Sean D. Tucker Launches Challenger III

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Sean D. Tucker, legendary airshow performer, this summer is introducing his brand-new custom-built Challenger III biplane, which can perform extreme maneuvers beyond what Tucker's previous aircraft were capable of. With the faster, more dynamic airplane, designed by Steve Wolf, Tucker has added more maneuvers to his routine, including somersaults and multiple cartwheels, and there is more to come. "I still have so much to learn," Tucker told AVweb this week. "It's like learning to fly all over again. It's so much fun." He has flown the airplane only about 200 times so far, he said, and "maybe with about 2,000 flights" he'll have a handle on its full range of capabilities. He said it's about a "30-percent better" airplane than any other he's flown. The biplane features a carbon-fiber flying tail inspired by the tails used on remote-control model aircraft, and eight ailerons.

Because of the new airplane's cockpit design, Tucker said the G forces are less debilitating and he can practice four times a day instead of two. Tucker will be flying in the Challenger III June 26 and 27 at the Rhode Island National Guard airshow in Quonset, R.I., then the Dayton Air Show July 17 and 18, and at EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh from July 26 to Aug. 1, plus at least 10 more shows around the U.S. by the end of the season in October (click here for the full schedule).

Tucker spoke in detail about the Challenger III design and how he is working to maximize its potential in this week's AVweb podcast feature; click here to listen.