STOL CH 801 - Sport Utility Kit Aircraft







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March 03, 2014

STOL CH 750 with the 801 and 701
The ultimate sport utility bushplanes: STOL CH 801, CH 750, and CH 701 (left to right)
Assembly Manual Updates

Click Here for the STOL CH 801
Online Builder Resources

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Zenith Aircraft Builders & Flyers:  Join the new ZENITH.AERO Online Community for the latest news and updates.

Starting in May 2012, Zenair Ltd. (Canada) is supplying parts, kits and support worldwide for the STOL CH 801.  Zenair has been working on a number of exciting updates for the four-seat CH 801 utility aircraft and looks forward to working with both new and existing STOL CH 801 customers.

STOL CH 801 YouTube Video Clips Playlist - Flying the awesome STOL CH 801

More video clips

African STOL CH 801 Sport Utility Kit Aircraft

African STOL CH 801


Ben Haas' STOL CH 801, powered by a custom Ford V8 auto conversion, on display at EAA AirVenture

Ecuador STOL CH 801

June 2009:
Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador, South America, inspects a STOL CH 801 built in Shell Mera, Ecuador, by I-Tec (Indigenous People's Technology and Education Center) headed by Steve Saint.
  STOL CH 801 aircraft, assembled in Ecuador, are used in South America by missionaries and humanitarian organizations.

Micro Vortex Generator (Zenith)

STOL CH 801 Kit Option:  Micro Vortex Generators.  Install these VGs on the bottom of the elevator for an even slower approach speed!

Super-bright LED wingtip Strobe / Nav Lights:  Three-in-one combination navigation / strobe and position lights for your STOL CH 801.  Click here for more info.  Click here to order.

STOL CH 801 amphibian 

Jeff Fortune's STOL CH 801, on amphibious floats, in Abaco in the Bahamas.

"The plane is flying great.  Quickest liftoff from salt water is about 12 seconds... lands at ~38 knots."

STOL CH 801 amphibian 
STOL CH 801 with STOL CH 750 prototype STOL CH 750: Zenith Aircraft introduces the newest STOL model at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (August 2008). 
The two-seat STOL CH 750 prototype is a "light sport utility" airplane powered by the 100-hp Continental O-200 engine

Flying the STOL CH 701, STOL CH 750 and the STOL CH 801 to Oshkosh.
Click here for photos of the Oshkosh trip

Bundu Aviation's South African STOL CH 801


Bill Rewey (Verona, Wisconsin) with his STOL CH 801:

"Total cost was about $40,000 using a used (but overhauled) Lycoming O-320 engine. N171WR has an IFR panel, wing leveler, elevator and aileron trip, and a 60 gallon fuel capacity . Thanks for a great kit and great design. Factory assistance was outstanding"

STOL CH 801  Great photos from Christopher Desmond's STOL CH 801, landing on a remote off-airport bluff in northern California, overlooking the Pacific ocean.

Bill Wilcox flying his STOL CH 801 in Alaska.

STOL CH 801 on Full Lotus  Bill Wilcox's STOL CH 801 in Valdez, Alaska, on Full-Lotus floats:
"I now have 25 hours on my Zenithair CH 801 on 2150 Full Lotus Floats.  When I loaded up the plane to 2200 lbs. at sea level I was operating it in and out of less than 1000-feet of water.  It was dead calm and the water was glassy... I look at the Full Lotus Floats as a new generation of floats.  I remember when all white water kayaks were long and round.  They are now short and flat.  Full Lotus is just keeping up with the times and changes in materials.  I feel like the talk of the town: Every body wants to look and see how short it gets off.  It is really different checking the air pressure rather than pumping out the floats."
STOL CH 801 on glacier November 4, 2008:
Bill Wilcox's STOL CH 801 on wheels, on Valdez Glacier Lake in Alaska.
STOL CH 801 short take-off

NEW Video Clip Pilot demonstrates very short take-off in the four-seat utility STOL CH 801

