OVERVIEW OF THE CHALLENGER LINE OF AIRCRAFT
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Canada's Favourite Advanced Ultralight
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Challenger airframe is made by Quad
City Aircraft Corp in Moline, IL.
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||Fly Challenger -
Make Your Dreams Come True
The versatility of the Challenger line
of aircraft is legendary - wheels, skis, floats, soaring, local or cross
continent flights. Four seasons a year of use.
Owners enjoy a huge user community and an extensive support network.
Times - The Lowest Acquisition & Operating Costs Of All
The current Challenger lineup has six models with a range of features,
performance and prices wide enough to suit every need and every budget.
Fuel economy is unbeatable - use regular car gas - only 3-4 gallons an hour.
Acquisition costs are reasonable. Parts and service are affordable and simple.
Fly in Canada with your current licence or an affordable Ultralight Pilot Permit.
600 In Canada - Performance & Safety Proven Since 1983
Challengers are always in demand so
the value of yours will be protected.
It's not just an expense - it's an investment - in your future and your
In Canada the fastest growing segment of aviation is Advanced Ultralights
Challenger is the de facto standard, outselling the competition by
10 to 1!
||Challenger is the
best value in aviation - first choice of pros and newbies!
National Ultralight, exclusive
distributor for Canada since 1984, offers
quick-build kits, new ready-to-fly, and first-class pre-owned Challengers.
For one-stop shopping we carry Puddlejumper floats and Turbulence skis.
A man is not old until regrets take
the place of dreams.
-- John Barrymore --
The Challenger Line Of Advanced
Quad City Aircraft Corp has manufactured
the Challenger line of aircraft in Moline, Illinois since 1983.
It is ultralight aviation's longest running company!
National Ultralight has been the exclusive Canadian distributor since 1984!
Some 4,000 Challengers have been delivered worldwide since 1983 with
over 600 owners in Canada. The Challenger Owners Association is the most
active in recreational aviation. Clearly this line of aircraft is one of
the most popular in aviation, and one of the most proven, safest designs
in any category.
The Challenger is uniquely versatile
- it switches quickly and easily between
wheels, tundra wheels, skis, penetration wheel/skis, retractable wheel/skis,
straight floats, amphibious floats, ...
The heated cabin and an engine needing no preheating
make it a true four season aircraft, even in Canada's winter.
On warm summer days remove the doors and you have an open air sportster!
The Challenger's STOL performance and payload are extraordinary.
A wide speed range and impressive crosswind capability, together with a
cockpit having unrestricted visibility, make it a delightful and capable
platform for long distance cross-country flights, as well as low and slow
Challengers also make great motorgliders, with recorded engine-off
flights of several hours and altitude gains of many thousands of feet,
even on amphibs!
There is no other airplane, at any price, with this broad mix of
talents! In Canada new Challengers can qualify for the Advanced Ultralight
category and be flown with a traditional licence or the easier to obtain
Ultralight Pilot Permit. In the USA they can be flown as Light Sport Aircraft
with a Sport Pilot Permit.
Science, freedom, beauty, adventure.
What more could you ask of life?
Aviation combined all the elements I loved.
-- Charles Lindbergh --
The Evolution Of The
The Challenger design has stood the test of time but it has not stood
still. Over the years several hundred changes have combined to let the latest
Challenger take off in less distance, climb more rapidly and cruise 50 mph faster
than the early machines. Wingtips to wheels it's more efficient
and more durable.
In 2005 the Rotax 582 engine was added to the stable alongside the
503. This 30% increase in horsepower actually uses less fuel and is
now the de facto standard for floats, heavy loads and high density altitudes.
Also in 2005 we increased the gross weight by 20% and created Canada-specific
The newest Rotax 582 and 503 engines are ASTM certified.
Purpose built for use in aviation they have earned top marks for reliability as well as
easy, affordable maintenance. Dual independent electronic ignition systems
fire two spark plugs per cylinder, for redundancy plus more power and lower
fuel consumption. A taller re-drive and bigger prop increase cruise and
The current Challenger lineup gives six choices with a range of features,
performance and prices wide enough to suit every need and every budget:
- three new Challenger Light Sport models (XL-65, XS-65 and XS-50), and
- three Classic Challenger II models (Premium, Deluxe and Legacy).
New Challenger Light Sport XL-65, XS-65, XS-50
In July 2010 the Challenger line of aircraft was expanded with
the Light Sport series consisting of two brand new models - the XL-65 and XS-50.
In March 2012 the line was expanded again with the new Challenger Light Sport XS-65.
The new Challenger Light Sport XL-65, XS-65 and XS-50 are the most dramatic steps forward ever taken.
The XL-65, XS-65 and XS-50 incorporate numerous design enhancements driven by customer inputs.
The new models are easier to fly, faster in cruise, more rugged, more ergonomic and easier to build.
Prices remain very affordable even with engine and instruments.
The new XL-65 is a high power, high lift aircraft
for amphibious floats, heavy loads and high density altitudes.
A new wing design and a power package with 30% more thrust
combine to allow an increase in gross weight from 960 to 1060 lbs.
Standard 20 USgal wing tanks allow for the creation
of a baggage compartment in the fuselage behind the passenger seat.
