|Edgley Optica G-BOPO at the 2008 Sywell Airshow|
|National origin||United Kingdom|
|First flight||14 December 1979|
The Optica, designed by John Edgley and built by Brooklands Aerospace, had an unusual configuration with a fully glazed forward cabin seating three across, reminiscent of an Alouette helicopter. Behind it was situated a Lycoming flat-six engine powering a ducted fan, twin boom cantilever tailplane with twin rudders and a high-mounted single elevator. The fixed tricycle undercarriage had the nosewheel offset to the left. The wings were unswept and untapered, and the aircraft was of a fairly standard all-metal construction with stressed aluminium skin. The aircraft's distinctive appearance led to it being known as the "bug-eye" in some popular reports.
It first flew on 14 December 1979, powered by a 150 hp (112 kW) Lycoming O-320 engine and flown by the chief pilot of the Cranfield College of Aeronautics. The Optica, now powered by a more powerful Lycoming O-540, entered production in 1983, achieving certification on 8 February 1985. A crash of police Optica G-KATY on 15 May 1985 killed two members of the Hampshire Constabulary  The cause was suspected to be a stall: insufficient airspeed during a turn causing instability. The reason for the low speed was never established. This led to the bankruptcy of Edgley, with Optica Industries being formed in October 1985 to continue production and 25 were built before a fire caused by arson destroyed the factory and all but one flying Optica. The company was reformed again as Brooklands Aircraft, and the Optica returned to production, production ceasing in March 1990, when Brooklands Aircraft went bankrupt.
The Design of the Optica has now been bought by John Edgley once more (along with the design for the FLS Sprint 160). Edgley hopes to put both types into production and further to that goal the Optica 300 Series s/n 021 G-BOPO is being restored as a UK type demonstrator.
Specifications (Optica Scout)
Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1988-1989 
- Crew: One pilot
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Length: 8.15 m (26 ft 9 in)
- Wingspan: 12.0 m (39 ft 4 in)
- Height: 2.31 m (7 ft 7 in)
- Wing area: 15.8 m² (171 ft²)
- Airfoil: NASA GA(W)-1
- Empty weight: 948 kg (2,090 lb)
- Useful load: 367 kg (810 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 1,315 kg (2,900 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Textron Lycoming IO-540-V4A5D flat six piston engine, 194 kW (200 hp)
- Propellers: five bladed ducted fan propeller, 1 per engine
- Never exceed speed: 259 km/h (140 knots, 161 mph)
- Maximum speed: 213 km/h (115 knots, 132 mph)
- Cruise speed: 130 km/h (70 knots, 81 mph) "loiter speed" at 40% power
- Stall speed: 108 km/h (58 knots, 67 mph)
- Range: 1,056 km (570 nm, 656 mi)
- Endurance: 8 h (at loiter speed)
- Service ceiling: 4,275 m (14,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 4.12 m/s (810 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 83.0 kg/m² (17.0 lb/ft²)
- Power/mass: 0.148 kW/kg (0.0897 hp/lb)
1 x IR/Camera Turret in recessed bay in nose. 1 x Skyshout Loudspeaker (Police Equipment)
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Flight International 12 May 1979, p.1591.
- Donald 1997, p.375.
- Flight International 12 May 1979, p.1594.
- Flight International 29 December 1979, p.2111
- Flight International 21 April 1984,p.1111.
- Taylor 1988, p.294.
- Hampshire Council
- Flight International 30 August 1986, p.54.
- Slipstream (guest review)- www.post-apocalypse.co.uk Access date: 9 December 2007
- Aero Elvira (Design Owners) - www.aeroelvira.co.uk Access date: 23 March 2008
- "Optica flies again in UK". Flyer.co.uk. 5 August 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
- Taylor 1988, p.294-5
- "Optica—the bug-eyed observer". Flight International: pp.1591–1594. 12 May 1979.
- "Optica enters production". Flight International: pp.1111–1114. 21 April 1984.
- "No cause found for Optica crash". Flight International: p.54. 30 August 1986.
- Donald, David (Editor) (1997). The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.
- Taylor, JWR (Editor) (1988). Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1988-1989. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Edgley Optica.|
- Edgley Optica in the air Flight International 1980
- Optica Revisited Flight International 1985