Open Hangar Day 

View photos from Zenith's 17th annual OPEN HANGAR DAY and Fly-In Gathering (held on Saturday, September 20, 2008)

STOL CH 801 with STOL CH 750 prototype STOL CH 750: Zenith Aircraft introduces the newest STOL model at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (August 2008). 
The two-seat STOL CH 750 prototype is a "light sport utility" airplane powered by the 100-hp Continental O-200 engine

Flying the STOL CH 701, STOL CH 750 and the STOL CH 801 to Oshkosh.
Click here for photos of the Oshkosh trip
Video Clip: Flying the STOL CH 801 STOL CH 801 in Brazil, with custom engine cowl for the Lycoming or Superior O-360 powerplant and cargo belly pod.
STOL CH 801 - Brazil Ranch STOL CH 801 from Brazil, with custom cargo belly pod.
Bubble window: STOL CH 801 Testing new bubble side door windows in the STOL CH 801.  The domed bubble windows, as tested, increase the cabin width to 52-inches (130 cm.) at the shoulders!

The domed bubble window is easy to fit in existing STOL CH 801 doors, or can be installed in the door instead of the flat Plexiglas material supplied in the standard kit.
Cost of the bubble door option: $245.00 each (left or right side).

Click here for additional cabin details.
Click here for more photos.
Bundu's STOL CH 801 First flight in Bundu Aviation's STOL CH 801 in South Africa.
STOL CH 801 Custom panel in Bundu Aviation's STOL CH 801 in South Africa.
Reflections: You are looking at the fuselage side of Dale Carlson's 801 !   Photos from the Spring into Summer Fly-In Gathering (at the Zenith factory on June 21, 2008).
STOL CH 801 Rich Bauer's Coast Guard STOL CH 801 (South Carolina).
STOL CH 801 - Brazil Roberto Brito's bright yellow STOL CH 801 (Brazil), built from a Quick Build Kit.
STOL CH 801 - Brazil Roberto Brito's bright yellow STOL CH 801 (Brazil)
STOL CH 801 - Brazil Roberto Brito's STOL CH 801: Notice the custom cargo (belly) pod and custom fiberglass engine cowl.
STOL CH 801 - Brazil  
STOL CH 801 Flying the STOL CH 801 and the STOL CH 701 to the Sun'n Fun fly-in in Lakeland, Florida (over the Mississippi River with its shores overflowing, April 2008).
STOL CH 801 Travis Holland's STOL CH 801 (Roseland, Florida)
STOL CH 801 instrument panel
STOL CH 801 maiden flight March 2008:
Maiden flight of Christopher Desmond's custom STOL CH 801 (California).
STOL CH 801 March 1, 2008:
Dale Carlson's polished aluminum STOL CH 801 (California, Missouri), powered by a 180-hp Lycoming O-360 engine with Sensenich propeller.
STOL CH 801 - dual sticks Custom instrument panel in Dale Carlson's STOL CH 801. Notice the custom dual control sticks.
Canyon Surfing DVD has released its first full-length DVD featuring the two-seat STOL CH 701.  Titled "Canyon Surfing," this video shows off the aircraft at its best in off-airport, back-country environments: Landing and taking off from rough river beds, short grass fields and curved private roads. Flown by experienced STOL pilots Christopher Desmond and Michael Heintz, this fast-paced adventure includes steep turns, tight "canyon turn-arounds" and remarkably steep approaches and climb-outs, providing an excellent demonstration of the STOL's amazing capabilities. Order your copy today from, or click here to view a short preview of the video on YouTube. 

Ben Haas' V8 powered STOL CH 801 of Jackson Hole, Wyoming:

"I LOVE my 801 and Zenith is a great company to do business with. I hope you guys keep right on creating fun toys..."

