Africa Aerospace & Defence 2016

Seek and ye shall find [AAD16D2]

15 September 2016

Eye-catching in the AAD display is the Seeker Aircraft SBL-360A Seeker, a high-wing light observation aircraft.

Its unusual layout, with a large glazed cabin and high-mounted pusher engine, makes it an ideal platform for a range of observation missions, such as border surveillance, security operations and anti-poaching patrols.

As well as the excellent visibility from the side-by-side two-seat cockpit, which rivals that offered by helicopters, the aircraft can carry electro-optical sensors under the cabin, and also has hardpoints. The Seeker’s ease of maintenance and short-field capability make it highly applicable to observation missions away from traditional runways. The aircraft has recently been made available with a normal category cockpit approved by the US FAA and Australian CASA.

Seeker Aircraft manufactures the SBL-360A at Hervey Bay in Queensland, Australia, having acquired the Seabird Aviation Australia factory in March 2014.

The company is headquartered in Albuquerque in the USA and is a subsidiary of CSI Aviation. Earlier this year it was announced that Seeker production would also be undertaken in the USA by Erickson.

Seekers have undertaken operations in countries including Australia, Azerbaijan, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, South Africa, Tanzania, the UAE and the USA. In December 2012 the Paramount Group donated a Seeker to the South African national parks to help combat poaching.

(211 words)