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Savannah vs 701


pitfield
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I'm wrestling with choosing between these two aircraft. Some of you may have struggled with the same issue. I'd appreciate hearing how you ended up choosing the Savannah over the Zenith. I am NOT intending to build the aircraft myself, so ease of building is a secondary consideration, although I recognize that the more challenging kit will lead to higher end cost. Thanks. I appreciate your help.

 

 

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Does this mean that you are looking at buying a secondhand aircraft, or do you have a "Man-that-does" to build one for you?

 

If you are not looking at building it yourself, (why not?!!!006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif) then I reckon your best bet is to try out both aircraft for yourself, and choose the one that best suits your needs, finances and style. It really will be all about YOUR choice, and in the long run, you need to be happy with what you buy.

 

My 2cents worth, Redair.

 

 

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Hi Pitfield

 

I fly a Savannah VG and previously had a Savannah Clasic (ie. with slats). I have only been a passenger in a 701 once and am not about to rag it. I will try to give a comparrison from my viewpoint.

 

The Savannah VG is faster (90Kn as opposed to 70 - 75)

 

The Savannah has more head room (significantly)

 

The Savannah has longer wings which assist with the landings - especially STOL.

 

I think the rudder authority is better on the Savannah.

 

I believe the 701 does not offer a VG wing so if one has VGs the are an unauthorised mod. (this may not worry you and is possibly not an issue - but would be a big chance to take)

 

The Savannah Kit is very complete (everything but radio, prop, and paint) and all parts fully formed and drilled. This means that they will all go together the same. I have built 2 for myself and have had a hand in 2 others, all 4 of which I carried out the test flight on, and they all flew true from the start. (I take no credit for this - it is just the quality of the kit). On the other hand I have seen a few 701s which have been built to plans or "kit" built and which have been very badly done. That said I don't want to imply that all 701's are badly built as I know of some great examples - but if I was buying a plane built by someone else I would go for the Savannah every time.

 

When reading this remember I may have a slight bias (unlikely) towards one type - I'll let you guess which.

 

Cheers

 

Bill

 

 

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Thanks to both of you

 

I am either going to buy used or pay a pro to make the aircraft for me; I have a fairly accurate appreciation of my weaknesses; a long term, highly-precise project upon which my life will ultimately be dependent is not playing to my strengths. The purpose of my posts was to solicit opinions from pilots who have, perhaps, wrestled with the same choice. Beauty and utility is clearly in the eye of the beholder, but it strikes me that the 701 forums I've visited all contain lengthy discussions concerning 'nit's and 'issues' with 701s. I don't see the same discussions about Savannahs, perhaps because there are fewer flying. All comments, opinions and insights are therefore gratefully received. Thanks to all.

 

 

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Hi again

 

Savannahs number over 100 sold in Australia in the last 5 or so years and I believe well over half are up and flying. The reason for less 'nits' etc posted could be the quality of the kit and the fact that they make no bones about the fact that they have copied the 701 but have included improvements and learnt for the said nits.

 

Do I sound like a salesman - I just love the Savannah.

 

Cheers

 

Bill

 

 

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Pitfield,

 

I can't help you much as I did not consider a 701 at all.

 

My decision was due to a friend owning a Savvy and speaking to a few other Savannah owners regarding their planes and their building experience.

 

The kit from ICP is pretty well made and thought out. I served an airframe apprenticeship as a kid and wasn't dissapointed too often with the build. The instruction book on the other hand...............(someone should be horsewhipped)

 

A very good man to help you out here would be John Gilpin. He has heaps of experience with both Savannah and 701. He is a member here and may read this - I hope so as I would like to read his response to your question.

 

I suppose I should add that I am very happy with my a/c.

 

Hope this is of some help.

 

Mark

 

 

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Too true

 

P The instruction book on the other hand...............(someone should be horsewhipped)Mark

Couldn't agree more:clap:... there are some very iffy bits, and what look like a few drawings that have been taken off the back of a cigarette packet! There are of course the usual, "Lost in translation" type errors, but having said that... with a little bit of thought, and a whole raft of other Savannah owners who have overcome the little problems out there to offer help, it is still a very good kit.

 

I make that 4 cents now, Redair.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gday, John Gilpin back home again, and enjoying tinkering on aircraft again.

