Quicksilver Signs China Deal

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Business jet and airliner manufacturers tend to dominate news about aviation in China but a California kit builder is also doing a major deal with the Chinese. Quicksilver Aircraft has sold 77 aircraft thanks to a distribution agreement it signed with JH Nanning Group. The kits will be made at Quicksilver's Temecula plant and shipped to China where they will be assembled and sold as complete aircraft. Eventually, the parts for the aircraft may be built in China and they will design their own aircraft, too. Although the light end of the aviation market is virtually non-existent now, "burgeoning demand" is expected as airspace regulations ease.

In selling airplanes to China, Quicksilver is also playing a mentorship role in fostering a new light aircraft industry there. "The interest of the Chinese government to develop high-tech industries is evident," said CEO Will Escutia. Meanwhile, the company is also ramping up its domestic production following acceptance of its Sport2SE as a factory-built light sport aircraft. It will build three manufacturing plants in the U.S. and the domestic expansion will be a model for activity in China. "An expansion into China follows this model and sets the stage for the Quicksilver enterprise to grow briskly as its long proven and modestly priced aircraft should be well received in that nation," the company said in a news release.