Dick Eipper

Founded by Dick Eipper, Eipper Formance began manufacturing Quicksilver ultralights in the late 1970s when hang gliding was very popular. The Quicksilver hang gliders differed from most hang gliders of that time period in that the Quicksilver had a rigid wing and a tail with a horizontal stabilizer and a rudder. The earliest powered version, the Quicksilver C, was created as a self-launching hang glider designed to allow pilots who lived in the flatlands the ability to self-launch without a hill. The design later evolved into an ultralight aircraft for powered cross country flying.

Eipper added a seat, wheels, and a small engine behind the wing of the hang glider, and the Quicksilver ultralight was born. This aircraft was controlled by pushing a bar forward and backwards, and side to side, in the same way that hangliders are controlled. This shifted the center of gravity of the aircraft and allowed the pilot to control the plane. Many pilots wanted an aircraft that was controlled with a stick and rudder, similar to the way “typical” light airplanes are controlled, so Eipper added rudder and elevator control surfaces to the Quicksilver ultralight, giving it two axis of control. This aircraft was called the Quicksilver MX. The high dihedral of the wings caused the plane to bank when the aircraft was turned with the rudder, but there was no direct means of controlling the roll axis of the airplane—the aircraft only rolled in response to the yaw axis. Pilots still wanted a true 3-axis control ultralight, so Eipper added spoilers. The next generation of MX had true ailerons which gave the aircraft full roll authority.

The single-seat Quicksilver MX not only complies with the US FAR 103 Ultralight Vehicles rules, but was in fact the aircraft around which the rules were developed. The Quicksilver was the most popular ultralight aircraft design when the regulations were first drafted in the early 1980s.

Quicksilver Ultralights

The Quicksilver MX evolved over the years. A two-seat model was added for training purposes. In the mid 80’s Quicksilver produced the MX-II Sprint and MXL II Sport both with ailerons. This was a huge improvement over spoilerons which substantially increased control in crosswinds. The MXL-II Sport became the industry workhorse with an impressive record of students trained and earning title of the world’s most popular light aircraft trainer.

The GT400 single seat was followed by the GT500 tandem and both models have received high praise from pilots and instructors a like. The GT400 received the P.U.M.A. & L.A.M.A. certification in the mid 80’s and the GT500 was the first aircraft of its kind to receive an FAA Type Certificate. The most recent addition to the current 7 model line up is the Sport 2S strut-braced, side by side aircraft. The appeal of the Sport 2S comes from the more solid look of the strut braced wing. The reality is the strut-braced and cable models are similar in strength.

Flying is none other than Dick Eipper, on the left is Steve Wilson and giving him
a push looks to be Mark Toler. The location is Torrance Beach CA.

Since the early days, Quicksilver has been the “standard” of the industry. This is reflected in the more than 15,000 Quicksilver aircraft sold to date; far more than its nearest competitor. While ownership of the company has changed over the years, its philosophy has remained the same, simplicity, quality assurance and industry leading engineering. These things combined with ease of assembly and maintenance as well as docile and predictable flying characteristics have made and continue to make Quicksilver the industry leader. The proven history of our product gives you the peace of mind that you are getting the most reliable, well made light aircraft on the market. After-all, isn’t that what counts when you are making such an important decision?

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