Part 26: Installing the "Upgrade Package" to our Zodiac CH 601 XL: It flies!

It was a cold and windy day... but clear and sunny, so we flew our beloved Zodiac XL demonstrator airplane this morning.

Today's flight comes after the downtime of installing the Zodiac XL upgrades which we've been chronicling here over the past five or six weeks. All of you that have been following this series will agree that the upgrade package kit that we have installed is comprehensive, beefing up the aircraft in significant ways.

After having completed the weight and balance, Roger completed the paperwork and entered the details in his log book. Since this airplane is an Amateur-built - Experimental, he returned it to phase 1 flight test (for five hours) as detailed in the Operating Limitations (program letter):

After refueling and a thorough pre-flight inspection, Roger takes the Zodiac XL up once again:

After a half-hour flight, Roger reports that the Zodiac XL flies the same (despite the upgrades).

He noted that one noticeable difference was that the plane was quieter and felt a little more solid due to the extra stiffeners in the wing (and rear fuselage).

Here's the flying video. Please excuse the poor quality of the video - it was cold and windy out there!

The Zenair Newsletter publication will include the video footage (on DVD) of the Upgrade Package kit installation (part two) with the next issue of the print Newsletter.

All of you that have been following this series will agree that the upgrade package is comprehensive, beefing up the aircraft in some significant ways.

We continue to be real busy shipping out Upgrade Package kits to builders and owners around the country (and around the world).

I expect this is the last post in this series on "installing the upgrade package to our Zodiac XL" but we do plan to keep all builders and pilots up to date of any new and ongoing developments.

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Comment by billiau on August 22, 2010 at 1:08am
j ai ha^te de m' y remettre j ai pris du retard dans ma construction le 650 E a vraiment une belle touche
Comment by Glen West on December 30, 2009 at 3:01pm
Great job!
Comment by Donald Bonk on December 30, 2009 at 7:03am
How much weight did the upgrade add to your empty weight and did your CG move or was thatr insignificant?
Comment by Tim Garrett on December 29, 2009 at 4:26pm
Way to go Zenith team! Hey Roger, will your phase 1 flight test (for five hours) include Vne and flutter checks? What exactly will you be flight testing?
Comment by Scott Thatcher on December 29, 2009 at 3:26am
Congratulations Roger! Now I can see why you didn't mind the 65 degree weather in Edgewater, Florida last month. It must have seemed like a heat wave compared to what you flew in yesterday.
Comment by Bill Pagan on December 28, 2009 at 5:57pm
Wow - what was the wind velocity? Looks like it's trying to rip the flags off the poles in the background. Great Job!!
Comment by Mack P. Kreizenbeck on December 28, 2009 at 5:15pm
Congrats are in order! Great job! I think that I can speak for all the XL drivers -- we appreciate all that you have done to help get our birds airborne once again!
Comment by Alex Roca on December 28, 2009 at 4:36pm
Congratulations !! Well deserved !

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