C.M. Microlights of Norfolk, UK, have since 2008 been engaged in the design and development of light aircraft for the Single Seat De-Regulated (SSDR) category.
We have designed and built several SSDR prototype aircraft over the years. Building work on the SUNBIRD started as early as 2009 along with some other designs, but the upgrading of the rules in 2014 to 300kg (gross weight) led us to redesign the SUNBIRD to this new weight category. In 2015 we also announced we were building a new all composite SAFARI C highwing. Although now also completed, we decided in late 2017 not to press ahead with production of any of our aircraft, based mainly on the high cost of composite aircraft. However due to continued interest, we are pleased to announce our intention to bring a new version of the SUNBIRD (Mark 2) into production in 2021.
Innovation and Design....
The Sunbird and Safari “C” use a 3 layer sandwich composite, constructed from glassfibre or carbon cloth with aircraft quality Airex foams bonded by epoxy resins throughout the entire airframe. This ensures superior skin stiffness and strength coupled with amazing lightness that is hard to match. Carbon is used for high stress areas such as wing spars. These techniques are expensive and are generally only used in quality multi-seat composite aircraft, but give incredible strength to weight results. The payload to empty weight ratio is unbeatable. Unlike metal, small damages are normally very easy to repair, composites have no known risk to fatigue or corrosion, and unlike wood, composite is much stronger, extremely durable and will not suffer from damp and rot. Tube and Fabric may be cheaper, but Composite is the material of the future, with practically no downside other than protection from heat.