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The CH650 Tail Design


The tail sections (empennage) of all ZODIAC models are the same. Many builders start construction of the aircraft with the tail sections. These low-cost sections are the smallest components of the aircraft and can easily be built in a small workshop.



The Zenith tail sections are designed to provide maximum effectiveness (control) at slow speeds. The aircraft designs feature an all-flying vertical tail (rudder) section for excellent effectiveness and control, especially at low speeds. The all-flying rudder provides responsive rudder control, while also minimizing weight and complexity (there’s only one vertical tail section). Two rudder bearings bolt to the rear fuselage to fix the rudder to the fuselage.




The horizontal stabilizer tail section is built up of two spars and eight internal ribs, with reinforcement doublers on the spar for the spar attachment brackets.


stab skin

stab skeleton2

The internal assembly is then covered with the pre-formed sheet-metal skin. The skin is wrapped around the internal assembly, and drilled and riveted into place. Rounded fiberglass fairings are riveted to the tips of the elevator. The elevator is bolted to the top of the rear fuselage.

The elevator is constructed of a single pre-formed skin with reinforcing internal ribs. It is attached to the stabilizer with a conventional piano-hinge, and is equipped with a standard electric trim tab.

Additional Resources:

Illustrated Parts Catalog:
Detailed schematic of the tail control systemDetailed schematic of the tail assemblies
Detailed drawing of the tail assemblies
Schematic of the elevator and trim control system
Elevator Trim Tab

Build the rudder tail section at a factory workshop. Click here for details.

Load testing the tail assembly
Online Rudder Assembly Manual
Required Tools and Workshop
Building and Flying in Seven Days – Aircraft Assembly Pictorial
Builder Photo Log