The ZODIAC is a sleek and docile aircraft, ideal for
both local and long cross-country flights. All ZODIAC models offer comfortable two-place side-by-side seating in an
ergonomically designed 44-inch wide cabin. The huge tinted bubble canopy, which provides outstanding 360 degree visibility, is hinged
on both sides of the cabin, to allow access from either side of the aircraft. Access to
the cabin is easy over the 20-inch wide reinforced wing walkway on both sides of the cockpit, and
facilitated by a step located below the trailing edge of the wing.
"The Zenair shows that a
relatively low tech aircraft, built traditionally, can still deliver
hugely enjoyable flying and take you places for very little money."
magazine (UK), August 2006
The ZODIAC design is the product of extensive research and
development, and the result of professional engineering by Chris
Heintz, a leading
designer of light aircraft. The modern ZODIAC design makes use of advanced technologies,
while using proven design concepts and simple systems for easy assembly and maintenance. A
professional design, the ZODIAC structure has undergone a complete and rigorous flight
test and design stress analysis.
Developed for the inexperienced first-time builder and demanding recreational pilot, the
ZODIAC aircraft is designed to be easy to build and to maximize flight performance and
Simple systems, modern materials, and design ingenuity minimize
required maintenance, and make the ZODIAC easy to build and fly, affordable, and very
ZODIAC CH 601 WING The ZODIAC wings are made up of a single
cantilevered spar with near full-span non-hinged ailerons.
- Click here for details on
the "hingeless ailerons"
The CH 601 and CH 601 HD models use a simple constant-chord airfoil,
while the CH 601 HDS and the new ZODIAC XL feature tapered speed wings.
||The high-lift low-drag airfoils provide an efficient
cruise speed, as well as desired slow flight and gentle stall characteristics. Flaps are
not required with the high-lift wing designs of the ZODIAC. The outboard wing panels can
easily be removed in 15 minutes each for trailering and storage. With the wings removed,
the fuselage fits through the door of a standard single-car garage and can be trailered.
Click image on left for full-size view.
|Hoerner wing tips have become a trademark of Heintz designs.
The tapered tips maximize the effective lift area of the wing while minimizing the wing
The wingtip is fitted with a fiberglass
fairing to accommodate a wingtip strobe and/or navigation light.
The rear fuselage has a basic rectangular section
with a rounded top. The bottom fuselage is flat, and aesthetically rounded at the front to
join the sleek fiberglass engine cowl. The classic horizontal tail has a stabilizer and
elevator, which is equipped with a standard electric trim tab.
|All ZODIAC models feature a full flying
(all-moving) vertical tail (rudder) section for maximum cross-wind
capability. The all-flying rudder provides responsive rudder control, while also
minimizing weight and complexity (there’s only one vertical tail section). Two rudder bearings bolt to the rear fuselage to fix the
rudder to the fuselage.
The horizontal tail sections are made up of the elevator and the
The rugged landing gear may be configured either as
tricycle (standard) or as tail wheel (a no cost option). Large wheels and a
heavy-duty gear which uses dual bungee shock absorbers provide effective rough
field capabilities, while minimizing gear maintenance and complexity. The main wheels are
equipped with standard hydraulic disk
brakes, and optional wheel-pants (fiberglass
fairings) are available to provide additional aerodynamics to the sleek aircraft.
Direct linkage from the rudder pedals to the nosewheel provides very effective ground
The large wheels, rugged gear, direct
linkages steerable nosewheel, differential braking and excellent take-off
and landing performance make the ZODIAC well suited for grass-field operation.
Ex-NASA chief Daniel Goldin
checks out the ZODIAC and discusses the aircraft features with designer
Chris Heintz at
[Photo courtesy EAA]
"[Chris Heintz] designs have earned an excellent reputation
among pilots, builders, and aviation authorities for their durable all-metal construction,
normal flight characteristics, reliability, and low maintenance."
Sport Aviation magazine