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 port. 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.
The first 19 of the production run have been grounded by the FAA due to cracks developed in the wing spars.
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.
- Max Speed: 132 mph / 114 kt / 212 km/h
- Cruising speed: 118 mph / 103 kt @ 70% throttle; 98 mph / 86 kt @ 50%
- Engine power: 260 hp / 193 kW
- Take off roll: 1082 ft, over 50 ft 1584 ft
- Landing distance: over 50 ft 1820 ft, roll 912 ft
- Wingspan: 39 ft 4 in
- Length: 26 ft 9 in
- Height: 6 ft 6 in
- Wing Area: 170 sq ft
- Unladen weight 2,090 lb
- Max takeoff weight: 2,900 lb
- Service Ceiling: 14,000 ft
- Range: 656 miles / 570 nautical miles
- Fuel capacity: 66 Gal.
- Useful load: 810 lb