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Quad City Aircraft

Home of Challenger Aircraft

Moline, Illinois


LSA, ELSA, or Experimental…Which Way to Go?


Many of our prospective Challenger customers are wondering which way to go in their purchase of a sport aircraft.  It’s a simple decision and we will try to help you decide.


First, you have to decide if you want to fly for fun, or to fly to get somewhere.


If you want a plane that will get you somewhere in a hurry, then the best solution is a fast airplane.  You can rent a Cessna, or Piper, or some other certificated aircraft, or you can buy a fast airplane kit like a Lancair, but then you have to build it, or buy a used one.  You could buy a Cessna , or some such certificated aircraft new or used. Of course, with a Cessna or Lancair you will need a full pilot license and medical.


Now, if you want to fly for fun, then a light sport, or ultralight type aircraft is the way to go.  Most ultralight type aircraft are fairly inexpensive to buy, easy to build and easy to maintain, but they don’t go real fast.  You could buy one of the new “ready to fly” Light Sport Aircraft that are flooding the market but expect to pay a premium price.  Many of these aircraft are selling for upward of $75,000.00.  You will need a certified mechanic to inspect and repair these aircraft or pass a repairman’s course to do your own annuals and repairs.  So what do you get?  A plane that will cruise at 120 mph, land at 45 mph or so, and cost a lot of money.


Then one day as your are cruising around at 5,000 feet you may look down and see a gaggle of Ultralights flying along on a ‘poker run’ or to a ‘fly-in breakfast’ and think, “Gee, those guys look like they’re having fun”.  You’re right! They are having fun and the fun lasts a long time.  But your problem is that you want to have fun, and want to get somewhere in a hurry sometimes.  Well, the solution is clear.  You need two airplanes.  One for fun, and one to get somewhere in a hurry.  Well, that gets real expensive if you have to own two airplanes.


Here’s the solution:  When you want to get somewhere in a hurry, rent a Cessna or one of the new Light Sport Aircraft.  When you want to fly for fun, fly your Challenger!  You can build one the these planes in 100 to 300 hours.  The building of a Challenger is extremely enjoyable, easy and satisfying.  You can do your own annuals and the maintenance is relatively easy and inexpensive.  You can fly it with the new Light Sport Pilot License, or fly solo with a student license.  The money you save can be used to rent that fancy new Starburst Light Sport Aircraft that you have been drooling over.



Float Plane

Whether sitting peacefully on calm water or flying over fields of green, the Challenger line of aircraft will always look good!!
AC over field
Check out the new photo gallery for more photos of great looking Challengers!