Murphy Aircraft Manufacturing Ltd was founded in 1985, and is based at Chilliwack, British Columbia. Since then it has established a reputation supplying kits for it's 'Rebel' design. When approached by a group of Japanese aviation enthusiasts to supply an aircraft to meet Japanese ultralight regulations, the result was the Maverick. Described as a scaled down Rebel. Murphy Aircraft estimate 40% of the parts are interchangeable with the Rebel. The aircraft has been accepted under Canada's TP101.41 ultralight regulations,
The first Maverick to be completed in New Zealand (ZK-SPC c/n 114M) was the result of an unusual project initiated by local aviation pioneer Ossie James through the Hamilton branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and St Paul's Collegiate. Seeking to promote aviation careers amongst young people, a scheme was sought to encourage participation at secondary school level. Arrangements were made with St Paul's to build an aircraft at the school in Hamilton, in association with a number of retired aircraft engineers. Mr James organised a variety of sponsorship from local business and other organisations and the unopened Maverick kit was purchased from a deceased estate in Christchurch.
The project was kicked off with an official unveiling on March 12 1998, while the kit was still being unpacked. Project supervisor Jack Godfrey, along with Ron Hildreth, Ken Derbyshire, Mike Cummings, and Bruce Henderson worked with up to ten students daily during the school term. Students were exposed to a number of construction techniques, working with metal and fabric. Construction took a year, with the RAeS members carrying out the critical work. It is estimated as a student only project, it would have taken five years.
In construction, a few changes were made to the standard Maverick configuration. Most noticeably the powerplant fitted is a 80hp Jabiru 4-stroke engine, which was obtained as a firewall forward setup from Australia.
The aircraft was registered to the RAeS and St Paul's Collegiate trust as ZK-SPC (note the initials) on April 8, 1999. Flight tests were carried out by Brian Farrell, with the first flight occurring on April 24, 1999. The tests and NZ type certification were completed in May. After testing adjustments made included changes to the throttle quadrant as the adjustment was too fine, the addition of elavator trim, and an increase to the lower cowl opening to address an overheating problem. The propeller was found to be overpitched and the aircraft was effectively only utilising 55hp, so a new propeller was sought.
Testing was carried out from Hamilton International Airport. The aircraft was then displayed at the National Fieldays held nearby at Mystery creek in June - the aircraft being transported complete, but sideways on a trailer. It was then relocated to Max Clear's airstrip at Te Kowhai (a well known microlight centre). The original plan called for the aircraft to be sold, with the proceeds funding the purchase of another kit for assembly. This has not come to pass, and the aircraft is now based at Te Kowhai where a scheme has been instituted to encourage secondary students to take up flight training. A ceremonial handover of the aircraft by the local branch of the RAeS to St Paul's Collegiate was held at Te Kowhai on September 5, 1999. More details of this can be found here
Last Update:- 14 August 2001
Figures are for 53hp Rotax installation
Remember to let me know if you have a request for an image of a particular part of the aircraft!
© 2001 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved