Whilst the police (and the public) have been used to seeing helicopters flying around the skies in the hunt for suspects and high-risk missing people, the sight of fully livered fixed-wing police aircraft will be something that is relatively new for most forces.
The National Police Air Service (NPAS) has confirmed that a total of four fixed-wing planes will be added to its national fleet of aircraft.
NPAS also confirmed that UK registration markings have been added to two of their brand new planes.
A spokesperson for NPAS said:
‘This is the latest step towards the aircraft joining the NPAS fleet.
‘In the months ahead, work will take place to achieve airworthiness and police operational certification before they can begin flying in support of police forces in England and Wales.
‘There will be four aeroplanes in total – two are now UK-registered, while two are due for delivery.
‘They will be deployed from NPAS’ Doncaster base’.
Fixed wing aircraft offer greater endurance than helicopters and will mean that police air assets will be able to stay ‘on station’ for longer periods of time than helicopters.
Fixed wing aircraft are also considerably cheaper to run and maintain than rotary aircraft meaning that NPAS can save some much-needed money.
It is estimated that suitably crewed and equipped fixed-wing aircraft can undertake 70 per cent of the role of police helicopters (for routine command and control, search and reconnaissance applications).
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