Observation platform developer Seeker Aircraft will establish a production line in the USA for its SB7L piston-single to accommodate growing international demand for the two-seat, metal type.

The aircraft will be built in Portland, Oregon by US manufacturer Erickson – more famous for its production of the S-64 Aircrane heavy-lift helicopter.

Seeker says the new site will complement its 23-year-old production line in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia, operated by wholly-owned subsidiary, Seabird Aviation.


Seeker Aircraft

“Seeker’s new North American manufacturing operation will allow the company to better serve its customers and the growing markets of North, Central and South America, Europe and Africa,” says Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Seeker. “We hope to have it up and running by the end of the year."

The company markets its Lycoming IO-360 B2C-powered SB7L-360A and fuel-injected IO-390-A 1A6-powered SB7L-360A2 as “one-of-a-kind, purpose-built light observation aircraft, specifically designed and developed for aerial surveillance missions”.

These applications range from border patrol, law enforcement and natural disaster recovery to pipeline and power line surveillance, it says. The aircraft have a range of up to 540nm (1,000km), an operational endurance of up to 6h 30min and a ceiling of 15,000ft (4,570m).

In development since 1993, Seekers are flying in Australia, Jordan, Azerbaijan, South Africa, Tanzania, the United Arab Emirates and in the USA, the company says.

Source: Flight International