Erickson to Build Seeker

Australian surveillance aircraft will be manufactured in the U.S.

Seeker Aircraft
Australia-based Seeker Aircraft will begin manufacturing its surveillance aircraft in the United States.Seeker Aircraft

An Australian aircraft icon, Seeker, will soon be manufactured here in the United States. The Seeker — an aerial surveillance aircraft that looks like a helicopter with wings — has been manufactured in Australia since the early 1990s and achieved FAA Certification about one year ago. Since then, the U.S. branch has been selling the aircraft out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Seeker Aircraft found enough of a market to make it worthwhile to begin manufacturing of the Seeker here.

Rather than going through the rigors of creating its own manufacturing facility on U.S. soil, Seeker Aircraft has partnered with one of the most well-established helicopter manufacturers in the country — Portland, Oregon-based Erickson Inc. — best known as the maker of the heavy-hauling Aircrane. The Seekers built in the U.S. will be sold in North, Central and South America, Europe and Africa.

With terrific slow-flight capabilities, a glass-encased fuselage and the ability to carry surveillance equipment, the unusual looking taildragger offers low-cost surveillance capabilities for operations that don’t require hovering. “Our mission is to provide the safest, most capable and cost-effective observation aircraft on the light aircraft market today,” said Seeker Aircraft CEO David Pohlman. “Our mission is driven by the growing demand for real-time information across diverse industries and government services.”

Seeker Aircraft offers two models: one powered by a Lycoming O-360, and a faster model powered by a fuel-injected IO-390. To learn more about Seeker, read Peter Garrison's story here.