 

Yeh, there's no doubt I'd choose the Savannah. All the mods we have done to Hans' 701 make it just about as good handling and STOL as my Savannah, but not quite..... Still lose performance and headroom due to that cutaway over the cabin that isn't easy to fix.....

 

701 is the way to go if you want to build from scratch. Savannah much better kit. But if you are planning to buy a built aircraft, I know of a couple of really good Savannahs, and probably a 701 for sale. Get in touch if you're interested.

 

JohnG

 

 

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John, thanks for your reply ...

 

I'm located in Toronto, Canada, so I'm guessing the planes you know of are probably impractical for a Canadian. I have decided that if I must choose between a 701 and a Savannah I will opt for the Savannah. I am hoping, however, that I can shift my choice to a 750 v the Savannah VGW (both 'wide bodies'). I'd hope to use a Rotax 914 and have an aircraft with more space and almost the same STOL characteristics. The 750 kit has been substantially simplified, so i suspect but have not verified that the buildtime for a 750 kit is now more competitive with the Savannah. I have certainly concluded, however, that I'll end up choosing between two very strong choices. I'm not sure that I'd regret either choice. Our financial world has blown to pieces over here, so what I thought was an imminent decision is now probably four months away. What a world. I thank you very much for your assistance and counsel.

 

 

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Yeh, these Savannahs are in Aus so not much use to you.

 

If you go with the 750 then the 914 is a must! Take the slats off the 750, keep the weight down, and with the 914 and that longer wing, the 750 should go pretty well. An 0-200 in such a draggy aircraft is going to be very disappointing, both for STOL and cruise.... Please keep us informed of how it works out.

 

JG

 

 

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  • 10 months later...

Gooday Pitfield

 

I considered a 701 but the one on offer had a saburu motor fitted.I ended up buying (ready made ) a VG with 100 hp Rotax benefits were better payload long range tanks Rotax motor and I believe a better resale value.

 

Dave

 

 

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  • 11 months later...
The 750 kit has been substantially simplified, so i suspect but have not verified that the buildtime for a 750 kit is now more competitive with the Savannah.

I am also considering the CH-750 as an alternative to the Savannah ...the main reason is the folding wings option that ~sadly~ Savannah has never brought on board. I have sent some emails to Zenith asking some straightforward questions re the CH-750 but all to no avail. My feeling is that they do not like my questions about removing the slats. The other questions relate to getting the weight to fit into the OZ/NZ ultralight/microlight 544kg weight limit.

 

Did you ever make the choice between the two aircraft, pitfield?

 

 

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I am also considering the CH-750 as an alternative to the Savannah ...the main reason is the folding wings option that ~sadly~ Savannah has never brought on board. The other questions relate to getting the weight to fit into the OZ/NZ ultralight/microlight 544kg weight limit.

 

Did you ever make the choice between the two aircraft, pitfield?

For a start that Zenith folding wing option is really only viable for minimizing storage space when the aircraft is laid up for some months, as is often done for the winter in Canada. It's way to cumbersome for frequent use, and no use at all for trailing.

 

The weight of the 750 would be a very real problem in Aus with the 544 MTOW. Zenith quotes an optimistic 350kg, but then they also quote 263kg for the 701. Hans's 701 weighed in at 274kg and he couldn't have done it for less. Using a Rotax will save some on their quoted weight which is with the 0-200. But we really do find that for legal x-country travel in the 544 category, the empty weight needs to be no more than 300kg.

 

I haven't tried the 750, but did see the first one at Oshkosh. Nearly everyone looking at it was dreaming of carrying BIG men and complaining about "...not enough baggage space..." If they load up like that behind an 0-200 they're going to be disappointed in performance.....

 

JG

 

 

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I am also considering the CH-750 as an alternative to the Savannah ...the main reason is the folding wings option that ~sadly~ Savannah has never brought on board. The other questions relate to getting the weight to fit into the OZ/NZ ultralight/microlight 544kg weight limit.

 

Did you ever make the choice between the two aircraft, pitfield?

For a start that Zenith folding wing option is really only viable for minimizing storage space when the aircraft is laid up for some months, as is often done for the winter in Canada. It's way to cumbersome for frequent use, and no use at all for trailing.

