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Zenith/Zenair N801AB STOL CH 801 Bush Plane



Welcome to builder's site for Zenith/Zenair STOL CH 801 N801AB

Many thanks to the very helpful, courteous, and competent people at Zenith and Zenair, especially to Tim Ward of Zenair.

The quality of parts by Zenith and the Quick-Build assemblies by Zenair were excellent, and I received more than I expected in this kit from these companies of such excellent reputation.

I heartily recommend these aircraft folks and their products to all prospective homebuilders.





Received The Zenith STOL CH 801 Quick-Build Kit from Zenair Ltd. 05/08/2006 - Did extensive inventory of parts. 99%+ of parts were shipped in crate in good condition.

Finished Horizontal Stabilizer and Elevator with Trim Tab from Zenair's Preassembled Units. 05/18/06

Built Rudder from Zenith Parts with Predrilled Skins. 05/22/06

Made Several Cutouts In Panel for Instrument Layout. 05/23/06

Checked Preassembly of Wing for fit. Zenair did an excellent job on preassembly of wings and tail sections. Now proceeding with construction of wings. 05/24/06

Finished construction of both wings. while working intermittently on instrument panel and control system. 09/01/06

Received Superior XP-IO-360-A1CC2 XP Plus roller lifter engine. 10/01/06.

90 percent of instrumentation installed in panel. Finished wiring Lightspeed Dual Plasma III CDI ignition system. Waiting for Nav/Com and transponder from MicroAir. 11/10/06.

Finished installing nose gear. Recommend enclosing 5/16 inch diameter threaded control arms in 5/16 + ID steel tubes to give more stiffness to them, as there is considerable pressure on the rods caused by the bungee, especially when weight is taken off the nose gear. Alsi investigating using roller bearings on nylon bearing.11/12/06.

Basically finished installing control system; except for installing wings on fuselage. 11/30/06.

Received firewall forward package from Zenith on 12/04/06. Installed engine mount. Proceeding to install Superior engine and other FWF components. 12/05/06.

Have Superior Engine running ok 06/01/07. Most flight controls installed. Had holdups and delays because of other duties, illness and other projects.



Just Opened Crate

Allen, Sue, Johnny, Paula, Benita, Karen, Michael, Lacey and Zeke







Short Take Off

"...Short-field performance is where the STOL CH 801 aircraft truly excels: It is airborne in less than 120 feet of unprepared grass, or 90 feet of hard surface, at gross weight. Rotation is possible by the time full throttle setting is applied, and lift-off can begin at 25 mph (in ground effect, with no wind) - all within less than four seconds from stand still. Of course, any headwind shortens the time and distance required for take off..."  - SPORT AVIATION MAGAZINE

Reprint Article From Custom Planes magazine via Zenith Aircraft website

STOL CH 801 Kit Eligible for Airworthiness Certification.

"..April 6, 2001: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completed evaluation of the STOL CH 801 kit and determined that the kit, as evaluated, met the intent of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 21, Section 21.191(g).  The FAA notes that the evaluation should not be construed as meaning the kit is FAA CERTIFIED, CERTIFICATED, OR APPROVED..." 



From Zenith Aircraft Website

The Zenith STOL CH 801

"..The STOL 801 CH is a four-seat sport utility kit aircraft based on the successful two-seat STOL CH 701 design developed by aeronautical engineer Chris Heintz in the mid eighties. Since its introduction in 1986, more than 400 short take-off and landing STOL CH 701 aircraft have been successfully built and flown around the world, many being used for light utility purposes.

"The two-place STOL CH 701 has been a success story largely unnoticed in the U.S.," wrote EAA Sport Aviation magazine is its April 1998 issue. "More than 400 have been completed worldwide but only 100 of them have emerged from homebuilder's shops in the U.S. Usually that ratio would be reversed, but the real world use of the airplane has dictated otherwise. A significant number of those being used in Africa and other under-developed areas of the world rarely or never see a paved runway... or any sort of formal runway, for that matter."

STOL CH 801 Utility Kit Aircraft

The larger STOL CH 801 has been developed to expand the utility of the STOL CH 701 model by increasing the useful load from 500 lbs. (225 kg) to 1,000 lbs. (450 kg.) while retaining the original design's short and rough field capability. While the two designs share many similarities in appearance, they actually do not share any airframe parts due to the significantly larger size of the STOL CH 801.

"With 400-plus CH-701s currently flying, Zenair / Zenith Aircraft have certainly established the viability of this STOL design. Their newest aircraft, the CH 801, just expands that design concept to four places, creating a true utility kit aircraft." –.. EAA Experimenter magazine

Built of durable all-metal construction, the STOL CH 801 is designed to provide the durability and ruggedness required of an "off-airport" bushplane, while being quick and easy to build and maintain. Developed as a true sport utility kit aircraft, the STOL CH 801 offers many modern features for truly spectacular short-field performance and overall versatility.

The STOL CH 801 aircraft is at home on off-airport fields as well as on city airports, providing both the versatility of a four-seat aircraft and the capability of a cargo-hauling bush plane. Developed as a sport utility aircraft, high speed performance has been traded for outstanding high lift features to offer true short take-off and landing performance and spectacular slow flight characteristics, with a huge cabin and payload. While many other aircraft designs may be faster than the STOL CH 801, none offer more payload and short-field capability in an aircraft that is both as affordable and as simple to build.

Simple systems make the STOL CH 801 easy to build and maintain, while maximizing reliability. Its slow stall speed makes the aircraft easy and fun to fly, even for the novice low-time pilot.."

From Zenith Aircraft website.



This website will document the construction of a Zenith 801 Quick-Build Kit starting from its state (49% completed) as received from the Zenair Aircraft factory.



Just Opened Crate From Zenair


Back Seat Room


Right Cabin View


Stabilizer and Elevator as arrived from Zenair - Rivets and Trim Tab Added


Stabilizer and Elevator End View


Stabilizer and Elevator Center


This web site and the information contained therein are for entertainment purposes only. The opinions expressed on construction techniques are my opinions only and are not to be construed as to present proper construction methods. There is undoubtedly more than one way to build an airplane and some methods that I use may or may not work in any given circumstance. If there is any question please call the kit manufacturer. I am glad to help, but I am not responsible for the misuse of any information contained on this web site.