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.
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 theSaskatchewan 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.
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.
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.
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 582engine.
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.