OVERVIEW OF THE CHALLENGER LINE OF AIRCRAFT
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National Ultralight Inc.
World's Leading Challenger Distributor
Challenger Light Sports - The Ultimate Challengers
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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 Light Sport lineup has 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.
Fly in the United States with your current licence or a Sport 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 is the world's leading Challenger distributor
with over 600 Challengers sold.
We are leveraging our expertise in sales and support
by expanding beyond Canada to the United States and worldwide.
We sell quick-build kits, new ready-to-fly, and certified pre-owned Challengers.
For one-stop shopping we distribute 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 Bombardier-Rotax 582 Blue Head engine became the core of a new bespoke power pack
which quickly replaced the 503 engine in being by far the leading choice of Challenger owners.
The 582 power pack delivers 30% more horsepower and 34% more torque than its predecessor the 503.
All this with a specific fuel consumption 23% lower!
The 582 power pack is now the de facto standard for floats, heavy loads and high density altitudes.
Also in 2005 we increased the gross weight of the Challenger II by 20% to 960 lbs.
And in 2005 we created packages including airframe, power pack and everything necessary for flight.
The Challenger II 582 Premium became the choice of virtually all new owners.
The newest Bombardier-Rotax 582 Mod 99 Blue Head 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 reduction drive and bigger prop increase cruise and climb.
The current Challenger Light Sport lineup gives choices with a wide range of features,
performance and prices to suit every need and every budget!
New Challenger Light Sport 'E' and 'X' Series Models
In July 2010 the Challenger line of aircraft was expanded with the Light Sport 'X' Series Model XL-65.
In March 2012 the line was expanded again with the new Challenger Light Sport 'X' Series Model XS-65.
The new Challenger Light Sport XL-65 and XS-65 are the most dramatic steps forward ever taken.
The XL-65 and XS-65 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 582 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.
In January 2016 the Challenger line of aircraft grew once again
with the announcement of the new Light Sport 'E' Series Models EL-65 and ES-65.
The new Challenger Light Sport EL-65 and ES-65 provide a more attainable entry point
for those whose needs and budgets are not up to the level of the more fully featured XL-65 and XS-65.
In effect the predecessor Challenger II's capabilities are significantly uplifted without uplifting the cost.
Available configurations include faired wheels, tundra wheels, straight skis, wheel/skis, straight floats and amphibious floats, all very affordable. In the grand Challenger tradition of versatility switching between configurations is quick and easy.
The new Light Sport 'E' Series and 'X' Series 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 truly 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.
The Grand Tour
This site contains full details on
the new Light Sport models
describes the experience of flying a Challenger,
introduces a few of our owners,
answers frequently asked questions,
and tells you about our company.
All this together with plenty of pictures and videos!
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The Nitty Gritty Tour
The Light Sport
section has a wealth of facts and figures plus pictures
on the new Challenger Light Sport E Series and X Series models!
Challenger Info Pack & Video
This web site has
superseded 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 --
JOIN US IN ERIE, ILLINOIS ON SEPT. 14-16, 2018
TO CELEBRATE THE 35TH 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 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 2014 National Ultralight
celebrated its 30th year as Challenger 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."
"Challengers have been the overwhelming choice of trainer by ultralight
"More ultralight pilots have learned to fly in Challengers than in 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 or mail.
National Ultralight is located in
Hangar/Office facilities at historic Edenvale Aerodrome.
We are an hour north of Toronto, Ontario between Barrie and Collingwood on Highway 26.
Click here for map and directions.
If you wish, we'll notify
you automatically by e-mail when this site is updated!
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To see the Challenger
in action for yourself order our 55 minute Challenger
Last update Dec. 30, 2021.
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