"Sunbird" SSDR

The New “Sunbird ”  (Mk 2) SSDR Microlight

The Sunbird is an all composite low wing semi-sporty SSDR designed with safety as a priority. The main design criteria for this aircraft was good all-round attributes, excellent low speed characteristics for short runways, yet with great touring capability. Wing areas remain conservative. Even though it was not our intention to design a hot-ship, the performance is likely to be highly respectable. We think we have struck the right balance. The Mk 2 looks very similar to its earlier version, but the main visible difference is in the wings. The Hoerner tips have been replaced with standard square tips (this will allow a future optional winglet to be easily added), and the flaps now have a wider chord and longer span, with rounded nose. The wing span is also slightly bigger, and the wings have also been set a little further forward relative to the fuselage to allow the higher MTOW.

The wide cockpit (62cm) is exceptional and provides great space and comfort. Legroom is around 110 cm from pedal to seatback. Controls are by pushrod except for the rudder. The nosewheel is steerable (push right = turn right). It comes with a spacious 2d curved canopy providing great visibility or as an open cockpit version, with windshield, headrest and roll bar. The stabilizer is also easily removable.


  • New MTOW of 300kg.
  • Upgrade to bigger, more powerful engines.  Scope for greatly improved performance!
  • Bigger engine bay. Tough glass coated Plywood firewall with hard mounting points.
  • Impressive Payloads around 150 kg with Rotax 447.
  • Improved  baggage weight and capacity, up to 15 kg allowance / over 3 cubic foot.
  • Slightly larger wing span and new improved flap design.
  • Additional flaperon mixer (operates on separate ailerons) for great low speed handling.
  • New larger wing tanks (replace the nosetank).
  • We are also hoping to provide a totally new folding wing system that is easily operated by a single  person (the pilot).
  • A new design, slightly narrower composite Undercarriage Bow

The wing fold mechanism will allow quick and easy stowage in a small trailer - take your plane home after every flight and avoid hanger charges. The wings rotate and fold back, and are fixed at the tips using the wings tie-down points to a lightweight bracket, which replaces the easily removed stabilizer.


Sunbird Mk2 Design Specifications

The new (Mk2) Sunbird has been significantly upgraded since first launched in 2015.

The current design MTOW is now impressively 300kg. The anticipated empty weight, without engine and prop, is about 102 kg. Whichever engine you wish to install, the payload will be amazing, thanks to its lightweight yet strong composite construction. Maximum pilot weight remains at 105kg for the time being. Minimum is still 55kg excluding tail ballast. Rudder pedal to seat-back is about 110cm.

The latest model will now have 2 composite wing tanks, each around 25 litres (to be confirmed).

There is a new behind-the-seat baggage bay with a weight allowance of up to 15 kg and over 3 cubic foot capacity - useful for, say, a small tent and holdall, etc. There is also a small amount of under-seat stowage for small items.

The controls are all pushrod with the exception of the rudder (cables), with steerable nose wheel (push right = turn right). The main wheels and braking system are Black Max, very light but powerful.

Wing Span: 6.8m. Wing Area: 8.35 sqm, Length: 4.75m. Cockpit Width: 0.62m.

Design Stress:- +4g/-2g Limit loads (+6g/-3g Ultimate)

Design Vne: 117 knots. Dive speed Vd: 130 knots (provisional). Speed in gusts: 85 knots.


Stall Speed (flaps):- under 35 knots or under 34 knots with flaperon mixer.

Cruise Speed :- Depends on engine and prop. Expect 70-80 knots at 40HP, 80-95 knots at 50HP      Higher cruise speeds can be obtained at the expense of initial thrust with slightly smaller props. The maximum recommended cruise speed is 100 knots (as recommended for microlights generally)

Endurance :  2 to 4 hours for 2 strokes, depending on engine etc.  

Potential engines and props (35kg to max 50kg, 40 HP to 55 HP recommended ): -

4 Strokes:- V-Twins such as B&S Vanguard: Tuned versions 40 HP -50 HP possible

2 Strokes:-

The Hirth F23 Boxer, various Rotax engines (eg models 462, 532, 582. Possibly 447 and 503).

The 532 and 582 will now fit with cylinders upright.  Careful choice of prop sizes may be required.

For all listed engines so far, the maximum prop diameter is 56 to 58 inch, depending on the engine due to varying prop hub positions. It may be necessary to fit a 3-blade prop. in some cases.

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Last Update: 02/11/2021

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