List of Corvair Powered Zeniths


Below is a partial list of Zeniths that our builders finished and have flown.  I am still combing our records to bring all the data to one spot. A handful of the first flight dates may have the wrong month, please feel free to write in with any correction or addition.  My intention is to gather the info and use it to update our page on the Official Zenith builders Web site. Grace is out of town with family for a few days, so the errors or omissions on this list are mine. Many of you know that Grace has a phenomenal memory and could have typed this data out directly from her head. Between Grace and some help from builders, we should have an accurate list shortly.

When looking through the information, the first thing I thought is that it is a large body of work.  It is quite a success story. There have been a lot of alternative engines that got a lot of play in the aviation media that never ended up with this many planes flying total. Here we are just looking at the Corvair powered planes from a single airframe brand, albeit a very popular brand. These builders put in a lot of work to reach the finish line, and we were very glad to play a role in their success. If we were just a buy-it-in-a-box engine company, these names would just be a list of consumers.  Because of the nature of the Corvair movement, the builders listed all learned a lot more about engines, have much more pride in their planes, and a greater degree of achievement at the finish line. When you think about what these builders knew and what they thought they were capable of before starting, and then contrast that with the same people the day their planes flew you are looking at the real body of work. Speaking with Chris Heintz at Oshkosh last year, I said that the planes that are built are hardware, just the end result of the real project, each builder working on himself, improving his skills, capabilities and expanding his belief of what he can do. He smiled and agreed that this was the fundamental value of homebuilding.

This list has planes on it that are not flying today. One of the best known Zenith/Corvair pilots on the list is Scott Laughlin. His aircraft was the first plans built 601XL. He had never built a plane nor an aircraft engine before, and was not a pilot when he started. He had a lot of great times in his aircraft, some of which can be seen on YouTube videos. After flying about 200 hours he kindly let another pilot try a landing in the plane. It was damaged so badly that Scott took the plane apart, and sold off the pieces. Hopefully time will see Scott’s return to another round of homebuilding. The list also includes 2 planes that have moved to a different engine. There are several other aircraft that have flown that we will add later, so the total aircraft number is a good representation. When the list is compiled, I will write up a set of notes on each aircraft, and include photos of each of the planes. For right now we will start with the basic list.

We have a list, far longer, of builders who could finish and fly their Zenith before Oshkosh this year: Ken Pavlou, Larry Winger, Patrick Hoyt, Jeff Cochran, Thomas Siminski, Gerry Scampoli, Larry Webber and Ron Lendon are the first names on this list that pop into my head.  You can get a good idea of the number of builders close to the finish by looking at the pictures of running engines in our Corvair College albums. This effect is continuous, in 30 days we will be at Corvair College #22, and we have already lined up four engine runs for the event.  All of these are going into Zenith airframes that are largely complete.

We have a third wave, just as important, who have been chipping away at their project for a number of years. A number of these guys were slowed by a move, a kid headed to college or a change in jobs.  I know many of these builders just as well from having them at Colleges and making house calls to their shops. People outside the Corvair movement are often mystified by some of our most vocal supporters.  Many of the people who go out of their way to say something positive about our work are in this third group. This is because I take their project seriously and treat them just like builders with more available time or funds. Every aviation LLC takes your project very seriously when you are in their booth at Oshkosh with your hand on your wallet. The outfits that are here for the long run take your project seriously all the time. We are here for the long run and I look forward to adding your name and N-number to this list of successful builders.


Builder’s Name             Model           N-Number           Engine       1st Flight

William Wynne              601XL              N1777W              3,100         May ’04

Greg Jannakos               601HDS            N4399               2,700        June ’05

Randy Stout                    601HD              N28RS               2,700         May ’05

Gary Ray                          601XL              N24845              2,700         Sept. ’06

Phil Maxson                    601XL            N601MX               2,700         Mar. ’06

Brandon Tucker            601HDS         N601XT                 2,700          Nov. ’06

Rick Lindstrom              601XL             N42KP                  2,700           Nov. ’06

Cleone Markwell           601HD            N998ZZ                 2,700           Mar. ’07

Dave Harms                   601XL              N618PZ                2,700            June ’07

Charles Leonard           601XL               N920EL               2,700           June ’07

Murray Rouse               601XL                N47186                2,700            Oct. ’07

Ken Smith                     601XL                N601KS               2,700            Nov. ’07

Scott Laughlin              601XL                N5SL                   2,700            Jan. ’08  

Woody Harris             601XL               N734WH             2,850            Feb.  ’08      

Sandy Crile                   CH-701               N9569S              2,700             Feb.  ’08

Lincoln Probst             601XL                C-GXLP              2,700              Apr. ’08

Scott Thatcher             601XL                N601EL              2,700               May ’08

Steve Mineart               601XL                N164SM             2,700               July ’08

Lynn Dingfelder          601XL                 N4ZK                 2,700                Oct. ’08

Jay Bannister              601XL                 N2630J             2,700                 Oct. ’08

Andy Elliott                  601XL                N601GE             3,100                 Nov. ’08

Ray Griffith                  601XL                N614RK              2,700                Dec. ’08

Al Barnard                   601XL                N472AB              2,700                 Dec. ’08

Zersis Mehta                601XL               N601ZM              2,700                  Jan. ’09

Louis Cantor                601XL               N601LV               2,700                 July  ’09

Gary Thomas               601XL               N124GT               2,700                 July  ’09

Dave Coberly                601XL              N601XZ               2,700                 July  ’09

Rich Whittington         601HDS             N601RW             3,000            

Shayne & Phyllis McDaniel-650        N5880Z               2,700                 July ’10

Rich Vetterli                 601XL              N56DV                  2,700                Sept. ’10

Doug Stevenson          CH-750             N632DR              3,000                April ’11

Lathrop/Neff             601XL                N601LN                2,700                 April ’11

Dave Gardea              CH-650             N631DG                  2,700             May ’11

Alan Uhr                    601XL                 N15AU                 2,700                 Mar. ’11

Roger Pritchard         601XL               N20RB                  2,700                 Oct. ’11

3 Replies to “List of Corvair Powered Zeniths”

  1. The engine in N9569S was sold to a CH601 builder. It was placed in N38AA. Built by Ralph Sonnicksen. First flight May 2015.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: