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Zenith STOL CH701

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
A Zenith STOL CH701 light aircraft

The Zenith STOL CH 701 is a light, two place aircraft designed by Canadian aeronautical engineer Chris Heintz through his Midland, Ontario based company, Zenair. The CH 701 first flew in 1986 and the design is still in production in 2007.

The kit is produced and distributed in the USA by the Zenith Aircraft Company, and complete drawings (blueprints and manuals) are also available for the design. Several distributors (such as 'Quality Sport Planes' and 'Flight Crafters') modify existing kits into so called quick-build kits. In Europe, the CH 701 was manufactured under license by Czech Aircraft Works (CZAW) from 1992 until 2006, when the license agreement was ended.

Designed for off-runway operations, the CH 701 has many unique features, such as a high-lift wing with full-span, non-movable leading edge slats (also known as slots), an all flying rudder, large tires, flaperons and an inverted elevator, that contribute to the aircraft's STOL capabilities. Zenair also designed a unique tricycle gear amphibious float system for the CH 701.

The STOL CH 701 has the unique distinction of being what is probably the most copied light aircraft in production today. Several dozen unauthorized copies are (or have been) produced around the world, as documented by the Zenith website:

Designed to the LAMAC design standard DS 10141, in its native country of Canada the CH 701 can be built and flown as a basic ultra-light, advanced ultra-light or amateur-built. The CH 701 can be flown under microlight/ultralight rules in several other countries also. American pilots may fly the CH 701 under FAA Light-sport Aircraft rules or as an experimental amateur-built.