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I just joined, and fly a 2008 AMD CH601XLi-B Zodiac SLSA which I recertificated as experimental. I live in Santa Rosa, CA, in the heart of Sonoma County wine country, and hangar my plane at the Sonoma County Airport, KSTS.

Happy to be here.

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Welcome to our forum Stan, glad to have you as a new member. Next time I’m out on the west coast and up in wine country I’d love to meet up with you  and talk airplanes and cycling. The last time we were out there we drove right past your airport while exploring the Russian River Valley wineries. I believe you were  still down in the San Francisco area at that time.  Again, welcome to our forum. :D

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Thanks for the nice welcoming posts, all.

Shawn, I relocated in late February from San Francisco to Santa Rosa and am really enjoying the slower pace of life and getting away from the noisy hustle and bustle of the city. We moved into a "55 and older active adult" community with two eighteen hole golf courses, tennis courts, Olympic size swimming pools, and two fully equipped gyms. The neighbors have all been very welcoming, and two of them are former military pilots so we've swapped war stories. I've joined the local EAA chapter at KSTS, and the chapter members are great. Let me know if you get out this way. I try to visit family in Jacksonville for a week or so at least once a year.

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42 minutes ago, StanC said:

Thanks for the nice welcoming posts, all.

Shawn, I relocated in late February from San Francisco to Santa Rosa and am really enjoying the slower pace of life and getting away from the noisy hustle and bustle of the city. We moved into a "55 and older active adult" community with two eighteen hole golf courses, tennis courts, Olympic size swimming pools, and two fully equipped gyms. The neighbors have all been very welcoming, and two of them are former military pilots so we've swapped war stories. I've joined the local EAA chapter at KSTS, and the chapter members are great. Let me know if you get out this way. I try to visit family in Jacksonville for a week or so at least once a year.

Sounds just like the community that my girlfriend and I just moved here mom into here. The place is amazing and has so much to offer, if one is bored it's your own fault. Lots of active people and of course many snowbirds own here as well. My girlfriend and I are excited to possibly move in there (not with her mom of course :o) when we are of the age to do so as we both are looking to slow down and focus on life. Last time we were out your way we stayed in Petaluma and loved it there. We just returned from a trip to SoCal 2 days ago and stayed in La Jolla in the San Diego area. 

I've flown a little in the Jax area but it's busy there. I know Craig and St. Augustine airports and have been to both.

Glad to hear you are enjoying your new home, airport and active in your local EAA chapter.

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Stan

welcome to the SCFLIER SportCruiser forum !

and, it is interesting that you fly an AMD USA Factory Built Zenith 601, arguably the CRUZ LSA predecessor design from Zenith, that CZAW was also building in Europe, and which led to the CZAW 2006 OSHKOSH Surprise as the new SportCruiser !

The SportCruiser was similar enough to the Zenith 601 E-AB Kit airplane that Zenith quickly terminated doing business with CZAW in Europe... the week following OSHKOSH 2006.

I believe many SCFLIER SportCruiser Members would love to hear about how your Zenith 601 (2008 AMD factory built CH601XLi-B Zodiac SLSA) flies, and would be interested to learn about any unique characteristics and especially the IFR equipment/Avionics ...

Have you flown a SportCruiser ?

There is a long history between CZAW and Zenith with the two very similar airplanes, the SportCruiser and the Zenith 601 (led to much later the Zenith 650)....

 

 

10_Zenith_601.jpg.a1d0040fcb9ed34d5d4601
 
 
 
 

    Zenith CH 601 XL

The CH 601 XL was first flown in 1991 as an improved version of the HD developed for the amateur-built market and also for the American Light Sport Aircraft category. The XL features many incremental improvements over the HD, including a new wing design, wing fuel tanks to replace the fuselage tanks of the HD, new landing gear design and a new canopy.

 

 

·         Zenith CH 650

Modernized version of the 601, with a larger cockpit, a larger canopy with more headroom, swept-back fin and rudder and engine options that include the 120 hp (89 kW) Jabiru 3300, 100 hp (75 kW) Continental O-200 and 100 hp (75 kW) Rotax 912ULS. One hundred had been completed and flown by December 2011. 

 

 

·         Zenith CH 650E

Version for the US light-sport aircraft category. 

 

 

·         Zenith CH 650Ei

Version for the European microlight category, with a gross weight of 472.5 kg (1,042 lb) and a Rotax 912ULS engine of 100 hp (75 kW). Manufactured as a ready-to-fly aircraft by ICP srl in Italy. 

 

 

·         AMD Zodiac XL & XLi

The completed US Light Sport Aircraft compliant version of the XL is the AMD Zodiac produced by Aircraft Manufacturing and Design of Eastman, Georgia, USA. The aircraft is available in two versions, the XL, and the XLi. The XLi is IFR equipped for night flying and instrument flight conditions, while the XL is only equipped for VFR day and night flying.

 

28_Zenith_650.jpg.476299c1e0210b3353e0d8
 
 
22_Zenith_650.jpg.3bf74b46acfb5279461347
 
 
 
 

 

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4 hours ago, WmInce said:

Welcome aboard, Stan.

