I sold it in January 1998 with only 25 hours on it. I needed to go faster...thus, I got
my F4U Corsair!
I hope you get a good impression of what it's like to fly "low-and-slow" in an experimental
ultralight through these pictures. It was very exciting to test fly a plane that I built.
Of course, flying a plane that I built also made me nervous! When I was a young boy, I
would buy a model plane and build it without reading the directions. Sometimes they would
end up looking like a car with a prop. But this was the closest I have
ever come to being a "test pilot." Jeff Johnson, a friend of mine from work, helped me
test fly it so that I would not be bias and overlook something during the checkout process.
He is a very good pilot and helped me quite a bit and the only one I trusted to fly my
baby (which took me a year and about $18,000 to build).
We shot several hours of video. The 8mm video camera was placed in several locations
around the plane's front and back seats, and around the fuselage. Hope you enjoy these
pictures of my Challenger II flown around the outskirts of south Houston!
(note: sorry, these video screen shots and are not the best quality)
My first "real" flight at Sugar Land airport (SGR). I did several high speed taxi tests
on the taxi way before attempting this first flight which went about 100 feet AGL. My
Challenger was much easier to fly and land that I had imagined.
Jeff after his first test flight which he flew to about 300 feet AGL.
...and giving me a "thumbs-up" indicating that he loved the flight and
everything looked and felt good!
First flight from Wolfe Airpark (3TA1). It's a nice grass strip about 2,500 feet long
but only about 2,000 feet usable. We could takeoff and land in the Challenger II
within 300 feet.
Doing a fly-by over Wolfe Airpark is not the same feeling as in my Corsair!
The Challenger II had a max cruise speed of about 75 mph and stalled at about
30 mph with flaps and one person.
One of my "vertical" departures. The climb rate on the Challenger II was
incredible. I didn't have a VSI but I'm sure it was at least 1,500 fpm.
One of my departures!
Starting a steep right turn while doing some beautiful crop flying.
But I'm not too sure what kind of crop this is! Do you?
The video camera is mounted under the fuselage on final approach. If you look close,
you'll see the grass-strip runway just over the front wheel at the 1:00 position.
Rare shot facing aft to view the engine and tail.
Jeff on final approach at Wolfe Airpark.
"Yours truly" just enjoying a peaceful flight.
Jeff's turn to do some peaceful flying and having fun.
Jeff really having fun! Ummm, Jeff, just how low were you flying in my plane dude?
If you want to catch wild game, use a gun.
Jeff thinks he's a crop duster! Ok Jeff, it's my turn...Jeff, Jeff?