New From Quicksilver, Two S-LSA Models

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Quicksilver, which has sold more than 15,000 kit aircraft around the world, announced at EAA AirVenture this week it plans to offer its first factory-built aircraft -- two two-seat Special Light Sport Aircraft models. The Sport 2S open-cockpit and a GT-500 with a closed or partially closed cockpit, which provides more speed and range, both should be available by the end of the year. The 2S approval process is nearly complete, the company said, and they are taking deposits now. "We expect demand to be brisk for the first factory-built Quicksilver models ever offered," said Will Escutia, company president. The S-LSA 2S sells for about $40,000. The company also said it is partnering with Tangent Aviation to develop an electric-powered motorglider.

Brian Carpenter, of Tangent, said he hopes the electric-flight project will be "an effective, successful, safe, game-changing program." The aircraft will be designed as an SLSA glider, with the electric powerplant to follow. Currently, LSA standards don't provide any way to approve airplanes with electric propulsion, but the partners are hopeful that by the time their glider is ready to launch, those standards will have evolved.