Western Australia does not appear a promising location to manufacture aircraft; it is a long way from most markets. But, quite apart from early efforts by the state's airlines, assembling their purchases which arrived in parts by ship, there has been a small number of companies actively manufacturing aircraft designs of their own.
Eagle Aircraft was founded in 1987 as Composite Industries, to manufacture a two-seater light aircraft of composite construction. A manufacturing facility was developed in Henderson, on the coast south of Fremantle.
In the face of difficulties with finance, a joint venture with the Malaysian government was entered into in 1991. The Malaysian government formed Composite Technology Research Malaysia, which, with Malaysian oil company Petronas, took control of the company in 1993. The local manufacturing facility was closed in 2002, all manufacture since then being based in Malaysia.
The aircraft is of tandem-wing, near-canard design, reportedly with good flying characteristics. It has been fairly successful, with sales across the world of the latest 150B model.
A CyberEye II landing near Fremantle
Cyber Technology manufactures "UAV"s - unmanned aerial vehicles - used for a range of reconnaissance tasks. It was established in February 2006, and is based at Bibra Lake, south of Perth.
Its products are marketed to search and rescue organisations, the military, law enforcement organisations, environmental monitoring and mining industries.
It currently has four products listed,
- CyberEye II UAV - long endurance surveillance
- CyberQuad UAV - rapid response hovering urban aerial vehicle
- CyBird UAV - modular high speed reusable drone
- CyberWraith UAV - disposable target drone, intended for weapon testing and training
As an example of their uses, the company's web site notes that the CyberQuad was used for inspection of the fire-damaged Montara oil platform and the West Atlas mobile offshore drilling rig, in November 2009.