Mark and Cara's Zenith CH 750 STOL

This fall we bought a new house, and with it a garage that’ll make a perfect workshop. At our old house we had a classic Chicago-style, detached 2-car garage with an alley behind the property and no driveway. We needed both ports for our cars, and were not allowed to park in the street so the garage could never be used for the plane. Our new house has a 3-car garage and driveway, so I just leave my truck in the driveway, 2 garage ports are used by Cara’s car and miscellaneous tools and junk, and one port entirely dedicated as a workshop.

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Holding short

The project is on hold for now, and all the airframe parts are stored in the shed. This past summer we had a new son (our first!), and I left my job to start my own business. Free time was pretty scarce early on, and we’re trying to be more careful with finances now that our income is down quite a bit until business ramps up. On top of this it was proving impossible to build the wing in our house.

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I’ve finished up the last of the flaperon halves. Like the slats, I’ve wrapped them up in a moving blanket and set aside for eventual storage in the “hangar” shed once it warms up a bit and I have the patience to rearrange it. I was out there pulling out wing materials the other day, and should have thought done it all at once. Anyhow, On to the wings!

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The skeleton for the outboard pilot side flaperon is started, and this time I tried positioning and drilling out the hinge bracket before deburring, priming, and assembling the skeleton. This was a lesson learned too late (4th of 4 halves), but I think it’ll save a good deal of hassle by prepping and priming only once. On the other 3 halves, I riveted the spars and ribs before fitting, drilling, cutting, and attaching the hinge brackets.

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One lesson I forgot to mention in earlier posts about the flaperons: I believe both the HomeBuiltHelp video and the photo assembly guide indicate that you should use A4 rivets to attach the full rib to the rib angle, and the rib angle to the spar. The drawings, however, show A5 rivets. To be safe I went with A5. The flaperons are now 3/4s done! All that’s left is the outboard half of the pilot side.

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Over the past month or so I’ve made slow progress on the flaperons, a few hours here and there, and finishing both halves of the passenger side. Today I nearly finished the inboard pilot side: skeleton assembled and riveted, everything drilled to size, deburred, and primed. All that is left is final assembly and riveting.

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Cara and I built the Zenith binder for the airplane plans in early December. It was a quick and fun project that’ll protect the blueprints for years to come.

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A couple of pieces of extrusion are now hinge brackets (2 down, 6 more to go). I don’t have a band saw, and snips are a bit too weak, but I had success with a hack saw. The corner was simply rounded with files. The skeleton for this half has been completely assembled: drilled out, deburred, primed, riveted. I’ve also attached the bottom skin to it and enlarged the holes to A4.

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Author's picture

Mark A. Stratman

Mark (& Cara) are building a Zenith CH 750 STOL aircraft, and this site shows the progress and acts as a builder’s log for the FAA airworthiness certificate.

Feel free to contact Mark at [email protected] or visit stratman.pw.


Illinois, USA