Iowa State University Students Complete Zenith
The AirISU's Zenith aircraft is nearing its first flight.
June 21, 2012 - Student aviation organization Air Iowa State University (AirISU) in Ames, Iowa, has completed a Zenith CH 650/CH 601 XL-B after a six-year effort. Originally formed in 2004 with the goal of designing and building an aircraft from scratch, the group changed its focus to building an LSA after FAA sport pilot/light-sport aircraft regulations went into effect that year. The kit was donated by Zenith Aircraft Company in 2006.
Comprised of 30 primarily aerospace engineering students, AirISU members met weekly to work on the airplane. The group divided into specialized teams who worked on specific segments of the plane, such as wings, flight controls, fuselage, engine, avionics, and electronics. Local aviation expert and build adviser Wayne Bausch, EAA 92651/Vintage Aircraft Association 17649, oversaw the project and offered advice to the young builders.
The aircraft, whose paint scheme reflects the school colors and mascot, has been transported from campus to the Ames Airport, where it will be prepared for an airworthiness inspection and first flight. All AirISU students will receive a ride in the plane, and one of the team members who has a pilot certificate will likely be one of the first to fly it. First flight will likely be made by Bausch.
Congratulations to the AirISU team for a fine-looking aircraft.