|This Page was created by: M Burleigh and is Copyright 2011 AeroElvira Ltd.|
the visibility of a
helicopter with outstanding slow-flying capabilities, the original
the Edgley EA7 Optica was as a three-seat touring aircraft. Designer
Edgley, at that time a post-graduate student at the Imperial College of
& Technology, London, began the final aerodynamic design in
1974 and a
model was wind tunnel tested in 1975. Construction of a prototype began
Mounting the whole cockpit assembly ahead of the fan and engine gives the pilot and passengers 270° panoramic vision, plus almost vertical downward vision; the cockpit canopy design allows photography through the panels. The tricycle landing gear is fixed and unfaired, with maintenance-free solid suspension, and the air frame is of all-metal construction; its internal cabin width of 1.68m permits three-abreast seating, while baggage space and positions for mounting specialised observation equipment are provided behind the seats and in the unrestricted floor area in front of the two passenger seats.
for the Optica are virtually
unlimited, from the obvious aerial photography and surveillance patrols
traffic reporting, powerline inspection etc. and it has the ability to
much of a helicopter's work with fixed-wing economy and range.
interest was shown in the Optica from the time of its first appearance,
Now, the Optica has come full circle and is once more under the control of the original designer, John Edgley, and some of the original design and production engineers. There should be a bright future for the Optica in the modern world, where a low-cost, low-speed surveillance aircraft is often needed.