Brief Company History
The original company Edgley Aircraft produced the Edgley OA7 Optica prototype (G-BGMW), as designed by John Edgley, which first flew on the 14th December 1979. The initial production aircraft flew 4th August 1984 which was then certified by UK CAA on 12th February 1985. Deliveries began to Air Foyle (two on order) 14th May 1985 and leased-out to Hampshire Constabulary the same day (G-KATY). However one was lost in flying accident on 15th May, which the accident inquest believed to have been caused by slow flight speed into a turn causing a stall. The reason for the slow speed was never discovered. But the accident resulted in Edgley Aircraft going into receivership in October 1985, having built two prototypes (001 and 003) and two production aircraft (004 and 005). That company currently exists as Edgley Aeronautics, which produces the EA9 Optimist single-seat sailplane and EA10 two-seater light aircraft.
Optica Industries was formed in December 1985 and took over Optica plant at Old Sarum. It built 10 Optica aircraft (c/ns 006 to 015), the last of which was complete but had not flown when factory was destroyed by arson on 16th January 1987, resulting in loss of nine out of the ten completed aircraft. The company dissolved as a direct consequence.
Brooklands Aircraft formed in February 1987 to market EA7 under name of Optica Scout. The company name changed to Brooklands Aerospace in April 1987. Specific surveillance version was designated Scoutmaster, which was a joint venture with ASTA of Australia. Brooklands built five Opticas (c/ns 016 to 020), the last being initial Mk 301 (Series 300) version with 46 design changes, including IFR avionics, wing fences and upturned wing tips. Manufacture ended 23 March 1990 when Brooklands entered receivership. The programme was then acquired by FLS Aerospace (Lovaux Ltd) on 27 July 1990 and transferred to Hurn/Bournemouth Airport. They completed certification of SRS 300 in December 1991. They assembled three inherited airframes (c/n 021 to 023) and began manufacture of new aircraft, but first two aircraft were never actually completed (c/n 024 and 025).
In 2008 John Edgley brought three key members of the original team back together and along with himself, formed AeroElvira Ltd. to continue to development and to build the Optica surveillance aircraft and other light civil aircraft, starting with the Sprint 160. The rest of the story can be found in these web pages.