Short Take Off Demo 

New STOL CH 801 Video Clips:

"First flights of our just finished Zenith STOL CH 801. Built By Dad, age 35 and four sons 6, 8,11,and 12 for mom and wife who recently got her pilots license. Plane was NOT a quick-build kit but we did finish it quickly, 8 months, including paint and interior."

STOL CH 801 Video Clip
Freezing rain... December 2007: Zenith's demonstrator STOL CH 801 weighted down under an inch of ice following a day of freezing rain.
Dan Stanton's STOL CH 801 STOL CH 801 powered by a Lycoming, built by Dan Stanton (Jackson, Michigan).
Mark Patey's STOL CH 801

Mark and Susan Patey flew their newly-completed  STOL CH 801 to the EAA Copperstate fly-in in Casa Grande, Arizona (October 25-28, 2007) from Utah.

  • Click here for more photos from Copperstate fly-in.
STOL CH 801 equipped with 2200 amphibious floats Jeff Fortune's STOL CH 801 equipped with 2200 amphibious floats (St. Petersburg, Florida)
STOL CH 801 equipped with 2200 amphibious floats
Custom XP360 engine installation, with CS prop XP 360 engine installation
OPEN HANGAR DAY 2007 Zenith Aircraft Company's 16th annual OPEN HANGAR DAY and Fly-In Gathering held on Saturday, September 29, 2007, was a great success with dozens of aircraft flown in and hundreds of active participants!  
  • Click here for a photo recap from the day's activities
STOL CH 801 paper airplane STOL CH 801 Paper Airplane: Build your own paper airplane. 
This paper airplane design by Gary Anderson actually flies (though the short take-off performance may be lacking).
  • Click here to download the STOL paper airplane drawings and manual.
  • Click here for other STOL models.
US Army visits Zenith Aircraft On the ramp in Mexico, Missouri.
stol-air2air.jpg (46565 bytes) VIDEOS:
STOL CH 801 on Zenair Floats STOL CH 801 on Zenair Floats:

Canadian STOL CH 801 on straight floats: The ideal fishing platform!

STOL CH 801 on Zenair Floats
STOL CH801 The STOL CH 801 design is used by Jordan Aerospace Industries (JAI) as a off-airport light utility aircraft in the Middle East, and is offered as a diesel-powered plane with crop spraying and surveillance capabilities. JAI also offers a modified version of Heintz' CH 2000 / Alarus as a surveillance platform using FLIR imaging technology. 
STOL CH 801 aircraft
Trip to Sun'n Fun 2007 Flying to Sun'n Fun 2007: The annual 1,000 mile (1,600 km.) trip to the week-long Sun'n Fun fly-in convention (to Lakeland, Florida from Mexico, Missouri) with the factory demonstrator two-seat STOL CH 701 and STOL CH 801 aircraft is always a fun adventure.
Kitplanes magazine, April 2006 Kitplanes magazine, April 2006 issue: "You Want Utility?  Zenith's 801 Packs 4 Seats to Short Strips: Plus Easy to Build - Only 500 Hours!", by Dave Higdon, cover story, pages 20 - 25.

"The kit components come well finished and ready to assemble; an inexperienced builder should be able to go from opening the first crate to flying the first time in 300 to 500 hours" [with the Quick Build Kit]

"The STOL CH 801 offers a comfortable cabin with payload enough for four plus luggage and short-field performance that can take the little bush plane into almost any strip."

28% STOL CH 801 all-metal scale model

Carlos Rangel's handmade 28% all-metal scratch-built scale RC model STOL CH 801, with amazing attention to detail. 

Zenair STOL CH801

STOL CH 801 powered by a custom Walter-LOM engine.

Zenith's 15th annual Open Hangar Day (2006)

A couple of STOL CH 801 aircraft at Zenith's annual Open Hangar Day.

Crop spaying with the STOL CH 801

STOL CH 801 with a custom crop spraying boom for agricultural crop dusting applications.

