I took my demo flight with Gary Schmitt at Oshkosh 2004, and a friend helped me with the down payment for the show price. The kit was delivered to Aerocolor in Homedale, Idaho, that December. I lived in the hangar loft while owner John Rodgers and Jason Dilworth helped me craft the WW-II wannabe primary trainer I desired. After many months of absences from my wife, N9939 became an exciting reality. It was awarded Second Place place custom tube and fabric at Copperstate in ’06. I like the 912S, Kiev prop, Icom IC-200A, Garmin GTX 320 transponder and the MGL Avionics Enigma glass instrument package. The easy folding wings and huge baggage area are hard to beat. We have 600 hours on it now and can’t wait to go “buzzin” across the desert southwest some more! I have a lot of videos of us flying to remote locations on my YouTube channel.
Construction began on November 3, 2008, in my basement where the airframe and fabric work occupied me during the long Upper Michigan winter. Then I moved to my hangar in May 2009 for painting, final assembly and engine break-in.
On September 1, 2009, it passed inspection and was ready for the maiden flight, which took place without a hitch. What an exhilarating feeling, that first rotation in a craft built with your own hands. The Challenger flies like a dream. Sporting a Rotax 582 powerplant, it has plenty of power for winter flying on skis, and amphibious float flying for the summer. Thanks to Dave Vandenburg, my EAA tech counselor, for his guidance, and especially my wife, Barb, for her assistance and unconditional support during this project.