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Thread: Alternatives to the 701?

  1. #1
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    Alternatives to the 701?

    Mission: Crop inspections, animal welfare checks on range land throughout the year in North Central Oregon.
    Priorities: Well mannered when low and slow, off airport and STOL capable, LSA compliant, enclosed cockpit.

    If the mission and priorities bring to mind a CH 701, well, me too! Question is, what other makes & models are worthy of serious consideration as well? Kitfox IV, Bush Cat, Just Highlander? What else? Partial to the idea of avoiding 'rag & tube' but, trying to maintain an open mind. One of the very few benefits of not owning a plane is that the options are open. Any and all thoughts, experiences, opinions welcomed.

  2. #2
    Administrator ZenithOwner.com's Avatar
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    I can't think of anything that would fit your mission that isn't tube and fabric (other than the Zentihs). Bushcaddies are sort of nice, but there are so few out there I wonder how the company stays in business. Looks at the RANS airplanes too. The S-7 would be perfect but of course it's tube and fabric.

    As a side note, look closely at the kits. When I built my RANS S-6S my good friend built a new Kitfox. My buddy has a 1 hour drive home from work everyday so he would call a few times a week on his way home and we would discuss our projects. I also spent a fair amount of time at his place looking at his plane. What I'm getting at is that I am very familiar with the Kitfox kit. Almost everything that comes standard with the RANS kit is 'extra' on the Kitfox. At one time I put together a long list of items but I no longer have it. But off hand, things like the spinner, engine mount, seats, interior, stick grip, and a bunch of other stuff that RANS includes with the kit are not included in the Kitfox kit. Just something to think about if you were to go that route. Take a good look at exactly what does or doesn't come with what ever kit you choose.
    Mark Pensenstadler
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    Price's Airpark, Linden, MI (9G2)
    S-10 | S-6S | RV-7 | Cherokee 160 | Zenith Cruzer

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    Thanks for the reply, Mark. Excellent point on kit-content. Amazing how fast things add up. I have started to give major 'bonus-points' to the models that are supported by complete FWF kits.

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    User Taiser's Avatar
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    The Savanah is a Zen copy without the slats, it has good reviews, but besides that, pretty much everything else will be tube and fabric which is why the Zen is so unique.

    Lots of good choices in that league (fabric) as well. I'd love to build a Bearhawk myself, has huge payload and good performance for a "bush" plane and would probably be the best rag plane for your mission.

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    Thanks, guys. It's always fun and interesting to explore different options. I must admit, for our own needs, I keep coming back to the 701. Just want to be sure that there is nothing else out there that I somehow have missed. One thing I find interesting is this: Quite often, when I find something that seems to compare favorably with the 701, the total cost is two or more times the money. Not saying the Zenith is a cheap plane, either. They seem to represent a comparatively good value. Then again, maybe I have unknowingly made up my mind and have moved on to the 'justification' stage, LOL!!! If re-sale value were a higher priority, I suspect I would lean a little more towards the 750 STOL as it seems to have the larger market share. However, bringing it back to the actual Mission Statement, the little 701 seems to stay at the top of the list.

    Have a great day! Any additional thoughts from either of you, or others, are more than welcome!

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    Administrator ZenithOwner.com's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you really do know exactly what you want. Now get on it!!
    Mark Pensenstadler
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    Price's Airpark, Linden, MI (9G2)
    S-10 | S-6S | RV-7 | Cherokee 160 | Zenith Cruzer

  7. #7
    User Taiser's Avatar
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    Check out this only for fun STOL competition some boys do regularly! There is a Savanah on there which is cool but no Zen's. But it does give a great show of STOL performances on some planes, including some Rans I think!




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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenithOwner.com View Post
    Sounds to me like you really do know exactly what you want. Now get on it!!
    Mark, not sure about 'EXACTLY' but, getting there.

    Neat video, Taiser. Great scenery, awesome aircraft and skilled pilots who really seem to enjoy each others' company! Were you there or know the location?

  9. #9
    User Taiser's Avatar
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    Nope, just something that someone in an airplane facebook group of mine posted. Seemed like a fun time!

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