Air Craft Optica G-BGMW (001) and G-BLFC (003) aircraft. Roles for the Optica are virtually unlimited, from the obvious aerial photography and surveillance patrols to traffic reporting, powerline inspection etc. and it has the ability to perform much of a helicopter’s work with fixed-wing economy and range.
The Edgley EA-7 Optica is a British light aircraft designed for slow-speed observation work, and intended as a low-cost alternative to helicopters. Despite it's success, the additional investment necessary for the final phase of full production was not forthcoming, the business went into receivership, and John Edgley was forced out. With new owners, the project continued to be a success, aircraft on the production line were completed, and the Optica entered service.
It was a real treat to see an Optica in the air again. The Optica first flew in 1979 with the unusual ducted fan pusher propellor. It has excellent low speed characteristics and superb all round visibility making it a cheaper alternative to helicopters for surveillance operations such as Police work. It is hoped that these may soon re-enter production...