The CH701 is still the King of the Hill for dedicated STOL performance. Originally designed to be operated in the ‘Ultralight’ category of aircraft, the CH701 is highly suitable for pilots looking for registration under the RAAus Ultralight category. Under this category of registration, you will need to operate by Day only and at a weight off less than 600kg. This is not a problem for the CH701 – A typical empty weight is less than 270 kg. The 701 is absolutely NOT the poor cousin of the 750STOL. It’s the smaller and lighter STOL aircraft in the line-up.
You will be very happy with either of the Viking Aircraft Engine options. The V130 will spoil you for out-of-this-world climb angles, but the V90 will save on cost, weight and fuel burn. For the lighter pilots or those that will do most of their flying solo or on ‘longer’ strips – the 90HP will do the job just fine. Some of the reduced power is offset by the lower engine weight.
If you are over 6FT/185cm tall or weigh more than about 90 kg – then the 701 will not be a very comfortable fit for you. The cabin dimensions are pretty good with the bubble door option, but it is still narrow at the feet and waist if you’re a big bloke. For flights less than 90 minutes at a go you’ll be fine, any more than that then things will start to get a bit tight. Give me a call and I’ll see if I can find a local CH701 that you can access for a test-fit. Check out the larger CH750 STOL – it can also be registered as an Ultralight if you wish.