The new XS-65 is a clip wing derivative of the XL-65 with all the same features
including the 582 power pack but with a clip wing four feet shorter.
The XS-65 is optimized for people who want speed.
The maximum cruise speed is 100 mph - lightning fast for an ultralight!
The XS-65 has an impressive payload of nearly 600 lbs.
With its fast cruise, long range wing tanks and a baggage compartment in the fuselage
the XS-65 makes a great cross-country machine.
The new XS-50 is optimized as an economical go-fast airplane for wheels and skis.
Cruise speed is increased to 90 mph thanks to a 26 ft clip wing and new streamlining features.
The XS-50 uses the ASTM certified 50 hp Rotax 503 and has a 960 lb gross weight.
The XS-50 comes standard with a 10 USgal fuselage tank.
Available options are a 17 USgal fuselage tank or 20 USgal wing tanks.
The wing tanks allow for a baggage compartment in the fuselage.
The new Light Sport models all retain the docile nature, low stall speed and
amazing crosswind capability of previous generations of Challengers.
The combination of outstanding STOL performance plus heavy duty landing gear and
hydraulic disc brakes allow operation from short, unimproved strips.
From crisper handling to a more spacious cabin, the latest Challengers
are not only more capable and comfortable they are better looking and quieter
This is why Challenger is Canada's favourite advanced ultralight!
You can't cross the sea by standing
and staring at the water.
-- Rabindranath Tagore --
The Quick Tour
For a sense of why this aircraft has enjoyed amazing longevity and
success, read what owners say are the ten best reasons
for owning a Challenger.
If you're not too rushed, click on a rainbow line for music and browse
The Grand Tour
This site contains full details on
the new light sport models
as well as
the original classic models
describes the experience of flying a Challenger,
introduces some of our owners,
answers many frequently asked questions,
and tells you about our company.
All this with plenty of pictures and videos!
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the big picture - the overall structure plus section contents.
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The Nitty Gritty Tour
The Challenger line of aircraft consists of two distinct series...
The Light Sport
section has a wealth of facts and figures on the new
Challenger Light Sport X Series Models XL-65, XS-65, XS-50!
The Classic Airplane
section has the scoop on the older Challenger models!
Challenger Info Pack & Video
This web site has
superceded the traditional paper information package
in detailing everything about the Challenger -
from specs to prices to how to soar in a thermal.
It also contains the Challenger Cinema
with a great selection of videos which may be viewed online.
Video is the absolute best route to truly understanding
the versatility and performance of the Challenger.
Some of the videos show specific aspects of the Challenger,
for example the difference in takeoff and climb between the 582 and 503 engines.
Other videos were created by Challenger owners who were moved to share their experiences.
All this information is here online for free.
Click to our Site Map
to learn what is on our site and where it is.
Print pages for your personal use if you wish.
Additionally, there is a 55 minute Challenger video
available in DVD format which you may order via this web page.
The DVD video is an
eclectic collection of old and new footage
which starts with classic 1980's era material and interleaves more modern footage.
This collection is intended to show you the full spectrum
of the Challenger's 25 year heritage -
to give you a sense of the continuing evolution
and a good idea of just how far we've come since the early days!
Tour the Thousand Islands on floats, wander over gorgeous Florida greenery,
skim along a snow-covered river with friends, ride a thermal upwards with the
To see our past and present for yourself order
If you think you can do a thing, or
think you can't do a thing, you're right.
-- Henry Ford --
In September 2008
a couple of hundred people drove and 56 Challengers flew
to Erie Airpark in Illinois to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Challenger!
In 2013 Canadian Challengers attended the 30th anniversary fete in Illinois!
This pilgrimage entailed a round trip by a flock of amphibious Challengers
from Quebec (3,200 km) and Ontario (2,300 km)
plus a solo voyage by an amphibious Challenger from Edmonton, Alberta (4,500 km)!
In 2014 National Ultralight
celebrated its 30th year as the exclusive Canadian distributor!
2008 - A Quarter Century As Unchallenged Ultralight Leader - 2008
|Kitplanes says Challenger
||EAA says Quad City
is UL's: "Longest
In 2006 the late Dave Goulet,
president of Quad City and co-designer of the Challenger,
won the prestigious John Moody Award from the United States Ultralight
"The continued success
of the Challenger line of aircraft has brought world wide acclaim."
"The Challenger II has been the overwhelming choice of trainer by ultralight
"More ultralight pilots have learned to fly in a Challenger than any other
If the why is important enough, the
how will happen.
-- Viktor Frankl --
Dave O'Malley Annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous Poster Collection
The Challenger Winter Rendezvous posters are created by
Dave O'Malley of Aerographics Ottawa.
Dave is also historian and webmaster at Vintage Wings.
Following are links to reports, pictures and videos of
the last few Challenger Winter Rendezvous. For even more click here!
If you have any questions or are ready to order your Challenger,
contact us via e-mail, phone, fax or mail.
National Ultralight is
located in new Hangar/Office facilities
at Edenvale Aerodrome!
If you wish, we'll notify
you automatically by e-mail when this site is updated!
| 10 Best Reasons | Airplane
| Experience | Owners
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To see the Challenger
in action for yourself order our 55 minute Challenger
Last update July 19, 2015.
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