Murphy Aircraft

Murphy Aircraft Manufacturing Limited
Industry Aerospace manufacturing
Founder(s) Darryl Murphy
Headquarters Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada
Key people President and CEO: Darryl Murphy
Products Kit aircraft
Murphy Aircraft's first commercial product was the Renegade II biplane.
Murphy Aircraft Renegade Spirit biplane.

Murphy Aircraft Manufacturing Limited is a Canadian maker of civil utility aircraft kits. They have designed and produced a series of aircraft which allows builders to choose from a range of sizes - from two-seat sports planes to six-place bush transports.[1][2][3]



The company was started as the result of an hunting accident. Darryl Murphy was a mechanical engineering technologist who designed and built a rigid wing hang glider in 1978 as a school project at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 1984 Murphy was in a non-aviation accident that left him hospitalized for four months. During his recovery time he decided to design a biplane to fit into the then-new Canadian ultralight category. The aircraft was a single-seat model and was intended as a one-off aircraft for his own use, with no production intentions. Murphy named it the Renegade.[4][5]

After taking the Renegade to a number of fly-ins and other aviation events, Murphy was encouraged by the positive response it received and by the number of people who asked him to build one for them. In 1985 Murphy quit his job and started Murphy Aviation (later renamed Murphy Aircraft Manufacturing), with his brother Bryan and located the company in Chilliwack, British Columbia.[4][6]

The original Renegade design was turned into a two-seater by relocating the fuel tank from the centre fuselage to the upper wing, installing a second seat and designating it the Renegade II. Initial sales were disappointing as only one kit was sold in the first six months. Sales improved greatly once the aviation press began reviewing the aircraft. By 1986 the company had a backlog of orders, including many from outside North America. Murphy displayed the Renegade at the EAA Convention, Oshkosh and returned to Chilliwack with a substantial order book. During 1989 sales totalled 129 Renegade IIs.[4][6]

In May 1987 a new version of the basic Renegade design first flew. Named the Renegade Spirit it added a radial engine-style round cowling and a 64 hp (48 kW) Rotax 532 and later the Rotax 582 engine.[7][8][9][10]

In September 2008, as a result of restructuring due to the early 2000s recession, Murphy Aircraft split off their sales functions to a new company, Patterson AeroSales, headed by former Murphy sales representative Bob Patterson. Murphy Aircraft continues to concentrate on designing and manufacturing kit aircraft while Patterson handles "show appearances, advertising materials, promotions and general sales responsibilities". Murphy Aircraft President Darryl Murphy also explained that the company will only manufacture kits in batches once sufficient numbers of orders have been accumulated to justify a production run and that standard aircraft hardware parts, like rivets and bolts would be shipped directly from the suppliers to customers to save costs.[11]


Product list and details (date information from Murphy)
 Aircraft   Description   Seats   Launch date   1st flight   1st delivery   Scheduled to cease production 
Murphy Elite propeller aircraft/float plane 2
Murphy Maverick propeller aircraft/ultralight/LSA 2
Murphy Moose (SR3500) utility monoplane 2~6
Murphy Rebel propeller aircraft/float plane/LSA 2
Murphy Renegade biplane/LSA 2
Murphy Yukon propeller aircraft 4
Murphy JDM-8 propeller acrobatic/ultralight 1


  1. ^ Purdy, Don: AeroCrafter - Homebuilt Aircraft Sourcebook, page 212. BAI Communications. ISBN 0-9636409-4-1
  2. ^ Downey, Julia: 2008 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 24, Number 12, December 2007, page 63. Primedia Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  3. ^ Kitplanes Staff: 1999 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 15, Number 12, December 1998, page 57. Primedia Publications. IPM 0462012
  4. ^ a b c Murphy Aircraft: Meet Our Staff: President Darryl Murphy, Towards the Flightline, Winter 1993-84 page 3. Murphy Aircraft.
  5. ^ Zukowski, Helena (January 2008). "Runway Model". Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Murphy Aviation: News Bulletin, page 4. Murphy Aviation, Spring 1988
  7. ^ Murphy Aviation: News Bulletin, page 2. Murphy Aviation, Summer 1987
  8. ^ Armstrong, Ken: Catching the Spirit, Kitplanes Magazine
  9. ^ Murphy Aviation: Catching the "Spirit" in a Murphy Rengade - Info Package. Murphy Aviation, 1990
  10. ^ Campbell, Jim: Getting the Spirit. Sport Pilot, pages 20-25, 66-70, April 1989
  11. ^ Murphy, Darryl (September 2008). "New sales & production structure letter". Retrieved 2009-12-27. 

External links

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