Wednesday, June 30, 2010


STANDARD DATA: Gross wt. 1,500. Empty wt. 930. Fuel capacity 24. Wingspan 23'. Length 20'6". Engine 125 hp.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 151. Cruise mph 141. Stall mph 54. Climb rate 1,100. Takeoff run (50') 1,400. Landing run (50') 1,400. Range 450.

The French-born designer Chris Heintz graduated from E.T.H. (engineering institute) in Zurich, Switzerland, worked on the Concorde at Aerospatiale, and joined Avion’s Pierre Robin (famous for the Jodel series) as chief engineer before he started work on the Zenith. This homebuilt has a split personality in that with 100 hp it will cruise for four hours at 130 mph carrying two passengers and baggage. A 150-hp engine and an acrobatic option turns the Zenith into a powerful performer. The Zenith is stressed for T-engines from 85 to 160 hp, with two-place seating under a sliding canopy in a fuselage formed by four longerons with stiffened skins blind-riveted to longerons. Five bulkheads carry the top skin. The constant-chord wings have a single cantilevered spar with three sections and electronically operated flaps. One-piece all-moving horizontal and vertical control surfaces constitute the tail.


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