new aircraft in final testing for AFS2 - EA-7 Optica Observation platform

  • This one originated in the U.K. in in 1974. Designed for low-speed observation work and intended as a low-cost alternative to helicopters. It has a "loiter speed: of 70 kts, with an endurance of 8 hours at this speed. Otherwise the performance is on par with a Cessna 152 or Cherokee 140.

    The "flying bug " makes this one unique with a fully glazed forward cabin looking just like a helicopter with 3 across seating providing excellent viewing all around. This

    panoramic vision provides almost vertical downward vision for the pilot and two passengers. The aircraft has twin booms with twin rudders and a high-mounted tailplane. It is powered by a Lycoming flat-six normally-aspirated engine situated behind the cabin and driving a 5-bladed fixed-pitch ducted fan. This ducted fan, makes it exceptionally quiet at loiter speeds. The aircraft has a fixed tricycle undercarriage with a steerable nosewheel. The wings are unswept and untapered. The aircraft is of fairly standard all-metal construction, with stressed skin of aluminium. Modified Fowler flaps enable very slow "slowflight".

    The aircraft's distinctive appearance has led to it being known as the "bug-eye" in some popular reports. An IR/Camera Turret is recessed a bay in the nose making this an ideal traffic and police tracking aircraft.

    The avionics and flight instruments are packaged similar to a smaller helicopter with a console dividing the left and right pilot seats. The observer seat is the far right seat without flying controls. This aircraft was converted from FlighGear by krzysk and is being prepared for release soon.

  • Jetjockey10

    Changed the title of the thread from “new aircraft in final testing for AFS2 - EA-7 Opica Observation platform” to “new aircraft in final testing for AFS2 - EA-7 Optica Observation platform”.
  • Great news ! We hope to fly this curious plane AsAP, as well as the Cub and the C170 ;)


    I'm not sure what the plans are for releasing the planes. It might be as simple as opening the hangar door and posting a link or more likely, a place where folks can choose their flavor and leave comments and suggestions. I am up to about 20 new aircraft in varying degrees of completion. I fly the yellow Cub Special most of the time now, and keep wishing for floats and water 8o

    That big ole hunk, the Antonov An-2 got a boost of updates and is a fun one to fly, especially way up high with the short runways, or no runways. =O

    These posts are not intended as a tease, more about letting folks know that there is a lot of working going on behind the scenes.



    I have been reading more about Jim Marske's 15m sport sailplane This one is all composite/fiberglas with carbon and kelvar reinforced cockpit area. Graphite carbon wing spars for strength and min weight.

    It is as light as a feather (345 lbs empty wt) it reminds me of a Bede 5 with long wings and no engine. I bet this sucker is boiling hot in the cockpit when the sun is shinning just like the BD-5J.

    This one is on the short list and it is slowly moving up, but, some structural work remains. (Gotta figure out how to keep the wings attached, =O)

    L/D 42:1, stall 38 mph, BRS optional?

    More to come soon.