The newest Special Light-Sport Aircraft to win approval will help the industry close out a spectacular year. In 2005, starting only by mid-April, 23 designs have won their airworthiness certificate under the ASTM Consensus Standards. For the year, #23 goes to Aircraft Manufacturing and Development of Eastman, Georgia. The AMD Zodiac CH 601 XL is powered by the Continental engine and all of it is built in the USA. American A&P mechanics are very familiar with the O-200 engine, which assures availability of service across the country. Since the southeastern U.S. company also builds the FAA Part 23 certified Alarus four seater, they are assembling the 601 to that high standard (such process meets the ASTM standards). The all-metal design flies conventionally and has won praise for its handling and performance. The CH 601 is one of several designs by Chris Heintz, father of Mathieu Heintz, president of AMD.
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