EADS-PZL is targeting the US law-enforcement market with the PZL-104M Wilga 2000 short take-off and landing light aircraft. North American distributor South Aircraft plans to take delivery this month of a demonstrator equipped with the POP200 airborne surveillance system produced by Israel Aircraft Industries' Tamam division.

Kevin McKown, chief executive of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based South Aircraft, says there is strong interest in the Lycoming IO-540-powered Wilga 2000 from law-enforcement agencies including the US Border Patrol. The $185,000 aircraft's slow-speed handling and low operating costs make it a viable alternative to helicopters, he says.

The aircraft is available with the belly-mounted POP200 forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor installed, or "FLIR ready" for installation of the customer's chosen system, says McKown. The POP200 includes infrared and colour television cameras and a laser pointer.

One Wilga 2000, meanwhile, has been delivered to Canadian dealer Sealand Aviation, based on Vancouver Island, for installation of floats. Availability is scheduled for June. McKown says sales in North America are constrained by production capacity at PZL Warszawa-Okecie, where work has been focused on Airbus and EADS Casa CN-235 components since the EADS takeover in October 2001.

Source: Flight International