Early Quicksilver Experiences
It was a busy time for the whole industry. Almost anything that flew sold and a few that didn't !
I did several of the local Boat and Sport shows. My display was so popular that other vendors wanted to get next to me. It was so popular in fact, that I wasn't asked back after the third year. Boats were King to the promoters.
I sold 54 kits in 1982 and was top dealer in the country for the year, receiving a plaque from Lyle Byrum at the 1983 dealer seminar. My first MXL was Rotax powered and had spoilers. I liked the Rotax!!
Our first MXII came in 1982 with a Cuyuna engine. It also was the first we got the V-belt drive system. The Cuyuna took a long time to get me and a sky-diver to 2500 feet. I did a real serious whoop-de-do when he finally stepped off the pedal tube, but I took forteen minutes to get to the ground during which time I learned to fly left-handed.
The training business was very brisk in those days. I attended many of the local fly-ins and airshows, being somewhat of a show to many myself. Crowds always formed around the 'ultralite'.
In 1983 we changed the Cuyuna out for a 503 Rotax. Eipper Aircraft ( new name ) sold complete 503 changeover from the 430 Cuyuna, carb, exhaust,all the mounting stuff and the 503 prop for an even $1000. I sold Quicksilver products for several more years, 1 Sprint II, many LII's and a few singles. The 503 seemed to eat the five belt 3 inch pulley faster than I thought it should.
When a customer tried an inverted 532 engine on an LII with the HP set-up, it was obvious something other than belts was needed. He and I worked out a top mount 65 horse drive system for the LII. Two people could fly very well with the set-up. We also did some 503 top mounts which also performed well.
Changing out all the kit parts for gear boxes and side mount mufflers greatly added to the price of a plane. With all the other stuff we added like Hegar wheels, 1/8 wires sets, seatback tanks, doublebattens in the sail etc, etc. and I soon decided that buying kits was not the way to deliver value to a customer.
I bought my last " kit plane " in 1989. I had over $ 2000 worth of stuff left over in unused or replaced parts. From then on I built the whole plane myself with gear boxes and double battens right from the git-go.
The plane shown has very low dihedral, one degree on each side, Hegar 4 by 6 wheels with custom wheel pants, double batten sail, 503 DC CDI engine with a B-box and 66 inch prop. It also has a flip-top fairing with a large windshield and extra gas tank.
Many more custom planes followed this one.