FS2004 Sean D. Tucker’s Challenger II

Author – By Owen Hewittch2_gmax10

AUTHOR COMMENTS

The Challenger is rebuilt every year by Sean D. Tucker’s own “POWER Aerobatic Team”. However, the aircraft Sean was flying earlier to the top of the airshow world was a very highly modified Pitts S-2S but it became more modified every winter. Nowadays it is a one-of-a kind Biplane. Only the engine is taken from stock S-2S, even though it is highly modified too. The magicians at Lycon are able to take a stock Lycoming AEIO-540-D4B5 engine that normally produces 260 horsepower and coax 380+ horsepower from it.

HISTORY

Challenger II
Sean knew that in order to build the ultimate aircraft, he would need the help of some of the most renowned craftsmen in the country. He contacted the best; Pete Gnaedinger, Steve Wolf, and Delmar Benjamin to name just a few. After a long period of deciding what performance and weight parameters needed to be met, a final design was chosen.
Early in 1995 Pete Gnaedinger drove to Afton, WY, home of Aviat aircraft and makers of the world famous Pitts line of aerobatic aircraft. Pete had been given permission to use some of the tooling and jigs at Afton to create this one-of-a-kind machine. The design of the fuselage was a take-off of the Eagle I. Many people are familiar with the Christen Eagle II, the very popular, 2-seat, kit-built biplane. Although the name is similar, they have very little else in common. The original Eagle I, was always a single-seat, six-cylinder aircraft. There were only 4 Eagle Is ever built. Three of them made famous by the Eagle Aerobatic Team of Charlie Hilliard, Tom Poberezny and Gene Soucy. The fourth was built for Frank Christensen’s son.
Pete personally welded up the fuselage from scratch while in Afton, making numerous design and structural changes along the way. Pete used one size larger wall thickness on the tubing for strength. The tail is completely different from an Eagle. The design was inspired by the tails used on the Laser and early Extra monoplanes. Sean’s style of flying demanded that he have a much larger rudder than normally seen on an aircraft of this size so Pete designed a rudder with almost twice the area of a normal Eagle tail. There were many other changes made to allow for the special wings to be used and also the equipment that would be used in the aircraft. One of the most noticeable features of this airframe is the one-piece, side-opening canopy.

Read the entire article at

http://www.airventure.org/2003/performers/sean_tucker.html

ABOUT SEAN D. TUCKER 

No one who has seen a performance by Sean D. Tucker will ever forget it.
Tucker’s work in the Oracle Challenger-II provides his audiences with feats that are truly death-defying.
What Sean does in his average “day at the office” would be impossible for most of us to achieve. His practices alone impose one of the most grueling and physically demanding workouts imaginable. His performances impose more G-forces on his body than jet fighter pilots experience–a hammering +10 and -7.5 G’s!
Strangely enough, Sean was once afraid of flying. Early on, he took up skydiving, but an accident claimed the life of a close friend and curtailed his growing joy of flight. He took flying lessons in 1969, but even after receiving his pilot certificate, the fear still remained.
More than half of Sean’s maneuvers are original and have never been duplicated by another aerobatic pilot.
Twice, during every air show, Sean will fly the Oracle Challenger-II backwards at a speed of more than 100 mph.
The G-forces exerted on Sean when he is flying are greater than those on the pilots in modern fighters like the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels.
From his normal weight of 175 pounds, Sean will weigh nearly 1,700 pounds while pulling 10 positive G’s…and will resist the force 1,200 pounds pulling on his head as 7.5 negative G’s tries to pull him out of the cockpit!

Read the entire article at

http://www.airventure.org/2003/performers/sean_tucker.html

SPECIFICATIONS

Pitts S-2 Special
Length: 18 feet, 3 inches
Height: 6 feet, 2 inches
Wingspan: 20 feet
Gross Weight: 1,400 lbs.
Max speed: 250 mph

COMMENT

I’d been looking for an airplane to buzz around Wittman Regional Wisconsin (Oshkosh) for quite a while when I noticed the Challenger 2 in the latest issue from FSPlanet. By the way, if you are not a subscribing member, I highly recommend you register to receive issues in your e-mail. Not only is it inexpensive, but so nice to download aircraft super fast! As soon as I downloaded the airplane, installed it, and loaded it at Oshkosh, I was beaming ear to ear. This plane can do hammerhead stalls with style, not to mention one of the only aircraft in my collection that can do a knife edge pass…wow! Immelman, split s, loops, rolls, 4 point turns, and many other acrobatic maneuvers can be accomplished with ease. I expected the flight characteristics to be copied from Patty Wagstaff’s Extra, but alas I was surprised by the authors good intentions to make this model unique, complete with it’s own characteristics. Sound however is linked to the 300s. Considering the small size of this file, roughly twenty four meg uncompressed, the textures are awesome to say the least. This model comes in Tucker’s world famous 10-10-220 color scheme, and his most recent gleaming red Oracle color scheme. The instrument panel is basic but functional and includes some exterior detail for a nice realistic touch, and the virtual cockpit is extremely nice and functional. I had a blast reviewing this aircraft, you will too.

My Rating 9/10


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