December 2013

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: http://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/234576

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Page 18 of 40

The fuselage, wings, and flight controls are already built in the kit, which can be completed in as little as 300 hours. Quad City Aircraft offers six different models comprised of single- and two-seat models in long- and short-wing versions. A single-seat FAR 103 ultralight version flies with a Hirth F33 engine, but examples are rare. The newest models—the Light Sport XS and XL—represent a major reworking of the design intended to optimize performance for the light-sport aircraft category and incorporate many new features. Challengers are popular in Canada, with 600 in service, thanks to their ability to quickly change from wheels to floats or skis. The Canadian distributor maintains an extensive website loaded with photos and detailed information. Check it out at www.Challenger.ca. A Little Bit of Heaven New pilot Renee Dubois on her frst long cross-country fight. The Erie Airpark (3H5) situated along the scenic Rock River in northwestern Illinois began as Earl's Airpark in 1972. The owner, Jerry, a retired commercial pilot, became a Challenger dealer in 1983 when the design was first introduced. From that time onward, Erie Airpark has been a haven and a little bit of heaven for ultralight and light plane enthusiasts, especially for the Challenger design. The factory is a short distance away in Moline, Illinois. A club was formed called the Illowa Sport Flyers that became EAA Ultralight Chapter 188. Jim and Sue Robinson took over the airport about 15 years ago. Jim originally had learned to fly from Jerry, and when the opportunity came to purchase the airport, Jim made an offer, moved in, and became an instructor. Jim and Sue continue to promote the airport and the club, which has grown to more than 80 members. Around 27 airplanes currently "live" in the hangars on the field. The airport features a pavilion and place for a bonfire at the far end of the runway for parties and music under the stars. Jim Robinson's Challenger has been fown more than 2,000 hours. "Suddenly I Was Looking at a Wall of Water" On Friday, September 20, the first day of the 30th anniversary fly-in, a long line of rain showers associated with a cold front straddled the entire upper Midwest, moving slowly southeast. Pilots from Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana flew toward Erie Airpark, encountering steadily worsening weather and low ceilings. Challenger pilots reported making precautionary landings on private airstrips, and in one case, an emergency downwind landing on a farm road to wait out the weather. That pilot said, "Suddenly I was looking at a wall of water." The same system blocked arrivals from the north. Some, including the Canadians, had to wait until the rain moved out of the Great Lakes region. A walk among the rows of Challengers shows why it is advantageous to build and fly a widely adopted aircraft AirVenture 2013 Gold Lindy–winning Challenger XL-65 is the top model. EAA Experimenter 19

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