|The empty weight of the currently produced Challenger
aircraft, which now use Rotax 447, 503 or 582 engines, is in excess of
the normally referred to statistics commonly seen on the internet (300
lbs empty weight for a 2 seat model is simply never going to
happen). Our experience has shown us, for example, that a 2 seat
long wing, with 503, 3 blade prop, full instrumentation, strobes, etc.,
will weigh between 400-430 pounds empty. At the current factory
approved maximum gross weight (as detailed below) this leaves a maximum
load (people and fuel) of 530-560 lbs. As you can see, this makes
the Challenger one of best planes available in the category of Useful
As indicated below, the factory raised the gross on the long wing to 960 lbs for the Challenger II mainly to accommodate floats but there are some other considerations that let them do this. The float Challenger is limited in speed by the drag of the floats and the VNE will be reduced to 85 mph and maneuvering speed (yellow arc) to 65 mph. Saying that a long wing without floats is good at 960 lbs is not exactly correct unless you placard your instrument panel with a red line of 85 mph and the yellow arc starting at 65 mph. At 960 lbs and 100 mph you will surely rip the wings off with sudden application of full up or down elevator.
On November 15, 2005, Quad City Ultralight Aircraft Corp increased the manufacturer specified gross weight for Challenger II aircraft to 960 lbs.
4. Challenger II long wing aircraft with the last four digits of the serial number less than 0500 are restricted to 800 lbs in
order to meet the +6G and -3G ultimate load factor.
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