Thanks, Bill! I got tired of feeling left out of the loop. 😁

3 hours ago, ShawnM said:

I've flown a little in the Jax area but it's busy there. I know Craig and St. Augustine airports and have been to both. 

I used to fly into Herlong (HEG) when visiting family in Jax; it was a lot closer to my folks than Craig.

3 hours ago, DavePilot said:

Stan

welcome to the SCFLIER SportCruiser forum !

and, it is interesting that you fly an AMD USA Factory Built Zenith 601, arguably the CRUZ LSA predecessor design from Zenith, that CZAW was also building in Europe, and which led to the CZAW 2006 OSHKOSH Surprise as the new SportCruiser !

The SportCruiser was similar enough to the Zenith 601 E-AB Kit airplane that Zenith quickly terminated doing business with CZAW in Europe... the week following OSHKOSH 2006.

I believe many SCFLIER SportCruiser Members would love to hear about how your Zenith 601 (2008 AMD factory built CH601XLi-B Zodiac SLSA) flies, and would be interested to learn about any unique characteristics and especially the IFR equipment/Avionics ...

Have you flown a SportCruiser ?

There is a long history between CZAW and Zenith with the two very similar airplanes, the SportCruiser and the Zenith 601 (led to much later the Zenith 650)....

Thanks, Dave.

I've been following Chris Heintz and Zenith for decades, and was familiar with the manufacturing agreement between Heintz and CZAW. I bought a CH601XL quick build kit just before all of the fatal mid-air breakups, and when it became clear there was a serious problem I lost my enthusiasm for building the kit. After the structural mods came out in 2010 and the unexplained breakups stopped, a good friend told me I'd be dead before completing the kit and suggested buying a low time AMD with the B mods. Gee, why didn't I think of that?? So, that's the route I went and have never regretted it.

I've never flown a SportCruiser, but think they'd handle a lot like the Zodiac. I absolutely love the Zodiac and the way it handles. So far, I haven't discovered any unusual flight characteristics, although I did replace the bungee cord shock on the nose strut with the "steel bungee" spring shock from Viking, and it makes a big (positive) difference in ground handling.

As far as the IFR equipment is concerned, the airplane has a full gyro panel (TSO'd electric gyros with IFR backup power) SL-30 nav/com with ILS, heated pitot, alternate static, and lightning protection. The 601XLi was available with an optional Garmin 430 WAAS enabled GPS, but the original owner of my plane chose a VFR GPSmap 396 (I've replaced that with an Aera 660 VFR GPS). All engine parameters are displayed on a Dynon D10 EMS. I'm a VFR pilot, but have maintained IFR pitot/static and transponder certification. I'm installing the GDL 39R and GDL 82 for ADS-B

Here are photos of the airplane and the panel. 

n601ke front left quarter 1k x.jpg

n601ke panel -aera 660 1k.jpg

stan at oak 1-17 med.jpg

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Stan

thanks for the input on your Zenith 601XLi.

That’s a great looking airplane with an interesting, powerful set of Avionics compared to the CRUZ SportCruiser Avionics mix of that era.  Love the Dynon D10EMS - very powerful in a small footprint.   Also lots of great Garmin equipment !  Your plan for ADS-B Out and In with the GDL82 and GDL39 Remote should work awesome !

Curious - what’s your empty weight ?

Enjoy !

Dave 

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59 minutes ago, DavePilot said:

Stan

Curious - what’s your empty weight ?

Enjoy !

Dave 

It's a real pig, Dave. With the O-200-A up front I knew it would essentially be a single place airplane with full fuel, and am fine with that as my long cross-country flights are always solo. Calculated empty weight is 846 pounds, but from the logs it isn't clear whether that was before or after the B structural mods were made to the airframe. The plan is to weigh it after I get the ADS-B install completed so I'll have an updated W&B that I know is accurate. Past experience with my 150 and 172 suggests it's going to be heavier than I expect. ☹️

I weigh 175 and can take a 200 pound passenger on an hour/hour and a half flight (10 or 12 gallons of fuel), and still be under 1320 gross.

 

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That's a really good looking airplane with a nice, simple panel, that can take you anywhere.

Actually, as compared to some of the newer S-LSA's, that empty weight really isn't that bad. Midwest Sky Sports rep told me, at last Sun n' Fun, a new Sling 2, with BRS and dual G3X's would come in at about 910 lbs. EBW. That's pretty heavy, considering my CTSW's EBW comes in at 748 lbs. (BRS is standard equipment).

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21 hours ago, WmInce said:

That's a really good looking airplane with a nice, simple panel, that can take you anywhere.

Actually, as compared to some of the newer S-LSA's, that empty weight really isn't that bad. Midwest Sky Sports rep told me, at last Sun n' Fun, a new Sling 2, with BRS and dual G3X's would come in at about 910 lbs. EBW. That's pretty heavy, considering my CTSW's EBW comes in at 748 lbs. (BRS is standard equipment).

Thanks, Bill. The 6-MOD structural upgrade kit components weigh 41 pounds (the difference between the empty weight before and after the "B mod" kit installation), so I guess I'll find out after I weigh it whether I (and the previous owner) have been using the wrong empty weight. 846 plus 41 would put the empty weight at 887!! Yikes!

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