Overview Of The New Challenger II Light Sport Special
Now Available In Canada
The new Challenger II Light Sport Special is the most dramatic step forward ever taken by Quad City. The LSS incorporates numerous design enhancements driven by customer inputs. The goals were to make the plane easier to fly, faster in cruise, more rugged, more ergonomic and easier to build - all while keeping the price around US$25,000 with engine and instruments.
The new two seat Challenger II LSS positions itself beside the S-LSA's and E-LSA's of the US Light Sport Aircraft category. Challengers emphasize the fun of building and flying your own airplane whereas virtually all of the new LSA's follow the Cessna tradition of hermetically sealing the occupants away from the flying experience. Challengers also emphasize the philosophy that recreational aircraft should be affordable to acquire and affordable to operate and maintain. The price tags of the latest LSA's are well over $100,000 which is completely out of reach for most recreational aviators!
The handling characteristics of the new Challenger LSS are light and responsive. This is a feet on the floor airplane whereas classic Challengers require attention to the rudder pedals. With full aileron deflection you can roll from a 45 degree left bank to a 45 degree right bank and back again without using the rudder pedals! This is a direct benefit of the much larger vertical stabilizer and rudder as well as the implementation of new ailerons with differential bellcranks. The larger vertical tail is readily obvious from 50 paces, actually 50 miles, much like that of the C-130 Hercules!
Cruise speed has increased to 95 mph and maximum level speed to 105 mph. The new wing design reduces drag while providing increased lift and stability. It is readily identified by its smooth leading edge and bottom ribs plus flush gussets attaching the ribs to the leading and trailing edge spars. Further drag reductions were effected by adding streamline fairings to the jury struts and stab struts.
The new solid aluminum main landing gear reduces drag by enabling use of improved gear leg fairings and eliminating all external cables. The internal carry through structures in the fuselage have been beefed up substantially. This new landing gear readily absorbs the bumps of rough farm fields and less elegant landings. The new hydraulic disc brakes make for very short stops.
Entry and exit is made easier by the redesigned cockpit side rails, doors and windscreen.The new instrument panel allows more instrumentation while still providing good leg clearance for taller pilots. The new Quad City designed electric start system operates through the PTO end of the engine allowing a backup manual starter to be simultaneously installed at the MAG end.
The LSS quick-build kit is even easier and more fun to assemble. As with all Challengers it includes factory-built tail, wings and fuselage with controls installed. New for the LSS are a precut anodized panel plus prefab door kit with windshield as well as wiring harnesses for panel and engine. No special tools or skills are required. Realistic build times are in the neighborhood of 300 hours.
A vastly better new manual has clear drawings, color pictures and punchy text. Support is readily available across Canada via phone and email as well as face-to-face through an extensive network of dealers and professional Challenger techs. For owners who assemble their kits at odd hours there is unmatched 7x24 support via web sites and online forums.
The Challenger Light Sport Special can be registered in Canada as an Advanced Ultralight or under the 51% rule as an Amateur-Built. The LSS has a number of new features to facilitate the Amateur-Built route, for example control stops and pilot accessible fuel shutoff system. In addition to the satisfaction of assembling your own airplane and knowing it inside and out, a big advantage to registering as Advanced Ultralight or Amateur-Built is that you can do any and all maintenance and inspections yourself or with the assistance of whomever you choose. The Advanced Ultralight category allows up to 100% of the assembly to be done by pros.
The Challenger II Light Sport Special may be flown with the economical Ultralight Pilot Permit or with a traditional pilot certificate such as a Recreational or Private.
The Challenger II Light Sport Special package is around US$25,000 for a quick-build kit including engine and instruments. To spread out cash flow the package may be split into airframe and powerplant sections or into tail, wings, fuselage and engine sub-kits.
In today's economy the economics of aircraft ownership are more critical than ever before. The Challenger Light Sport Special is less than a quarter of the cost of typical AULA and S-LSA aircraft. The low acquisition cost and very low operating and maintenance costs mean owners can afford to go flying as often as they wish.
The new Challenger Light Sport Special delivers wide ranging major improvements while retaining the docile nature of classic Challengers including low stall speeds with no wing drops. Also retained are the outstanding STOL operations with takeoff and landing rolls in the 200-400 ft range as well as impressive crosswind capabilities. Payload is a very useful 500 lbs.
The versatility to go fast or to go low and slow, the capability to operate from short unimproved strips, the ability to fly with the doors off like a roadster with the top down and the unmatched visibility from both seats all combine to put the fun back into flying. Well over fifty Challenger Light Sport Specials have already been sold and the expectation is for many more.
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