Four-Stroke Power for Part 103 Ultralights
If I hear one thing over and over it is this: “I want a four-stroke engine for my Part 103 ultralight. Are any available?”
For years the answer was, “Well, brand XYZ offered one but they disappeared from the market some years ago. One such winner I flew was the Bailey four-stroke out of England. However, a visit to their website recently was not very productive. Regretfully, other four-stroke powerplants are rare (although for slightly larger airplanes, Chip Erwin’s V-Twin will soon add to the choices).
Are you out of luck trying to obtain a Part 103 four-stroke? NOPE!
Aero 1000 Engine – Fine Swiss Engineering
Air-Tech, Inc., is one of my favorite companies. While I love the people behind this Louisiana company, it isn’t their deep expertise, long experience, or even an endearing sense of humor that surrounds the Bornes — a father and son team to envy. My admiration for this family team is significantly because they have nurtured and preserved the venerable Quicksilver brand for decades.
In the video below, son Ken Borne related that the company’s longevity goes back 44 years, He isn’t old enough for that. Ken noted he’s been at it for 19 going on 20 years but dad Bever Borne was active as the world’s largest Quicksilver dealer way back in the early days of ultralight aircraft. For several years in the early 1980s, Bever’s dealership sold something like 200 aircraft per year. Imagine that! Many manufacturers would have loved such a number.
Various companies have acted as the manufacturer of the Quicksilver line over the years, Fortunately, they kept making the airplane according to its carefully-engineered foundation. However, changing ownership makes some buyers uncomfortable.
Quicksilver is now more stable than it’s been since the very beginning back in the late 1970s. That’s because in the last ownership shift, Bever and family bought the whole shebang. They purchased everything except the GT500 but covering the entire product line from the MX or Sprint/Sport series to the single seat GT400. It took several semi-truck loads to bring it all from southern California to Reserve, Louisiana.
The Preservation of a Brand
Their rescue of the Quicksilver line and preservation of the brand was warmly received by the legions of ‘Quick’ enthusiasts. Well beyond 15,000 Quicksilver models have been delivered, making the brand one of the most successful marques in all of aviation. To my knowledge, only Van’s Aircraft has delivered more kits to pilots.
Air Tech, Inc., has a broad product and. service capability. They have all the original Quicksilver parts, many accessory items (never produced by Quicksilver, Inc.), and can aid repair on any Quicksilver model.
Air Tech, Inc., mainly sells kits but they do own the Special LSA credential for the Sport S2SE, making this popular aircraft a proper training aircraft to fly the rest of their line. A buyer of the SLSA model is permitted to offer paid flight instruction and rental of the aircraft under LSA regulations.
Aero 1000 is an adaptation of a junior-Indy car race engine. The base powerplant is manufactured by Helvenco in Switzerland, home to the finest clock mechanisms on Earth. Engineers at the company race these engines themselves so they have an intimate feedback loop that can constantly improve the engine.
Ken and Bever have created the motor mount and all the related items. After a full year of testing, it is ready for market.
–WRITTEN BY DAN JOHNSON