In general, each Quicksilver model has several options packages available. There is a base model that is a complete airplane with everything you need to fly, but lacking some optional features. There is a mid grade version and a full feature version. Although the airframe is the same on each version of that model, the options and features are different. Below are explanations to some of the options that may be helpful.
Rotax 582 variations:
While all of the two seat open air models and some of the GT models use the Rotax 582 engine, there are some different variations. The engine itself is the same in all cases. However the Prop Speed Reduction Unit (PRSU), in this case a gearbox, is different between the variations. The first one is a “B” gearbox. The B box is the lightest gearbox. It is also the lightest duty. While it will handle the horsepower and torque of the 582 with no problem, the limitation is the prop size, more specifically inertia. The B box is direct drive, which means the drive gear is mounted directly onto the crankshaft. A direct drive gearbox is not as smooth as a coupled gearbox such as the C and E. One other important factor is that deepest reduction available for the B box is 2.58:1. The C and E gearbox will go all the way to 4.0:1, but for a Quicksilver application, a 3.47 is ideal. Having a C or E gearbox on your 582 allows you to swing a larger prop at a slowerrpm which will create more thrust, increasing performance. The C and E gearboxes are very similar to each other. They use identical bearings and gears and come in the same ratios. Both use a rubber vibration dampening coupler between the crank shaft and the drive gear giving them very smooth operation. The difference between the C and E gearboxes is that the E gearbox incorporates electric start into the gearbox eliminating the need for it on the magneto end of the engine. If you are going to build a two seater with electric start, I highly recommend the E gearbox at 3.47:1 and a three blade prop.
Another factor in the options packages of the Quicksilver models is fuel capacity. There are tanks ranging from 5 to 12 gallons available for the open air models, and 8.5, 16, and 25.5 gallon on the GT 500. The fuel capacity upgrades come standard with the option package chosen, however it is possible to upgrade only the fuel capacity rather than purchasing the whole package. Please mention that when requesting a quote and I can get you prices.
As you go up in options packages more sail colors are included. The lower packages include two colors, the higher ones include 3. However, you may select any number of colors and patterns on Quicksilvers website. Each additional color or pattern may increase the cost, but you can get exactly what you want. You can go here to design your sail pattern and colors. You can fill out the form to send it directly to Quicksilver, or you can take a screen shot and email to us.
Another difference in the options packages is the level of instrumentation. The base model open cockpit models do not include any instrumentation at all, except for a hall type airspeed indicator. (basically a ball in a plastic cone shaped tube) That honestly all you need for flight instruments to fly those models out in farm country. However, I would highly recommend an engine monitor of some sort. I am not comfortable not know what is going on with the engine. In the Quicksilver packages they favor the Grand Rapids EIS systems. Personally, I prefer the MGL E1 for an engine monitor. It is less expensive and easier to read. Grand Rapids is a high quality unit however, and it will work just fine. You can add an instrument pod and install whatever you like in it if you are not upgrading the options package. Please feel free to contact me for more information on that. There are a lot of different options for instrumentation.
Strobe lights are included on the upper options packages. I do recommend wing tip strobes to increase visibility. Especially if you fly in areas that have more air traffic. Since we generally do not have a transponder or ADS-B in this type of aircraft, the only collision avoidance we have is visual. Strobe lights can be added to any model easily though. A good set of streamlined wing tip strobes runs about $300.
On the MX 2 models, 5″ wheels comes standard, with 6″ available on the upper two versions. If you fly from pavement, there is not a lot of advantage to larger wheels and they add a bit of drag and weight. If you fly from grass, in soft conditions the 6″ wheels can certainly be an advantage.
Wheel pants are offered in some options packages. In the GA world the perception is that wheel pants reduce drag and therefore make you go faster. At 40 mph, any increase in speed is not going to be measurable. For other people, it’s the look of wheel pants that they like. I’m going to step out on a limb here and probably be accused of being a hillbilly, but my favorite feature of wheel pants is that they keep the mud off the wing sails! Everybody should have mud flaps of some sort on their airplane right? Might as well have aerodynamic ones!
Double surface wings
You may be choosing between the Sport or Sprint model, or you may be deciding weather or not to upgrade the MX 2 to a double surface wing. There really is not a drastic difference between the two. The single surface wing really excels at short take off and landing ability. The double surface wing has a slightly longer take off and landing distance, but has a little faster cruise and snappier roll rate. It really is a personal preference, but the difference is not all that significant.
The BRS system is an option that can be added to any model of Quicksilver. The BRS is basically a rocket deployed parachute that is mounted to the airframe. Once activated the rocket immediately deploys a parachute that lowers the entire airplane to the ground safely. BRS systems have saved around 150 lives so far. They are very expensive and require a repack at intervals of 6-12 years, which is also expensive. A BRS would not normally be used in an engine failure as many people expect, as this type of aircraft can simply glide to a safe landing, as long as a suitable place to land is available. The BRS exists primarily in case of a serious structural or control system failure. Once the aircraft is no longer controllable, a BRS is the only possibility for a positive outcome. BRS units have been used not only in structural failures, but also in mid air collisions, loss of control, severe icing, and flying VFR into IMC. Several certificated aircraft have adopted the BRS systems, probably most notably is Cirrus. Personally I do not have a BRS on my aircraft. In the overall big picture of risk versus cost it is hard for me to justify. Structural failures are extremely rare in out type of aircraft, and a BRS is no guarantee of a positive outcome. Another negative factor in of a BRS is added weight. A BRS will reduce your useful load by about 25 lbs. Again, this is entirely a personal preference, and a decision you will have to make.