Hello everyone,
Im a new builder (have purchased and am waiting for the rudder kit for the 650) and just wanted to see other peoples thought process, for themselves and for my personal situation as im finding my thinking about this whole thing was off.
This will be the first airplane i own (rent from the fbo currently). Originally I was looking at a Cessna 150 for around 35 to 40k, but as a former A.S.E tech. And welder the idea of building my own experimental was mouth watering to say the least, especially since i currently have all the time in the world to work on it (no wife, kids etc).
The issue lies in my idea, after doing what i thought was enough research, i built a big enough work table, ordered the rudder kit, and now i wait for it to ship (pricing for the rudder kit made the impulse a nonfactor) . After a day or so i called zenith to ask a few questions because i saw lead times of 4-8weeks on the website (my rudder kit delivery would line up with a build class so i would wait) but apparently the rudder kit would be ready ship in a day or 2 so thats great news.
So my thinking was,
Buy rudder, build rudder, buy tail section, build, etc. So i can focus on what i have and not really get too overwhelmed or mixed up.
Then lead times attacked my idea.
From what ive been told, lead times are currently 10+ months for any large kit (fuselage, wings etc) which is a great problem, means they are popular and have great business. But that would mean if i got the tail, built it, then ordered the next piece it would be another year before i got that, so it would be better to order the whole kit and get it all at once. Vs stretching the build into the multiple of years due to wait times between sections.
Due to that im leaning toward the c150, but that has its own pros and cons compared to a brand new airframe engine etc. For instance depending on tsmoh, you basically pay for the plane twice...

What would you do with 35k in hand?
Also for those that built, how long did it take w/lead times, full kit? Or component kit build? What was your process.
I want this plane, but i also want to stop renting.
Thanks for any advice

Views: 795

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Just finished my workshop table and inventory on the rudder kit, i need to order a few other parts so i can actually put the skins on but the build has officially begun! 

I was in your position. I rent a c150 to stay current.  I'm actually scheduled to fly it this evening.  I was able to find a CH601XL project with a zero time Jabiru 3300 for $15K last summer.  I am adding another $15K in avionics, etc but I will have a sweet panel with ADSB in/out, autopilot, etc.  I should add that I have an unflown Kitfox in my barn that I will sell in the spring.  I decided that I am not qualified to do the initial testing and, more importantly, the Kitfox doesn't fit my mission.  This is an important point: what do you want to do with the plane once you are finished.  I want to have the ability to travel and also to keep it outside if necessary.  Good luck with your decisions.  I think you are going about it thoughtfully.

Thanks, im renting 150s and 172s right now myself. The idea to buy a 150 is out the window for me at this point as well. With full tanks its basically a single seater, dont really need a merlin. Id like to have the ability to at least take one person up if they want to. Ive heard that you can basically hire the owner or one of the main people from zenith to do the first couple test flights for you. Not sure how true that is though. 

The issue with the Kitfox is that I can't find a place to give me transition training for my model.  There is at least one place in the US that offers transition training for the 601/650.  I intend to get 10 hours with them when my project is ready to fly.  Also, there is a CH601XLB on Barnstormers right not that needs a motor and avionics.

Just saw that one, the 601 is ok, but because of the ghost stories i think im going to stick to the 650 for a used or half complete build. I plan to schedule some training in Missouri my self when the time comes. Im still waiting for my 650 rudder to ship myself.

If you are referring to the wing failures, both the 601 and 650 were affected. They require the "B" mod, which I believe the barnstormer plane has.  There is very little difference between the 601 and 650.  The 650 has a larger canopy (which can be installed on a 601), a different rudder, and a slightly higher wing incidence which gives you slightly better over the nose visibility.

Was looking at the wrong ad, i see the xlb now for 23k, and i can fix the engine. About to get in contact with that guy thanks a million. 


New from Zenith:

Zenith Planes For Sale 

Classified listing for buying or selling your Zenith building or flying related stuff...

Custom Instrument Panels
for your Zenith

Custom instrument panels are now available directly from Zenith Aircraft Company exclusively for Zenith builders and owners. Pre-cut panel, Dynon and Garmin avionics, and more.

Custom Upholstery Kits for your Zenith Aircraft:

Zenith Vinyl Upholstery Kits

Zenith Homecoming Tshirt:

Zenair Floats

Flying On Your Own Wings:
A Complete Guide to Understanding Light Airplane Design, by Chris Heintz

Builder & Pilot Supplies:

How to videos from HomebuiltHELP.com

Developed specifically for Zenith builders (by a builder) these videos on DVD are a great help in building your own kit plane by providing practical hands-on construction information. Visit HomebuiltHelp.com for the latest DVD titles.

Aircraft Insurance:


West Coast USA:

Pro Builder Assistance:


Transition training:

Lavion Aero

K&S Aviation Services

Aircraft Spruce & Specialty for all your building and pilot supplies!

© 2023   Created by Zenith.Aero.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service