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Missionary pilot Mike Dawson and his STOL CH 801 in the Amazon jungle

Rick Campbell's STOL CH 801 powered by a Franklin engine Rick Campbell's STOL CH 801 in Virginia, powered by a Franklin 6A-350, 220 hp engine.
dave z Dave Zilz with his STOL CH 801:

Today was the day we've been dreaming of for over five years! 
N143ZT took to the air for the first time on January 14, 2006.  
It was an awesome experience! 

Two STOL CH 801s at Zenith's 14th annual Open Hangar Day (August 20, 2005)
Quick Build Kit Quick Build Kit for the STOL CH 801.
Larry Landucci's Lycoming-powered STOL CH 801 at the Middleton (Morey), Wisconsin airport (C29).

"Thanks for all the help you have given me during the building process -- it has been the most satisfying thing I have ever done and I am looking forward to many enjoyable hours flying in my 801."

Diesel power

STOL CH 801 with a custom SMA diesel engine installation, with an agricultural spray system. Other custom diesel engine projects include the Delta Hawk diesel.


Mel Hinde's STOL CH 801
Mel Hinde's STOL CH 801 (Ontario, Canada)
Mel Hinde's STOL CH 801  Mel Hinde's STOL CH 801  Mel Hinde's STOL CH 801

panel 4/05: A nice full panel on Larry Landucci's STOL CH 801 (powered by a Lycoming O-360 engine).
  • Click here for a detailed schematic of the panel (pdf)

de-necochea.jpg (85316 bytes) 12/04: Maureen de Necochea (Lompoc, Calif.):

"We flew from the Central Coast in California to Alaska in our 801. We were able to get in and out of some real interesting fields, with all our camping/'survival' gear loaded up to the ceiling in the back. We plan to return to Alaska next summer. Beautiful, huge state.
"Tinman" now has more than 600 hours with the Subaru engine."

Photos from the Australian "Out Back" (Tasmania, Australia):
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11/04: Marcil's Lycoming O-360 powered STOL CH 801 (Quebec):
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Landing on the beach at Kanak Island (Alaska)

6/04: Bill Wilcox's Lycoming O-360 powered STOL CH 801 (Alaska): "I finally got a nice day with a camera. Here are some pictures...Thanks for all the help. N801BW is flying great!"

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Approach to Tatitlek, Alaska.

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Departing Tatitlek, Alaska
(Russian Orthodox Church in the background).
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Landing at Cordova Alaska Municipal Airport. The runway is a widening of the road between Eyak Mountains and Eyak Lake.
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4/04: Jim Frisby's Lycoming O-320 powered STOL CH 801 (Alaska):
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Ben Haas' V8 powered STOL CH 801 of Jackson Hole, Wyoming:
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"I LOVE my 801 and Zenith is a great company to do business with. I hope you guys keep right on creating fun toys..."

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Franklin-powered STOL CH 801:

Haiko's STOL CH 801 in Berthoud, Colorado:
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Excerpted from

"After attending Oshkosh in 2001, I started the project by ordering the tail kit in August of 2001, since this was my first time ever to build an airplane.
"As almost everyone else, I was not sure if I could tackle this job. After getting the tail kit I started drilling and riveting and to my surprise I finished the rudder well within the average builder's time. Now I was hooked!!
"The airplane is pretty much stock, as delivered by Zenith. However I decided to use an automotive engine because of the FADEC advantage of a modern auto engine. I decided on the Subaru SVX 6 cylinder EG33 engine with 230 HP and the 4 blade 74" Warpdrive prop. This combination delivers an unbelievable 610 lbs of thrust - that is about 30% more than my Cessna 182 with a new Cont. O-470.
"Total building time was 545 hours, well below the average factory estimated time and I attribute the rapid building progress to the use of the Avex blind rivets.
"With the Subaru engine I have a truly single lever power management system (just like a jet) and I can concentrate on flying the airplane instead of watching all the gauges with a conventional aircraft engine.
"The aircraft is a STOL design and will take off at my elevation of 5000 feet here in Colorado in less than 500 feet without the use of the flaps."

