outstanding slow flight handling characteristics.
The high tail design employs an all-flying rudder and a unique inverted horizontal tail (equipped with micro vortex generators) to help the airplane achieve steep approaches and short landings. The aircraft features standard “bubble doors” to maximize both visibility and cabin width, and is available as a complete kit, with modern features such as match-drilled pilot-hole parts and components for ease and simplicity of construction. Powered with the air-cooled six-cylinder Jabiru 3300 engine (105 hp @ 2950 rpm) the STOL CH 750 has a takeoff roll of just 100 feet and climbs at 1000 fpm with two on board. Stall speed is just 35 mph, and cruise is 100 mph, an impressive figure for such a high-lift design, says Zenith.
For kit builders, a variety of different engine types can power the STOL CH 750, especially with the new higher gross weight. Current supported installations include the Jabiru 3300, the Continental O-200 series (including the lightweight D model), the Rotax 912S and 914 engines, and various auto conversions such as Corvair, Honda and Subaru conversions. New installations include the ULPower UL350i series, as well as Lycoming’s new YO-233 LSA engine, rated at 115 hp. Traditional Lycoming models such as the O-235 and O-320 are also suitable for installation (for a maximum installed weight of 280 pounds). Sport Pilots will want to keep their aircraft as light as possible (using a lightweight powerplant) to maximize payload while meeting the gross weight requirement of the FAA rules.
Numerous kit options are available to customize the STOL CH 750, including a folding wings kit, extended range fuel tanks, larger “tundra” tires, and more. Zenair’s lightweight all-metal #1450 LSA floats are available for the STOL CH 750, either in kit form or factory-assembled and ready-to-mount.
For more information, call 573/581-9000 or visit www.zenithair.com. Zenith also has a display at Oshkosh AirVenture through August 1 in the homebuilt area.