About The Project:

The airplane is a home-built, scratch-built Zenith CH 750 STOL. Building from plans/blueprints is a challenging way to build an airplane, since most of the parts you use to build it are not prefabricated. I chose the Zenith CH 750 STOL for its rugged design, its STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) characteristics and its aluminum construction. Zenith Aircraft Company has designed this airplane so that it can be built from scratch or from a kit by the average person. They provide excellent technical support for both kit and scratch builders. In addition, I'll be installing a 1965 Chevrolet Corvair 164 cid horizontally opposed, air cooled, 6-cylinder engine, with special conversion parts to make it suitable for airplane duty. This is what the airplane will look like when I'm done, although I'll have a different paint scheme:

Follow my progress below!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Some Tidbits in .025"

Well, I've been putting in a lot of time cleaning up odds and ends in preparation for assembly. Trying to decide where to start is the hard part. I've finally received my rivet gun and also picked up a nice high-speed pneumatic drill. The rivet gun was necessary, the pneumatic drill will make drilling the thousands of small rivet holes go much faster. With high speed drilling, I get a lot less burrs on the holes to clean up before riveting, saving tons of time. Last night I started the process of making all the "Standard L" angle that is found throughout the plane. For Zenith scratch builders, this is a well-known, dreaded chore. Zenith calls for roughly 64 pieces of "Standard L," which start life as a 4' pieces of .025" L-angle, 19mm x 19mm. They then get cut to length as needed in various substructures. The way to make them is simple, cut 36mm strips of aluminum off the end of your 4'x12' sheet, and bend them lengthwise down the middle. OVER AND OVER AGAIN! A simple enough task, but tedious. You have to de-burr each piece before you can bend it. Measure, cut, de-burr, bend. Wash, rinse, repeat...

24 pieces of "Standard L" that I made last night (8 additional pieces from a previous day not in the picture...32 to go!):

End view of "Standard L"...not much to it!

On a more fun note, I also started working on the "options" for the plane. Zenith charges $150 for the drawings of their options, which include things like sliding adjustable seats, center console, folding wings, dual control sticks, long range fuel tanks, etc. I'm only going with the sliding seats, dual control sticks and center console. $150 seems pretty steep to me for only a few drawings, but intellectual property is worth something, so it is what it is.

Center Console (this goes between the seats and just under the instrument panel. It will hold things like my fuel tank selector valve, phone charging ports, intercom/headset connections, flap controls and a few other bits):

Top Window Ribs, Door Sills and Center Arm Rest:

That's all for now. I'm working on a detailed "developed length" video as a replacement for the one I deleted from a previous post. Developed length is one of the most challenging aspects of building from scratch, and, as I've already talked about, can ruin a lot of parts if you don't do it correctly.


  1. Greg was your center console just like the one Zenith sells, or was it your own design?

  2. I scratch built it from Zenith's blueprints. The drawings are available in their options package of blueprints, which contains the drawings for the console, long range fuel tanks, landing light, dual controls, etc.