Seabird Aviation's spy plane in action for potential buyers
A HERVEY Bay aviation company could soon be supplying planes to those at the forefront of catching criminals, fighting fires or even protecting nations.
Urangan's Seabird Aviation, which manufactures specialist aeroplanes, demonstrated its new machine at Hervey Bay airport on Thursday.
Police representatives, energy company staff and others were on hand to see the niche aircraft in action.
Fitted with futuristic gear - of the type that requires special government clearance just to view it and in the country on loan from America for a week only - the plane was put through its paces.
Seabird Aviation managing director Peter Adams said the Seabird Seeker A3 would be marketed to the military, police and fire and rescue services.
"Those groups have always been our market but we've got to be able to demonstrate this actually works, and that's what today was about," Mr Adams said.
Dean Johnston, who is involved in business development for Oregon-based UTC Aerospace Systems, said his company was supplying the camera technology, after talks with the Bay operation for two years.
He said the US military was another of UTC Aerospace Systems' customers.
The camera systems featured daylight imagery and infrared technology, similar to that used to find the Boston bombing suspects in April, when one was found hiding in a boat.
He said that technology could also be useful fighting fire.
"One of the benefits of the thermal imagery is it can see through smoke and enable people to see the hot spots and where the fire is burning so groups can direct responses there," Mr Johnston said.
"They can see where water bombers drop water and if the drops are hitting the targets.
"And you could use it to map the fire line, identify where the fire is and send out GPS co-ordinates."
Seabird Seeker A3
- Weight: 630kg
- Time to build: 4500 man hours