Check Out My Zodiac XL Project!

I’ll be documenting my Zenith aircraft assembly here. I’d like this page to function as an informational guide for any aircraft enthusiasts who are also considering assembling their own aircraft.

I’ll be putting together a Zenith Zodiac airplane 601XL, and I’ll update the page with progress information and pictures as I go along. There are quick build kits available that come with pre-assembled fuselages and some other pre-built things, but I decided to go part by part for this one, in order to save as much money as possible. If you have any questions, click here to see my info.

In order to achieve flight in life, one must follow their dreams and maintain financial stability financially. Regulations will prevent you hold you back, and money will allow you to push past them. Reality will attempt to ground your dreams, but you need that high pressure zones in order to lift yourself to the altitude of your dreams.

UPDATE: I did a lot of research on different aircraft part distributors in an attempt to find the most economical part solutions. I began by checking out the OEM Zenith parts straight from, but some of these new parts were cheaper elsewhere and new was the only condition they were offered in. I didn’t need every part to be new, so I began searching through different third-party part distributors like Aviation Sourcing Solutions, Avion Alloys, Kapco Global, Jet Parts Liquidator, New Century Components, and a few others. Among the distributors I found, a couple stuck out to me. When looking for parts across many different conditions (overhauled, new, serviceable, etc), Aviation Sourcing Solutions, Jet Parts Liquidator, and New Century Components provided me with the most economical part solutions.

I had the opportunity to work on the wing this week.

I got the night time lights in, and spent maybe 50 hours (between 3 sessions this week) assembling the two panels which come together for the wing airfoil.

Some 400 screws later, the left wing is fully assembled. I’d expect the right wing to take around 40 hours, now that I have a better understanding of the workflow for this model aircraft’s wing assemblies.

Finally installed all the instruments in the cockpit dash. The tachometer I ordered didn’t quite fit into the cut-out, so I had to do some retrofitting work. Behind the scenes, I used an L-bracket to hold it in place.

The whole installation process took about 12 hours, and at about halfway through the mounting process I thought about how cool it would be to wrap it with a vinyl, but y’know, I’m not redoing all that work.

It took me 6 hours to fit the engine in, and it fit quite perfectly with only about an eighth of an inch of play on the mounts. I had to get my wife to help me hold the canopy up while I secured the latches towards the front of the cabin, but it’s looking like a regular UFO now that it’s on.

After putting the engine cover on, I’m beginning to see the semblance of my new plane. I got pretty excited and had to take a pic. Click here to read about some of the complications I had.