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Desiring to Purchase an Unusual Aircraft?
If you are hankering to acquire a ‘flying machine’ to either replace the jet or plane you currently own or to add to your current inventory, you just might be interested in learning more about a plane most people have never heard of before—a plane that is entirely different!
What I’m referring to is called the Edgley Optica. The term ‘Optica’ is derived from ‘optical’ which, of course, has to do with vison. Not only is the Edgley Optica a product of visionary thinking, but it’s a plane that provides visionary viewing, in a sense. The cockpit is much like that of a helicopter with protruding, bubble-style window design that allows occupants to view the world, from above, with a panoramic vantage point. The window-arrangement is all-encompassing, offering front, sides, back and below observations.
What Makes The Edgley Optica an Optimum Experience:
First off, this unusual plane was designed via an engineering project in 1970 by a British inventor: John Edgley. By 1976, a prototype was finally constructed, but it took 3 more years for the final assembly to be carried out.
Because the bubble cockpit offers 270-degrees of encircled viewing, it immensely enhances the flying experience making both pilot and passengers feel more exhilarated. The visibility of a helicopter coupled with quiet, slow-flying capabilities is ideal for situations where low-speed air-surveillance is required.
But here are a few more interesting details concerning the Edgley EA7 / OA7 OPtica version of this unusual-looking craft that just might leave you feeling that you should ask for one of these babies for your next birthday:
1: The engine is a 200hp 10-360 which drives a five-bladed fixed-pitch ducted fan.
2: The craft is considered to be the world’s quietest powered aircraft.
3: The cockpit canopy is specifically-designed to allow photography through the panels.
4: The landing gear is a tricycle-style that is fixed and unfaired.
5: The internal cabin comfortably allows three-abreast seating (including the pilot) with ample, well-designed storage space, throughout.
6: Aside from aerial photography, application-potential for this craft are many including traffic reporting, power-line inspections, suspect-apprehension assistance and observation and surveillance activities such as with ranching where livestock observation from above would be ideal as well as wildlife-conservation activities that are best carried out with as little noise as possible.
7: The first production order was made in 1981 to an Australian distributor who purchased 25 of these multi-taskers!
8: The maximum cruising speed taps out at 132 mph with a maximum climbing speed of 810 per minute at sea-level.
9: The craft, itself, weighs 2,090 pounds with a maximum take-off weight at 2,900 pounds, putting in on the lighter craft spectrum.
10: The dimensions are as follows: span—39’4”, length—26’9”, height—6’6”, wing area—170 sq. feet
11: The 33-gallon fuel tanks are designed for the standard procedure of feeding from one tank for half an hour and then switching over to the other tank for half an hour, with this procedure being repeated.
Oh, and these creative crafts come in various color selections as well!
The Goal of the Edgley Optica:
The Edgley Optica, being the light-weight aircraft that it is, was originally intended to be used as a civilian observation plane offered as a low-cost alternative to helicopters. Due to its design and features, however, it becomes immediately apparent--as indicated above--that this unique plane could be used for a whole host of professional applications, as well--the sky’s the limit, no pun intended!