The CH 650 LS AND LSi, introduced at AirVenture 2008, combine the best of a European-built CH 601 XL sold as a ready-to-fly aircraft, the AMD CH 601 XL sold as an S-LSA, and the Zenith Aircraft Company’s amateur built CH 601 XL kit.
Eventually, the 601 XL will be phased out. The 650 is available as plans (with CAD drawings and assembly manuals), a complete kit (or a series of sub kits) from Zenith Aircraft, Mexico, Missouri, or as a ready-to-fly S-LSA from Aircraft Design Manufacturing & Design (AMD) of Eastman Georgia.
The CH 650 LS’s improvements include a more-convenient hinged clamshell bubble canopy, with dual tube 4130 roll-over protection. The new canopy adds headroom. (The new roll-over protection and redesigned canopy latching system are also available from Zenith Aircraft as an upgrade kit for existing Zodiac Owners.)
The CH 650 LS, anticipated as a primary trainer, sports standard aviation 500-by-5 wheels and brakes. The gear system is bigger, making the aircraft taller, and the AMD main gear spring is gun-drilled, for cleaner, more protected brake line routing.
The rudder was redesigned and looks sleeker. The “European” wing angle is now standard on the 650 LS, with the trailing edge of the wing tilted down about 2 inches. Extra aluminum braces have been added to the fuselage sides and wings. The interior sports carpeting, and parts familiar to other Heintz-designed airplanes include the rudder pedals, the cowl, the nose gear strut, and firewall, all similar to the larger CH 640, CH 801, and CH 2000.
Much work was done to the controls, which are now more balanced for better feel.
The IFR airframe of the 650 LSi is based on what was required to certify the Alarus CH 2000 to FAR 23 Certification. The 650 LS is powered by a TCM (Continental) O-200 with Sensenich fixed-pitch prop. Performance and safety options include a BRS all-aircraft parachute system, AmSafe airbag-seat belts, full electric gyro instruments, and wheelpants.
In the experimental kit version, the CH 650’s firewall-forward will accommodate a Jabiru 3300, Lycoming O-235 or -233, or Rotax four-cylinder powerplants as alternatives to the S-LSA version’s TCM O-200.
With the Continental O-200 engine, the AMD 650 LS carries 30 gallons of fuel and has a useful load of 550 pounds. (With the Jabiru 3300, the useful load is 625 pounds, leaving a generous 481 pounds with full 24 gallon tanks.)
For European pilots who want to fly without getting involved in the assembly and/or finishing of their aircraft, the CH 650 E is now available as a Ready-to-Fly (RTF) ultralight from most of our regional distributors. Assembled locally from genuine Zenair airframe kits, these RTF planes can now be completed with custom features, options and colors to meet your unique needs.
Common equipment list for a typical Ready-to-Fly CH 650 E model: Instruments can include basic flight and engine instruments plus the Dynon EFIS-D100 with flight and engine monitoring capabilities, and avionics such as the Garmin 296 GPS and Garmin SL-30 Nav/com. This advanced panel offers considerable redundancy and makes for an ideal cross-country flyer as well as an excellent training platform (the built-in intercom is a nice feature of the Garmin SL-30). Expect your standard CH 650 E to be equipped with the rocket-powered BRS recovery system as well as a two tone exterior color finishing. 2009 Price: 35820 EURO
Zodiac CH 650 E
Stall: 32 kt / 37 mph / 60 kmh
Cruise: 121 kt / 140 mph / 225 kmh
VNE: 140 kt / 162 mph / 260 kmh
Empty Weight: 298 kg / 657 lbs
MTOW Weight: 472 kg / 1041 lbs
Climb Ratio: 900 ft/min / 4.8 m/s
Take-off distance (50ft obstacle): 490 ft / 150 m