First introduced in 1986, the STOL CH 701 aircraft was developed as an "off-airport" short take-off and landing kit aircraft to fulfill the demanding requirements of both sport pilots and first-time builders.
With the STOL CH 701, designer Chris Heintz combined the features and advantages of a "real" airplane with the short-field capabilities of an "ultralight" aircraft. The aircraft features fixed leading-edge slats for high lift, full-span flaperons (both ailerons and flaps), an all-flying rudder, and durable all-metal construction.
Sport Pilot Category: The STOL CH701 design meets the
definition of a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) for operation under the FAA's Sport Pilot / Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) category.
While the basic design has remained the same, many significant improvements have been introduced over the years, including a higher useful load, easier and quicker build kits, and more detailed drawings and step-by-step assembly instructions.
Build your own STOL CH 701 kit aircraft from:
Short-field performance is where the STOL CH 701 aircraft truly excels: It is airborne in less than 120 feet of unprepared grass, or 90 feet of hard surface, at gross weight. Rotation is possible by the time full throttle setting is applied, and lift-off can begin at 25 mph (in ground effect, with no wind) - all within less than four seconds from stand still. Of course, any headwind shortens the time and distance required for take off.
The STOL CH 701 was not designed to be just another pretty light aircraft, but was engineered to offer outstanding short take-off and landing performance, all-metal durability, and unparalleled ease of construction. With form following function, the STOL CH701 looks like a 'Sky Jeep', as it is often called by its owners.
Not many of the more than 500 STOL CH 701s flying today can be found at airports - most are operated from short off-airport grass fields. The aircrafts all-metal construction makes it suitable for continuous outdoor storage - providing their owners with continuous cost savings (no hanger or tie-down fees).
"Thanks to its thick, high-lift wing, full-span flaperons and fixed, full-span leading-edge slats, the 701 needs little more runway space than the typical backyard with clear access at the ends," wrote Kitplanes magazine in its January 2004 cover story. "Because of its stellar short-field capabilities, the STOL 701 stands out as one of the few kitplanes to serve in the sort of serious utility roles usually reserved for larger airplanes such as the Helio Courier, Piper Super Cub, Maule or Aviat Husky. That includes missionary and utility work in third world countries as well as cattle herding, fence patrol and crop dusting."
© Zenith Aircraft Company: 2013-05-06