Challenger 25th Anniversary
Celebration at Erie Airpark, IL
Kitplanes Magazine - May 2009
by Bryan Quickmire

Kitplanes is the leading monthly magazine for people interested in building and flying kitplanes.
It has a circulation of 75,000 aircraft owners, pilots and enthusiasts worldwide!

Click here for a pdf containing the article as published. The text below is the same but with extra pictures.
Click here for the full text plus pictures of the sidebars titled The Special Challenger and A Bit of History.

On September 19-21, 2008 some 250 enthusiasts gathered at Erie Airpark in Illinois to celebrate a major milestone - the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Quad City Challenger line of aircraft.

A quarter century of continuous operation with the same ownership and management is
quite an achievement in the aviation universe and especially in the world of kitplanes.
Quad City has manufactured over 3,500 Challengers to date!

A flock of 56 Challengers was arrayed in neat rows along the flight line. They dated from the eighties to the present and included single seaters and two seaters, long wings and clip wings. All the popular engines were represented as well as every conceivable factory and aftermarket goodie. The color schemes showed amazing creativity - no two Challengers are alike.

In addition to a large collection of Mid West flyers, five Challengers on amphibious floats arrived after a thousand mile formation flight from Canada and a trio of Challengers arrived from the opposite direction after a flight of similar distance from the Deep South.

The awards ceremony was emceed by Karen Oltman, manager at Quad City, and presentations were made by Dave Goulet, president of Quad City. The award for Farthest Flown - International was earned by Patrick Vinet for his 1,150 mile voyage from Montreal, Canada. The honors for Farthest Flown - Domestic went to Danny Tyre for his 950 mile journey from southern Georgia.

For Best Showplane the People's Choice was N547DF, an artfully decorated Challenger II 503 on wheels flown in from Oklahoma by owner Daniel Person and dealer George Hurt. The President's Choice was C-IROC, an elegant Challenger II 582 on Puddlejumper amphibs flown in from Georgian Bay, Canada by Bryan Quickmire and built by Gord Allan and Bob Pearson.

The event was hosted by Jim and Sue Robinson, owners of Erie Airpark, whose mid-western hospitality made every attendee feel like a long lost member of their family. The perfect weather, campfire cookouts, live music and camaraderie made this an especially memorable happening for the Challenger community.

Click here for an account of the pilgrimage by the five Canadian amphibs.

Click here for an article and photos published in the January 2009 issue of COPA Flight.

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