Canadian Flag Blowing In The Wind Ron Leclerc Zenith CH701 Construction Log


Zenair CH701 STOL Aircraft...
CH701 STOL

Winnipeg

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Tips & Tricks Page...
April 15, 2007

Spent a lot of time researching this project... there were many things to consider. I was unsure of what engine I would use in the beginning. I soon realized that you must make a decision on your engine quite early in the project. Waiting until you are ready for the engine and not knowing what engine you want... is not in your best interest as it takes forever when it comes to dealing with suppliers and in the end cost you big time dollars.

In my case I made a decision early on in the project and started building the engine and acquiring parts along the with making the patterns and forming blocks needed to form the aircraft parts which I would need later. I did not want to invest anymore than about $5000-$7000 for an engine... there are a lot of good engines(after all engine supplier claims to have the best engine to use... it's you who has to do the research and then make the big decision) out there and it can get kind of confusing after a while. I did not want to take any short cuts... you have to use a lot of common sense when it comes to building your engine.

An example...is that most builders will build the rudder first! Well as a result of the decision that I made on my engine choice early on... I decided to build the firewall first, since I could find no supplier that had built the Firewall Forward for the CH701 with the Type 4 VW/Porsche engine. There were a few Type 1 VW Firewall Forward setups, but no Type 4 setups. So by building the firewall first, I could also build my engine mount right away... and not have to wait till later. It was really a no brainer decision once I started building the project. This is only my humble opinion... Ron
 

Home Built Help dot Com
Is exactly what the name implies! When I started building the only references that I had to work with, were the Zenith drawings and the Builders Picture Guides! Then along came HomeBuiltHelp.Com with Jon Croke and the guys from Can-Zac Aviation with the first of 8 DVD's needed to teach you how to work with aluminum and build an actual aircraft. The best investment that I made was in purchasing the DVD's, as I did not know squat about working with metal and making aircraft parts... I sure did learn fast to keep up with those guys.

I purchased each set of DVD's as they were made available by Jon, the first two being Metalworking 101(actual Rudder Build) and Scratch Building Basics(forming the actual Rudder Parts) and believe me they sure helped in cutting down on the time needed to make the parts... especially if you are scratch building! I also purchased the Rotax 912 Competition DVD from Jon, which gave me some insight, into the engines available for the CH701. The last DVD I purchased was Electrical 101... which gave a good understanding of the components that make up a simple electrical system and where to get them.

Most builders start their project by building the rudder first. I took a different approach. I was not going to use the Rotax engine, so I had decided after much research that I would go with the VW Type 4 engine. So the best place for me to start was in building the firewall first. I did this and it was sure nice to actually see the parts formed into an actual aircraft system and to get the feel of pulling some rivets. That was sure a great experience when it was finished, and looked like a part from an airplane.

So with the help of the DVD's from Jon and the guys from Can-Zac, I made all of the forming blocks needed to form the parts, for the wing ribs, stabilizer parts, elevator parts, rudder parts etc... I cut and formed all of the 0.040, 0.050, 0.063, 0.090, 0.125, 3/16 parts, the rudder parts, bell cranks, pushrods and all of the firewall parts . This was a lot of fun... I had to make some parts twice but what the hell, I did make some mistakes... I would hate to think of all of the mistakes I would have made without the DVD's.

 

 
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Metal Working 101:
This is the first DVD that Jon produced, and it is the actual CH701 Rudder Build from the Rudder kit, if you elect to go that route...

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Scratch Building Basics:
This was the second DVD and it was a great DVD, especially for the guys that are going to build from scratch(plans built)... it shows you how to make the parts forming blocks and then the forming of the actual CH701 Rudder Parts. It also gives you a good insight into working with aluminum, forming of the parts and shows you the kind of tools needed in making the parts from scratch. If you can make the rudder parts... you can make the rest of the parts needed for the CH701 build.
What a great DVD...

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Rear Fuselage DVD:
Covers the construction of the CH701 Rear Fuselage...

 
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Front Fuselage DVD:
Covers the construction of the CH701 Front Fuselage and includes the Firewall Forward along with the Rotax 912 engine mount installation...

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Wing Assembly:
Covers the CH701 Wing Construction along with the fuel tank installation...

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Stabilizer & Elevator Assembly:
Covers the Stabilizer and Elevator construction along with the elevator trim tab installation...

 
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Slats, Flaps and Struts:
This DVD covers a lot of the finally assembly of some of the CH701 systems, getting close...

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Controls DVD:
Covers the installation of all of the rudder, elevator, rudder pedals and rudder install...

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Rotax 912 Competition:
This ia a DVD showing a lot of the engines available for use in the CH701. This is a good presentation to view and use as part of your research into the type of engine that shakes your fancy, a good DVD...

 
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Electrical 101:
This DVD covers basic electrical wiring, circuits, materials, and suppliers. Gives a good understanding of what are the basic components... that make up a simple system...

 

 
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