Queensland-based Seabird Aviation Australia has launched a project to extend the design of its already-certificated Seeker specialised spotter aircraft to include utility, paramilitary and military variants.

Two turbine aircraft currently in pre-design are the Stormer, a tandem seat light ground-attack platform and the Seahawk, a five-seat surveillance platform with utility capabilities, including an amphibious version. Both will be powered by a 420 shp (315 kW) Rolls-Royce Allison 250 turboprop driving a five-bladed composite propeller.

The Stormer and Seahawk have different forward fuselage pods, ahead of the firewall, which connect to common major components, including wing, undercarriage, propulsion system, boom and empennage.

Seabird Aviation managing director Don Adams says: "With a relatively low wing loading, high power output, low propeller rpm, low noise, feathering and reversing propeller, the aircraft will combine excellent short take off and landing characteristics with good loiter capability."

Source: Flight International