AEC AIR SUPPORT

AEC SUPPORT HAVE OPERATED AN ES15 SINCE 2012 FOR A WIDE VARIETY OF IMPORTANT MISSIONS. AEC USE THE AIRCRAFT FOR RECONNAISSANCE, SURVEILLANCE, SHIP MONITORING, BORDER PATROL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT.

CEO Michel Versteeg chose the ES15 due to its low operational cost, impressive payload capabilities and variety of payload fixing points. ECARYS’ modular approach to construction allowed Versteeg to specify bespoke solutions for the wide variety of roles AEC Support operates in.

“For our law enforcement and other sensitive missions, the noise and radar profile really is exceptional,” says Versteeg. “When you compare it with a helicopter or a twin-engine aircraft the difference is outstanding and this means that we are not noticed from the ground. When we are required to observe and not be noticed, one wonders how this can happen when you have noise pollution audibly viable from the ground. With the ES15 we are not noticed. It’s incredibly difficult to spot from the ground and even when we are working with the military they struggle to spot us on radar due to the profile of the aircraft. Even infra red radar finds it next to impossible due to the heat from the exhausts pointing upwards away from the ground. Over the last four years, AEC have put 1,000 hours on the ES15 and its on-demand times are impressive. “We’ve never had to cancel a job in that time frame,” says Versteeg, “which is another reason we see the ES15 as an indispensable tool for AEC and our customers.”

EXCEPTIONAL SURVEILLANCE QUALITIES

“For our law enforcement and other sensitive missions, the noise and radar profile really is exceptional”

USAGE

LOW PROFILE

The ES15 offers incredible surveillance whilst being difficult to spot from the ground, even when AEC work alongside the military.

ROBUST PLATFORM

As well as being the most economical in it’s class the ES15 is proven a to be a tough aircraft. AEC have been flying the ES15 for over 4 years and find it stands up very well to the rigours their operations.

LOW OPERATIONAL COSTS

The ES15 provides AEC with lower operating costs that are the envy of the industry.

Q&A WITH CEO MICHEL VERSTEEG

Q. HOW MANY HOURS DOES THE ES15 FLY EACH YEAR?

We’re using it on average for 200 hours per year.
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Q. DO YOU OPERATE OTHER AIRCRAFT?

We do. We have a Learjet, a L39 plus a range of drones. We have a lot of experience in this industry.
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Q. WHAT’S IMPRESSED YOU MOST ABOUT THE ES15?

We spent three days flying over and monitoring NATO operations and not once were we spotted. It’s such a difficult aircraft to spot – even by trained observers. Operating costs are impressive as well.
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Q. ANY DOWNSIDES?

We’ve not seen many, we were the first operator so of course being first means any issues are still being ironed out but the team at ECARYS have been very supportive.

Q. WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU HAVE INSTALLED?

We have a Wescam camera along with a multitude of sensors and antennas to talk with our ground station in real time. Payload is very good and that’s enabled us to have redundancy in the system.
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Q. DO YOU FLY THE AIRCRAFT YOURSELF?

Yes. I’ve found the aircraft to be a pleasure to operate, it’s very stable and simple to land. It doesn’t require high pilot skill levels which also has an impact on the levels of staff we require to operate it.
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Q. HOW ROBUST IS IT?

It’s a tough aircraft. We’ve had ours for over 4 years and it’s standing up very well to the rigours of operations.