 

The weight of the 750 would be a very real problem in Aus with the 544 MTOW. Zenith quotes an optimistic 350kg, but then they also quote 263kg for the 701. Hans's 701 weighed in at 274kg and he couldn't have done it for less. Using a Rotax will save some on their quoted weight which is with the 0-200. But we really do find that for legal x-country travel in the 544 category, the empty weight needs to be no more than 300kg.

 

I haven't tried the 750, but did see the first one at Oshkosh. Nearly everyone looking at it was dreaming of carrying BIG men and complaining about "...not enough baggage space..." If they load up like that behind an 0-200 they're going to be disappointed in performance.....

 

JG

 

 

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Baggage Space question ...

 

I haven't tried the 750, but did see the first one at Oshkosh. Nearly everyone looking at it was dreaming of carrying BIG men and complaining about "...not enough baggage space..." If they load up like that behind an 0-200 they're going to be disappointed in performance.....

JG

I'm pleased you saw a CH-750. I have read a number of reviews that said, in a polite way, that Americans' behinds had grown considerably over the last three decades and that the CH-701 was no longer large enough to carry their big asses/donkeys. That is why they needed to develop the CH-750. When I look at the performance figures, I really wonder if they're any better off with the bloated 750? The specs look pretty disappointing.

I'm wondering if ICP did the stretch to XL for the same reason as Zenith? Nevertheless, ICP managed to extend the VG to the VG XL with performance pretty much intact.

 

JG, a question: Was the baggage space in the CH-750 larger or smaller than in the Savannah?

 

 

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I have read a number of reviews that said, in a polite way, that Americans' behinds had grown considerably over the last three decades and that the CH-701 was no longer large enough to carry their big asses/donkeys. That is why they needed to develop the CH-750. When I look at the performance figures, I really wonder if they're any better off with the bloated 750? The specs look pretty disappointing.

JG, a question: Was the baggage space in the CH-750 larger or smaller than in the Savannah?

The attached photo says it all.....

 

I did meet a 701 flyer who lived near the Zenith factory and his contact in there had told him that they themselves were disappointed with the performance of the 750......

 

I didn't look close enough to compare baggage sizes. But then I've extended the baggage compartment considerably in my Savannah, as have many others. Back to the next frame, and deeper. Only use it for light camping gear, and CofG is within limits.

 

JG

 

760761431_CH750atOSH08.JPG.ec3192669147a39b2b54997bb1b6394a.JPG

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

I am in the same position trying to choose between the Savannah and the Ch701/750. I have flown the original Savannah and the VG version they both flew really nice with little to no adverse yaw. Here in the UK, they classified as a micro light and are limited to 450 kg MTOW this been limited by the sum of two 86 kg pilots one hours fuel at max continuous power and the ZFW, which limits the engine to a Jabiru 2200A. I have no issues with Jabiru engines but think the slower turning prop of the Rotax 912 suits the stol characteristics of these aircraft better.

 

I went to Sun and Fun this year and got to sit in the Savannah VG and XL then the Ch701 and Ch750. The clear winner for me was the Ch750, the reasons for my decision were, the ease of access, luggage area, pilots seating position which felt like I was wearing the aircraft, the excellent outside visibility and in the UK they are a group A aircraft so are not limited to 450 kg (Ch 750 not yet approved in the UK) . I have never flown Ch701/750 so cannot comment on the flying qualities but as I stated earlier have flown the Savannah which really impressed me.

 

Conclusion if the Ch750 flies as good as the Savannah it is my choice especially if I could remove the slats, but if it does not then the Savannah XL as a group A (not limited to 450 kg) would get my vote.

 

 

On another note got my PPL at Archerfield 1986

 

 

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Hi Johno,

 

It's nice to hear from someone who has tried the four planes on my shortlist (VG, XL, 701, 750 ~although the CH-750 is about to 'fall' off my shortlist because it appears that it will be too heavy for the 544kg ultralight/microlight limit in Oz/NZ by the time the fuel, pax and luggage is on board).

 

In which way do you think the 750's seating position is superior compared to the other three?

 

 

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Eightyknots.

 

The 750 has a lot more headroom than the 701 and exudes space, the seating position was good for me as everything just seemed right (rudder, control's, instrument panel). As for the Savannah the seating position just did not seem as natural but saying that I liked the Savannah a lot, maybe the lack of upward visibility compared to the 750/701 had something to do with it.

 

 

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