Airshow star Sean D. Tucker has donated his custom-built biplane, the Oracle Challenger III, to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum for display in the future “Thomas W. Haas We All Fly” gallery, slated to open in 2021.
The Oracle Challenger III will be displayed at the entrance to the We All Fly gallery, the first exhibition at the museum in more than four decades to be dedicated exclusively to general aviation.
“The generous support from Tom Haas and the exciting addition to our collection of the Oracle Challenger III will help us showcase why aviation is so important to all of our lives,” said Ellen Stofan, the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the National Air and Space Museum. “Sean Tucker’s aircraft will no doubt inspire future pilots and aviation professionals through the story of his amazing career.”
Since the 1970s, Sean D. Tucker has proven himself as a legend in aerobatic flight having flown more than 1,300 performances. In 2003, he was named one of 25 Living Legends of Flight by the National Air and Space Museum, and in 2008, he was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
For the past eight years, Tucker has flown the Oracle Challenger III, a custom-built biplane that uses the latest advancements in technology from aerobatic performance airplanes, drag racing and sailing.
Displaying the Oracle Challenger III in the gallery will showcase the technological achievements of the aircraft, including its eight ailerons that enhanced maneuverability and the engine’s cold-air induction system and state-of-the art fuel injection, museum officials note.
“I have dedicated my entire adult life to the art form of airshow flying,” Tucker said. “My goal is to thrill, inspire and ‘light that spark within’ the audience and share the magic of flight. This very special flying machine has empowered me to safely push my boundaries to the wildest edge of edges, come back to Earth and do it all over again.”
Scheduled to open in 2021, the “Thomas W. Haas We All Fly” gallery will give visitors an opportunity to explore a variety of people and fields within aviation, highlighting themes such as sport, private, business, humanitarian and utility flight.
In addition to the Oracle Challenger, aircraft such as a Cessna 180, Gates Lear Jet and a Cirrus SR22 will be displayed.
The exhibition will feature new educational interactive technology and videos that will explore the valuable impact of general aviation on society and encourage the public to join in, museum officials add.