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Sun Aerospace Sun Ray 100


One of a steadily increasing number of American companies catering for the burgeoning homebuilder's market, Sun Aerospace is a comparatively small concern based at Nappanee, Indiana. Sun Aerospace's main product is the Sun Ray 100, a canard type that first flew in prototype form during September 1983 and is one of many sporting lightplanes clearly derived from the pioneering canard work of Burt Rutan.

The type is available in kit form, and it is estimated that some 500 man-hours are required for assembly of such a kit. The result is a trim single-seater with enclosed accommodation and non-retractable tricycle landing gear, but the overall appearance is perhaps marred by the size of its twin vertical surfaces, located above the main wing to the sides of the engine and its pusher propeller.

The construction of the Sun Ray 100 is typical of many current aircraft for the homebuilt market, and is centred on a fuselage that uses a primary structure of welded aluminium alloy tubes covered with three pre-moulded glassfibre shells. The main wing is attached to the top of the rear fuselage, and is sharply anhedralled to the locations of the vertical surfaces, and is flat outboard of that point: the wing structure has extensive reinforcement of spruce and comprises a pre-moulded glassfibre leading edge, an aluminium alloy trailing edge and glassfibre-wrapped ribs all covered with Ceconite or Stits Poly-Fiber. The canard foreplanes use pre-moulded glassfibre skins, and all the control surfaces (twin rudders, two wing-mounted ailerons and two canard-mounted elevators) are made of aluminium tubing.

Companies such as Sun Aerospace are keen to capitalize on all the possibilities of a successful basic design, and it is thought that under development are an amphibious version of the Sun Ray 10 and a two-seater known as the Sun Ray 200.


First flying on 13 January 1987, N222SR, another showed up at the 1987 Paris Air Show, N103SR c/n 100-103
Sun Ray 100 N103SR


Type: sport lightplane
Powerplant: one 38.8-hp (52-kW) Rotax 503
Maximum cruising speed 100 mph (161 km/h)
Initial climb rate 800 ft (244 m) per minute
Service ceiling 13,500 ft (4115 m)
Range 425 miles (684 km)
Empty weight 550 lb (249 kg)
Maximum take-off 850 lb (386 kg)
Wingspan 32 ft (9.75 m)
Length 13 ft (3.96 m)
Height 6 ft (1.83 m)
Wing area 157 sq.ft (14.59 sq.m) including canard foreplanes
Accommodation: one


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