Beechcraft is offering a new intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) variant of the G58 Baron twin-engined piston aircraft, says a company official.

Beechcraft has already sold one such aircraft to Puerto Rico's police force, says Justin Ladner, Beechcraft's vice-president for special mission aircraft sales. Further, there has been a lot of interest from a number of government and police organisations, he says.

The aircraft is configured very similarly to previous Beechcraft King Air-based ISR platforms. However, the aircraft, powered by a piston engine rather than a turboprop, is much cheaper - although its piston engine makes it somewhat less capable than its larger cousins.

Beechcraft will offer the G58 ISR platform with a choice of sensors - the FLIR Systems HD230, the L-3 Wescam Mx-10 or the FLIR Systems HD380. The last camera will be available later, Ladner says, but it will have a low profile and result in less drag.

Source: Flight International