Volare Sport magazine - Italy 7/2003 Volare Sport magazine - Italy 7/2003 Volare Sport magazine (Italy), July 2003 cover story.

New from Abacus Software:  High quality FlightSim 2002 aircraft files.  

August 2002: Photos from Venezuela:

September 2002: 
Dave's LOM-powered STOL CH 801 Flies:

"The airplane flies great and engine runs great. Solid 3 hours flight time and no major problems  I will give you more numbers on the speeds and performance as the testing continues.  One number I can give you is with the constant speed prop, the take off run was 225 feet.  Take into account no flaps were used and the power was eased in very slow.  Climb is 1,500+ fpm."

  • Austrian STOL CH 801, powered by a Lycoming O-360, and other photos of recent STOL CH 801 completions.

12/2001: STOL CH 801 - powered by the Walter LOM engine.

Northern Pilot magazine (August/September 2001)


Northern Pilot magazine, "STOL CH 701 and 801 - Form Follows Function", by Peter Diemer, cover story, pages 22 - 29. August / September 2001 issue. Click here for subscription information.

Photographing the new ZODIAC XL from the STOL CH 801:


September 2001: Builder Adrian Noble sent these pics of the first Australian STOL CH 801: "A couple of photos, sorry they're not as clear as I would have liked... Cheers from the happy parents."

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September 2001: New STOL CH 801 flight simulator files: Sample screen shots:


Click here to download these new STOL CH 801 flight sim files courtesy of Brian Gladden. (We haven't had a chance to "fly" this aircraft for performance or flight characteristics...)

August 2001: Pictured top-right is Vince Butner's second STOL CH 801 project (N9078K), also powered by a Franklin 220-hp engine. Aside from the colors the two aircraft are nearly identical.


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STOL CH 801 designer Chris Heintz was awarded the LAMA (Light Aircraft Manufacturers' Assoc.) / KITPLANES magazine 2001 PRESIDENT'S AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL at Oshkosh AirVenture on July 24, 2001. The award was presented to Chris Heintz by LAMA president Larry Burke and Kitplanes magazine editor Dave Martin. 

osh01-a.jpg (17602 bytes) STOL CH 801s arrive at AirVenture 2001.

Click here for more Oshkosh AirVenture photos.

osh01-r.jpg (25617 bytes) Custom STOL CH 801 panel:

Some Builder photos: 

Engine run-ups...

Walter LOM Subaru

Bob Risch's STOL CH 801 project in Colorado.

Performing European load stress tests on the STOL CH 801...


Aero-News Network names the STOL CH 801 first "Ten Best SportPlanes for 2001"

"...a HUGE 4-place cabin, an excellent stability and control profile, good visibility and the ability to land in areas that other aircraft can barely park in. No kidding, folks, I know it isn't the prettiest belle at the ball, but this little lady can do stuff that will blow you away.
" outstanding airplane by every definition."

STOL CH 801 Kit Eligible for Airworthiness Certification.

April 6, 2001: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completed evaluation of the STOL CH 801 kit and determined that the kit, as evaluated, met the intent of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 21, Section 21.191(g).  The FAA notes that the evaluation should not be construed as meaning the kit is FAA CERTIFIED, CERTIFICATED, OR APPROVED. 

October 1999: The November'99 issue of Kitplanes magazine features a cover story on the STOL CH 801: "Budget Bushplane - Chris Heintz designs a four-place STOL for the masses," by Howard Levy and editor Dave Martin.
Click here for a full list of press reviews.

Zenith.Aero: Online community for active Zenith builders, owners and pilots

The One Week Wonder project at AirVenture 2014

 Zenith Aircraft Company

Zenith Aircraft Company
1881 Airport Road, Mexico Memorial Airport
Mexico, Missouri, 65265  USA.
Tel: 573-581-9000 (Mon - Fri, 8-5 Central),
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