Corvair Powered Tricycle Gear Zenair 601XL
May 16, 2004
Here's a tricycle geared Zenair 601XL arriving at our hangar. The aircraft belongs to Thomas Peters. Mr. Peters
contacted us at Sun 'N Fun after he saw our 601 on display. He asked us to do an entire Corvair firewall forward
installation on his completed airframe. From our perspective, it's a good opportunity to display the installation
in a tri-gear aircraft. With that in mind, we've produced this Page on www.flycorvair.com so all the tri-gear
601 builders can follow along step by step. We'll try and keep it detailed so that builders installing our
products at home can use this as an installation manual as a supplement to the instructions that accompany each
Our first order of business was to clean up and rust proof a number of the steel parts on the airframe. Although
they look very rusty in the photos, it was just a light surface coating and it was easily removed. The parts
were then painted and reinstalled. The before photo of the nosegear is above.
In the photo above are the rudder pedals again in need of a cleanup. The brick in the photo is a counterweight
to keep the airplane horizontal when the engine is not installed.
These are the boarding steps which are riveted on the fuselage behind the wing.
This airframe has a center mounted Y-stick, above. Our own personal aircraft has the dual stick option. Notice
that the airframe has a good coating of zinc chromate between the layers of all the aluminum parts.
Above is the nosegear fork and the nosewheel and axel after a clean up, corrosion proofing and re-painting.
This is the firewall side of the motor mount studs, above. These are the same studs that Zenair designed for
the O-235 engine with the Dynafocal mount. If your kit originally came prepped for a Rotax or Jabaru, you should
replace the four mounting points with these. The 235 Dynafocal mount is shown on the Zenair Drawing 6-B-7,
which shows the mounts, part numbers 6B6-4 and 6B6-5. Note that if you want the correct stud length, you must
specify that you're using a 235 Dynafocal mount. In my hand is a 38mm Firewall Spool, which is the beginning
of the mount for the airplane.
While the rudder pedals were removed, we installed the 6B6 brackets. It is the part in the center of the photo
above in black.
Above is a view of our installed Corvair Bed Mount. Also, check out the improvement in the appearance of the
re-installed nosegear. When the correct studs are installed, our Motor Mount is an exact fit to the 601's
firewall. If you're ready for a 601 Motor Mount, read more about it at the 601 Mount Page
Here's a view of the cockpit with a fine coating of zinc chromate.
We're shooting to have the entire installation done and test flown before Oshkosh. While this is ambitious,
keep in mind that the airframe is virtually done, and when we built our own 601, we carefully made jigs and
tooling for all the parts, so replicating them is relatively easy. It took about 10 days of solid work in the
shop to come up with the exact, correct location for the Motor Mount for our own aircraft, fabricate the jig
in which to produce the Motor Mount, and finally go ahead and build ours. By comparison, it took 10 minutes to
remove Mr. Peters' Motor Mount from our stock, walk over to his plane and bolt it on.
We'll update this page frequently to keep everybody posted. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to
call or e-mail me.