At the big show EAA likes to call the Summer Celebration of Flight, we rove the grounds seeking new airplanes, new engines or propulsion systems, new panel gear, updated models and more. In this very fast tour, we’ll zoom around AirVenture for a glance at some airplanes and components that caught our attention. In subsequent posts we’ll delve a bit more deeply into certain ideas we thought were novel. All photos accompanying this article are courtesy of Light Sport and Ultralight Flyer, producer of the 300+ videos you can find on this website. Rans showed off their new S-20 Raven. Those who thought designer and company boss Randy Schlitter got stuck on S-19 were wrong (it’s never wise to think he’s done designing). His new Raven combines elements of the S-6 and S-7, namely the side-by-side seating of the S-6, with the welded spaceframe and superwide door of the S-7.
Quicksilver Aeronautics Sport S2SE
Phone: (951) 506-0061Temecula, CA 92590 - USA
Plenty of longtime light aircraft enthusiasts have wondered when Quicksilver would enter the SLSA sweepstakes. “On June 26th we received the airworthiness certificate and the operations limitations document for our Sport 2SE Special LSA after a three-hour inspection from the FAA,” said Quicksilver Aeronautics President and CEO, Will Escutia. Earlier the company reported successfully passing an intensive FAA audit, but a final aircraft inspection by FAA personnel was still needed. Aviation Safety Inspectors, John Soltis and Kym Robbins, provided the pink airworthiness card at the French Valley Airport (photo), approximately 10 miles from the company’s factory. Soltis expressed his congratulations saying the airplane “looked very good.” At near the industry’s lowest cost — $39,999 for a fully built Sport 2SE — those Light-Sport fans who fret about the high cost of some (exceptionally well equipped) airplanes now have a very affordable choice. If $40 Grand is still too much you can buy a Quicksilver ELSA or Experimental Amateur Built for even less.
Once upon a time, a couple years before the SP/LSA was announced at AirVenture 2004, I thought the odds were high that Quicksilver would be the very first Special LSA to hit the market. Several other industry veterans agreed. Their GT500 was the very first to earn FAA’s Primary Category approval, back in 1993. This was a costlier effort than achieving ASTM compliance and so it seemed a done deal that Quicksilver would gain quick approval. I was wrong. Indeed, I was wrong by a dozen years. However, that’s over now as the Temecula, California company earned FAA acceptance for their Sport 2S side-by-side open-cockpit aircraft. In mid-April, FAA sent a letter saying all was well and the company can go forward with manufacturing. With their approval earned, Quicksilver’s S2SE is number 135 on our list of SLSA. Will Escutia, president of Quicksilver Aeronautics, explained that the California company used “L-S2S” (the Light-Sport version of their strutted 2S) as the model name during the certification process.