STOL CH 801 - Sport Utility Kit Aircraft







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STOL CH 801 Construction

STOL CH 801The STOL CH 801 aircraft is built of semi-monocoque stressed-skin all-metal construction, just like modern factory-built planes, but adapted specifically for the kit builder. The airframe sections are designed and built so that the outer surface skin is part of the structure, with internal supports (ribs, bulkheads and longerons) to distribute the loads. The parts are fastened together permanently with rivets.

Sheet-metal construction is outstandingly the most widely used aircraft building method around the world, and has proven itself as an ideal aircraft building material since the early pioneering days of aviation. Modern alloys are lightweight, strong, corrosion-resistant and durable, while being easy to work with.

Building the STOL CH 801... one section at the time.Unlike most other all-metal kit aircraft, the STOL CH 801 kit is made for the first-time builder, and is easy and quick to build, requiring no special skills, tools or jigs to assemble in a workshop, such as a single car garage or basement workshop. 

Sturdy and low-fatigue aluminum alloys make the STOL CH 801 airframe very rugged and corrosion resistant, making it ideally suited for "bushplane" operations. The modern 6061-T6 aluminum-alloy used in the STOL CH 801 construction is durable and corrosion resistant, ideal for even the harshest environment, and very easy to repair and maintain on the field. The owner of a STOL CH 801 is assured of a long airframe life, with minimum required maintenance, as metal is not adversely affected by ultra-violet (UV) light and temperature changes like fabrics, Dacron or composites (it’s thus feasible to tie-down the aircraft outdoors to minimize costs).

"The truest gauge by which to measure the quality of a kit and its kit manufacturing company are the number of its satisfied customers, the fine flying characteristics of all its finished aircraft, and the dedicated after-purchase support provided by the factory.
"By all these standards and many others too numerous to mention, Zenith Aircraft Company's excellent reputation is well deserved. We heartily recommend to every prospective homebuilt kit buyer that he or she seriously consider the excellent aircraft produced by Zenith Aircraft, a company we've always found to be competently and professionally managed by genuinely qualified, dedicated people."

— editor, Sport Pilot magazine

The simple stressed-skin monocoque construction uses single curvature sheet-metal skins riveted to internal structural members.

Avex blind rivetingThe sheet-metal skins, main wing spar, structural ribs, longerons, stiffeners and bulkheads are fastened together with Zenith’s proven riveting method using Textron Avex blind rivets, which are as easy to set as ‘pop’ rivets, requiring only a simple hand rivet puller. The corrosion-resistant Avex rivets provide a permanent structural bond and tight low-profile dome finish, formed by the custom riveter head. The rivet stem becomes locked in after being set to provide a water-tight seal. The 1/8-inch and 5/32-inch Avex rivets used are very sturdy and durable fasteners, and may be used over a wide grip area. The blind rivets are much easier and quicker to set than bucked rivets, and don’t require the use of a noisy pneumatic rivet hammer or counter-sunk rivet holes.

"They go together predominantly with aircraft-grade Avex pull-stem rivets, which together with the simplicity of the design make for kits that can actually be assembled in a few hundred hours."
— Kitplanes magazine (01/04)

The sturdy main wing spar is a built up I-beam, with cap extrusions buck-riveted to the spar web. In the kit, the spar comes completely pre-assembled and finished (drilled and riveted, with flanged lightening holes). The rib stations on the spar are even pre-drilled - ready for final wing assembly. The structural aluminum wing ribs and fuselage bulkheads are supplied ready-to-install (pre-formed and finished at the factory with flanged lightening holes).

STOL CH 801 Wing Spar

STOL CH 801 Wing - Cross Section

STOL CH 801 Wing Assembly
Internal Structure - STOL CH 801 right wing assembly

The surface sheet-metal skins are blind riveted to the spar, ribs and bulkheads. Many flat surface skins are pre-drilled at the factory with a drilling machine, and are pre-formed and cut, ready for assembly.

The semi-monocoque rear fuselage requires the same type of simple assembly as the wings. The square rear fuselage is easily assembled by assembling each side on a flat workbench and then simply ‘boxing’ the four sides together. The forward fuselage (cabin) is made up of factory-riveted lower side frames, and and a welded 4130 chromium-molybdenum steel top frame. Fuselage and cabin parts are supplied ready for assembly as standard components of the complete kit.

The horizontal stabilizer tail is built up of two spars and internal ribs, covered with the pre-formed aluminum-alloy skin. The elevator is fabricated like the ailerons, and attached to the stabilizer with pins at each end. The pre-formed vertical tail skins cover the internal spar and ribs.

The standard dual welded-aluminum wing tanks hold 15 US gallons each. Optional extended range wing tanks double the fuel capacity.

STOL CH 801 fuselage assembly

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Zenith Aircraft Company
Mexico Memorial Airport, PO Box 650
Mexico, Missouri, 65265-0650 USA.
Tel: 573-581-9000 (Mon - Fri, 8-5 Central),
Fax: 573-581-0011
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Zenith Aircraft Company: 2010-01-03