Category Archives: Zenith 701 Building Project

Archive of building information

Gabriel’s First Flight in Hi-Def!

This is the “quick” version; sped up to conserve disk space.

Here’s the full test flight at normal speed.

With the help of a GoPro mounted inside the cabin, we are able to ride along on Gabriel’s very first flight. This was on Sunday, November 1, 2015, at approximately 4:30 PM, at the Elkhart Municipal Airport, located on CR 6, in Elkhart, Indiana. Test pilot is Brian Taylor. Come along and enjoy the ride!


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Gabriel Takes to the Air!


After about six years of building time, Aluminum Angels airplane, Gabriel, detached itself from the earth this afternoon and took to the air! And quite nicely, too. Brian Taylor, from Michigan, who is an experienced Zenith 701 pilot, fastened his seat belt, cranked up the Rotax engine, taxied to the end of the runway and became airborne at approximately 4:29 PM this afternoon. It was somewhat windy out, but Brian reported that Gabriel handled very well. A couple minor adjustments are needed, but overall, it flew very well! He did two touch and go landings, circling the airport each time. He taxied back to the hangar and shut the engine down amid a rousing cheer from the assembled audience!

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The time has finally come.

The date was October 15th, 2015, a day that was a long time coming or maybe it just seemed that way to me. The occasion was the Airworthiness Inspection that all experimental aircraft must undergo prior to  its maiden flight.  A small group of people, who all had a part in the construction of “Gabriel”, waited for the arrival of Lowell Farand, our DAR (designated airworthiness representative).

In the days leading up to the inspection we had gone over the plane with a proverbial fine tooth comb because we knew that Lowell would soon be doing the same. Bolts and screws were checked for proper torque. Control cables were checked for proper tension and safety wired. Navigation, landing and strobes lights were checked for operation. Weight and balance computations were made and documented. Flight control surfaces were checked for correct deflection and access panels were removed to allow Lowell to inspect all that needed inspecting. In short, we were as ready as ready could be.

Finally 1800 aka 6:00 pm arrived and so did Lowell with his lovely wife Gay. She accompanies Lowell on all his inspections to assist him in anyway she can. If you ask me, I think they really just enjoy each others company, but I digress.  Once the inspection began all we could do was sit back and watch the “master” at work. Oh did I mention that we prayed under our breath a lot. As we watched Lowell go about his duties we could tell that this was not his first rodeo and it was quite apparent that he had not spent any time in a barrel, if you catch my drift.

Well, time came and went that evening and it was all over but the shouting. “Gabriel” had passed the inspection with flying colors, then Lowell made out the Certificate of Airworthiness and presented it to us with a smile and a hearty congratulations. cDSC_3279 copy

On a more serious note I need to make it clear that none of this would have been possible if it were not for our home church Elijah’s Fire International and all the folks that volunteered, donated money or supported our fund raising efforts. 07

A special thanks to our Rosie Riveter gals  and the members of EAA chapter 132 in Elkhart, In. who opened up their hangar for the final assembly and donated so much time and knowledge helping us complete the build.image019

All this serves to remind me that “God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.” Vicki and I want to thank each and everyone of those who had any part in “Gabriel” coming to be.

So what’s next?  Well on October the 31st, at 0900 aka 9:00 am the test flight is scheduled to take place, weather permitting. We will be documenting the flight with cameras on the ground and in the airplane.  Dan Hulse, our webmaster and fellow builder. says that he will put it on our website for all to see. These are exciting times so keep checking back.

Well it’s time to close the hangar door and call it a night.

Good by for now, Flyboy Greg




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N701AG, Cleared For Takeoff!

The time is finally here! On Thursday night, October 15, the Zenith 701 (“Gabriel”), being built by Aluminum Angels, was certified to be airworthy by Lowell Farrand, who is the FAA Designated Airworthiness Representative.
The airplane is currently housed at the EAA Chapter 132 Hangar at Elkhart Municipal Airport. Some of the Chapter 132 members have been very helpful, over the past several months, in the completion of the building of the airplane.
Next step is the initial test flight, which is scheduled for Saturday morning, October 31, at 9:00 AM.

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Airplane Nears Completion

After several years of work, the Zenith 701 airplane sits nearly complete in the EAA Chapter 132 Hangar at Elkhart Airport. These pictures were taken inside the Hangar on Tuesday evening, September 29, 2015.

The next step is to have the FAA Inspector check the airplane out and file the official paperwork with the FAA. Once that is accomplished, the 40 hours of airworthiness flight testing can begin. We will keep you posted!

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First Engine Test Run

Saturday, April 11, 2015, was a banner day in the history of Aluminum Angels. Our first hand-built airplane was rolled out of the EAA hangar at Elkhart Airport, for its initial engine start-up test. Greg Canen was in the left seat for the testing, while a five gallon jug of fuel occupied the right seat. There were no wings attached to the airframe and therefore, no fuel tanks! The Zenith 701 airframe shook with anticipation as the Rotax 80hp engine roared to life on the first try! After static testing, to be sure the engine was operating as expected, Greg maneuvered the wingless airplane down the taxiway, past the next hangar, then looped back to the starting point. The engine was shut down and there was a rousing cheer from the crowd of interested onlookers that had gathered for the occasion. With the successful engine test completed, work can continue with mounting the wings, control surface adjustments, engine cowling, doors, etc. Greg estimates certification testing could start in a month or two!

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