CSI Aviation, which bought the Seeker light surveillance aircraft programme from its Australian developer two years ago, showed the fixed-wing, single-pusher design at AAD for the first time as it looks to start assembly in the USA.
The Albuquerque-based company believes the Seeker - in development since 1993 - has the potential to sell "in the hundreds" over 10 years, and has entered an agreement with US manufacturer Erickson to assemble the aircraft in the USA.
Around 30 Seekers have been produced and delivered by the Australian developer and a short-lived Jordanian joint venture, but CSI Aviation believes the aircraft has much more potential.
"It's an excellent fit for coastal and border surveillance, police and security operations, oil and gas pipeline surveillance, and wildlife protection and anti-poaching programmes," says Tommy Dunn, senior vice-president for business development and marketing.
Because the Lycoming-powered propeller is rear-mounted, CSI says the crew of two get an unimpaired 270° field of view. Sensors can be mounted on the belly or wings.