Sean D. Tucker rolled and tumbled like no other flyer. Specialty Aero and Aviation Specialties Unlimited built the Challenger III aerobatic biplane to withstand Tucker’s maneuvers—like rolling the Challenger III at 400 degrees per second. A “flying tail” helped him fly sustained knife-edge and backwards flight.
Designers and engineers made the airframe with welded steel tubes. They used wood spars in the wings, and covered the wings and fuselage with fabric. Eight ailerons and curved wing tips enhanced maneuverability. The tail had a carbon-fiber covered vertical fin and an aluminum rudder. The custom-built, fuel injected engine featured aluminum pistons manufactured for drag racing cars.