National Ultralight Inc.
Choosing an airplane is a decision you want to get right the first time!
Some of the important criteria like performance and versatility are obvious. Other criteria, like the stability and track record of the manufacturer, are less obvious but even more important. Just ask one of the many owners whose manufacturer is no longer in business where they will get parts.
You owe it to yourself to carefully weigh all the facts and compare all the features from one design to the next.
What follows are what over 4,000 Challenger owners have found to be:
This is not simply an airborne taxi to take you from runway A to runway B. The Challenger is equally at home on short grass strips as well as ice, snow and water. Switching between wheels, skis and straight or amphibious floats is easy and won't break the bank.
The Challenger's versatility even extends to soaring! Turn off the engine in flight and experience the joy of circling silently upwards in a thermal to cloud base. Unlike a glider, when you want to head for home, just start the engine and go.
Continuously refined for over three decades and with more than 4,000 airplanes sold and hundreds of thousands of hours of flight, the Challenger is a truly proven design with an enviable safety record.
The light plane industry has produced a number of excellent designs over the years. All of the manufacturers rely on feedback and troubleshooting by the public to refine their designs. By remaining focused on a single design, rather than constantly introducing new models for marketing hype, the Challenger has been refined to a much greater degree of performance and reliability.
Challenger owners don't have to deal with the inevitable glitches that are inherent in totally new or short-lived designs.
The Challenger's large wing and low empty weight combine to deliver exceptional payload and STOL performance (short takeoff and landing) on wheels, skis, floats and even amphibs.
The capability to handle a direct crosswind of 20 mph, 30 mph for the clipped wing models, easily equals or betters that of conventional airplanes.
As well, the Challenger has one of the widest speed envelopes of any recreational airplane. This extraordinary envelope gives you the best of both worlds, a high end for cross country trips and a safe and forgiving low speed capability for that magic low and slow ultralight experience.
Most conventional airplanes obstruct your view. The high, complex instrument panel blocks the view over the nose. Low wings block out the earth below while high wings block out the sky above. In a conventional high wing the pilot flies blind in the turns. The Challenger's tandem seating places the pilot ahead of the wing for magnificent helicopter style visibility in all directions - even in the turns.
The Challenger's airframe is built by the factory to ensure a professionally crafted, airworthy airplane built right without having to rely on your construction skills. It also ensures truly low assembly time for an easy and fun project you will complete with confidence. If you'd prefer to do nothing but fly, experienced builders are available to do it for you.
The Challenger has a solid, supportive manufacturer with a long track record. A Canada-wide dealer network provides regional sales, service and support. Aftermarket vendors offer a wide variety of Challenger-specific products and services. You can be confident that parts, advice and help are available now and will continue to be in the future.
The ICOA grew to over 800 members globally before the print medium was superceded by the internet. Now there is an extensive suite of internet-based resources for Challenger owners, including web sites and an email group with over 3,000 members!
The Canadian Chapter has well over 600 members and holds highly popular fly-ins and other activities. The sense of community amongst Canadian Challenger owners is unequalled anywhere in aviation.
A brand new, fully equipped Challenger costs about the same as a car, not a house like conventional airplanes. In fact, a Challenger complete with amphibious floats costs far less than the floats alone for a Cessna 185! At around $10-15 an hour the Challenger is extremely inexpensive to operate and maintenance costs are but a fraction of a general aviation aircraft.
A Challenger avoids the costs, complications and hassles of owning, maintaining and operating a certified airplane. If you already have a pilot's licence, you are ready for takeoff. If you are new to flying, the ultralight and sport pilot licensing and medical standards are far more readily attainable and affordable than for conventional airplanes.
In the summer, the high power-to-weight ratio and low wing loading make the Challenger a marvelous choice for a floatplane. Aircraft with less than 300 hp are rarely seen operating on amphibious floats, yet the Challenger handles them with aplomb. Whether on land or water, the doors can be removed in a minute or two for an intimacy with the air like an open cockpit biplane.
In the winter when many planes hibernate, the Challenger is in its element. The skis let you land anywhere white - there's no need to search out a cleared runway. There's cabin heat to keep you warm and neither the engine nor the reduction drive require preheating. The pusher prop and tricycle gear mean you'll never suffer prop strikes or nose overs. And with the big wing, light weight and high power you'll never get stuck.
Compare the return on investment with seasonal vehicles such as sports cars, watercraft and snowmobiles!
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