John Edgley, the British engineer who designed and launched the Optica bubble-cabin, ducted fan STOL observation aircraft in the 1970s, has repurchased the design rights, jigs and tools for the airplane. More than 20 examples of the Lycoming IO-540-powered twin-boom airplane had been built when production ceased in 1990. With Emlyn Coldicott and three former employees of the original firm, Edgley plans to relaunch production of the airplane with his new company, AeroElvira, which is based at Old Sarum aerodrome The company has acquired three airframes, the first of which, s.n. 021, is now flying again. “Clearly, the next step is to work towards getting the Optica back into production,” Coldicott told BCA. Says Edgley, “Today, post-9/11, there appears to be a growing market for an aircraft that will fulfill many of the roles of a helicopter, but at a fraction of the cost both in monetary and environmental terms.” AeroElvira’s website is www.aeroelvira.co.uk.