The Zenith Zodiac CH-601 UL is a high-performance single-engine,
two-seat, low-wing, all metal microlight airplane with a fixed tricycle
undercarriage with steerable nosewheel. The Zodiac CH-601 UL is a
lighter version of the CH-601HD model, develloped specially for the
Advanced Ultralight category. The CH-601 was developed in the early
1990s by Chris Heintz, founder and chief designer of Zenair. The Zodiac
CH 601 HD (heavy-duty model) is the basic Zodiac model, based on the
original CH 600 aircraft developed in 1984 as a primary trainer. With a
reduced gross weight, the specifications of the CH-601 UL model are very
similar to those of the CH 601 HD model. In 1992, Heintz licensed the kit manufacturing and
marketing rights to Zenith Aircraft Company for the Zodiac CH 601 and
the STOL CH 701 designs. In 1992, Heintz also entered into a
license agreement with Czech Aircraft Works of Stare Mesto, Czech
Republic, to produce and market his Zodiac CH 601 and STOL CH 701
designs for the European market. The Czech-produced Zodiacs were
modified and lightened to meet European rules for microlight aircraft.
CZAW produced some 750 such machines under this agreement. On 31
December 2006, after the license agreement, under which the Zenair Zodiac CH 601 and
STOL CH 701 light aircraft designs were produced by CZAW, was terminated
the Czech production came to an end. The Zenair CH-601 is nowadays manufactured
in kit form by Zenith Aircraft Company, Mexico, Missouri
in the USA and as factory-produced Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) by
Aircraft Manufacturing and Development Co. in Georgia, USA. In kit form,
the aircraft is deliverable as a Basic kit and as an Quickbuild kit. The
Basic kit, or 49% Zodiac airframe kit requires about one year (or about
450 hours) to build the aircraft, the quikbuild kit just 120 hours. Recommended
power for the CH-601 UL is the four cylinder four stroke 80 HP Rotax 912 UL engine,
other alternative power units with a recommended power of 65 to 100 HP and up to
265 lbs. installed weight can be installed. Already over 3000 CH-601 airframes are sold all around the world.
On 7 July 1999, Zenith Zodiac CH-601 UL c/n 6-9045 was registered PH-3F5 in the Netherlands as a Zenith CH-601 UL
with c/n jun-45. Next to c/n jun-45 in the official records, c/n 6-9045 is also given for this 1999-built ultralight aeroplane.
When photographed at Drachten airfield, the aircraft was marked as a Zodiac CH 601 S. Zenith Zodiac CH-601 UL PH-3F5 is powered
by a Rotax 912ULS engine.