Ron Zweifel, an active member of EAA Chapter 431, recently completed his Zenith 701 project after nearly 12 years of work.
Ron’s Zenith has a Subaru EA-81 engine with a 1.7:1 reduction drive, which allows normal operating RPM around 5,000. The EA-81 is a flat 4-cylinder engine that develops 100 horsepower and has a custom air intake, ignition system and carburetor.
Ron bought a 701 fuselage as a project from a guy in Arizona back in 2004, but it needed to be completely rebuilt. He picked away at it over the years, but really started working in earnest after retirement in 2012.
Ron says the construction is pretty straightforward and he encountered no significant problems. The FAA inspection last December went well and the 701 is ready to fly. Ron is waiting to complete an aircraft familiarization class at the Zenith factory in Mexico, MO to satisfy insurance requirements. He already has his private pilot certificate with instrument rating. Chapter members Mike Weeden and Gene Calkins assisted as technical advisors on the project.