Your One Stop Airborne Surveillance Partner

Aircraft Platforms
The success of your flight operations will depend upon flight crew training & tactics, having surveillance equipment tailored for the mission and providing a cost effective and capable platform to carry your crew on station. Each leg of the triumvirate has to contribute to the success of the mission, otherwise you may find you’re spending too much of your budget without gaining adequate results.

We here at Air Bear know that one size does not fit all in airborne surveillance solutions. The right aircraft and mission equipment for another agency may not be the best solution to adequately address your needs. Square pegs in round holes don’t provide for effective operations and our goal is to configure and deliver the right aircraft which will cost effectively meet and exceed your expectations. Let us work with you to define your mission requirements and we in turn will assist you in ensuring success with your airborne surveillance activities.

For these reasons, we are aircraft independent when it comes to providing mission ready solutions.   We will discuss your requirements and tailor a solution which best addresses your mission requirements while keeping a watchful eye on your operating budget. Our experience allows us to provide you with the benefit our education obtained operating multiple platform types, which in turn will provide you the options of selecting the right aircraft and mission equipment for your needs.

With that in mind, we do have recommendations for available platforms however Air Bear will be able to provide virtually any available mission package integrated on the best platform which addresses your operational requirements while keeping within your budget.

Airborne Law Enforcement spread its early roots in low cost single engine piston aircraft. As needs and capabilities grow, these aircraft have grown larger and more capable with some agencies transitioning to turbine based platforms. Here are a few of the recommendations which have proven successful, however we are not limited to these aircraft and can provide virtually any suitable platform:

Airvan 8 & 10
The Airvan 8 by GippsAero is a fully FAA certified utility aircraft, which is provided with a custom surveillance configuration. First certified in 2001, this workhorse of the Australian Outback has been successfully performing ISR missions since 2003 and is now in use by several agencies in the United States.

Some of its features include:

(All Airvan images courtesy of GippsAero)

  • Low operating costs – typically less than $200/hour

  • High full fuel payload, in the 1, 300 lb. range

  • Long mission duration – in excess of six hours

  • Sturdy and stable mission platform with a dedicated 28V power supply – up to 150A available

  • To download the Airvan 8 brochure Click Here

  • To download the Airvan 10 brochure Click Here

  • To download the Airvan ASTRA ISR Configuration brochure Click Here

The gimbal retraction system provides a discreet ramp presence and reduces drag during climb and high speed sprint operations. There is no drag penalty with the sensor retracted as with conventional exterior mounted configurations.
The Airvan ISR configuration is provided with an operator console, either on the left or right side of the aircraft, an equipment rack to house electronics and can optionally be configured with a second operator console. This robust workhorse is rapidly becoming the platform of choice for long duration beyond visual range surveillance operations.

The Airvan 10 is an upgraded version of the venerable Airvan, with two addition seats and is powered by a Rolls Royce 450 HP turbine. Using approximately half the fuel of comparably equipped PT6 based turboprops, the Airvan 10 will provide a combination of turbine capabilities and economics which will be unsurpassed in airborne surveillance operations. Available with the same mission support equipment, the Airvan 10 will provide unparalleled capabilities while not breaking the bank. Currently in the certification process in Australia, this aircraft is anticipated to be available for US deliveries in late 2015.

Cessna 182 and 206
The Cessna 182 has proven to be a solid entry level surveillance platform. Highly suited to agencies just getting their flight department started, this may be the optimal choice as a first aircraft.

(Images courtesy of Integration Solutions by Paravion Technology, Inc.)

The Cessna 206 has been in use with several agencies and provides a more robust payload and configuration capabilities than the 182, however with a suitably higher cost of acquisition and operation. Proven in thousands of hours of surveillance operations, this aircraft would be a solid addition to your flight department.
The Cessna 208 Caravan is always a good choice for a turbine based aircraft for missions requiring higher payloads and longer endurance.

(Images courtesy of Integration Solutions by Paravion Technology, Inc.)

The King Air 200 is also a robust performer which can be configured with a large array of surveillance equipment options and capabilities.

(Image courtesy of Momentum Aviation Group)

By no means are these a complete list of platforms which we are capable of providing. There are several interesting platforms available in addition to these stalwarts, including the Kodiak, Pilatus Porter and others. We will be happy to discuss your requirements and allow the benefit of our experience to suggest the best solution for your mission.


Air Bear …. your cost effective airborne surveillance partner.