About Us


High Eye started approximately 30 years ago as a model helicopter company. The helicopters were designed and built by the owner, who offered filming services like movies and commercials. In July 2013, Joost de Ruiter joined the company as CEO and majority shareholder. With several years of experience as an entrepreneur in a various range of companies and his enthusiasm for advanced technical products, he laid the foundation for High Eye as a professional unmanned aviation company.

Later that year, High Eye decided to change its strategy and therefore ceased the model helicopter services. The company’s focus switched to designing and building a robust unmanned helicopter, ready to be used for civil and military purposes. New employees with various backgrounds joined the company, to ensure a wide range of knowledge from aviation regulations to aerospace and automotive engineering. The team worked on the development of the new HEF 32 model for 5 years, until it was released on the UAV market in 2018.

Joost de Ruiter


Joost finished his business economics studies in Groningen (MBA) and completed his military service as a Royal Navy officer, after which he started in the family business of Weststellingwerf in 1991.

Joost is the shareholder and CEO of High Eye and a board member of UVS International.

Marijn van de Ruit


Marijn has a big talent and passion for designing and building model aircraft and helicopters. As a young child he started designing wing-in-ground-effect vehicles.

In the past Marijn worked as a commercial pilot (CPL) for Maastricht Airlines (Fokker 50 – first officer), set up his own Aviation company in Kenya and worked for the Delft University on the Roboswift UAV project as a flight control designer and test pilot.

Machiel Verhagen

Engineer & Pilot

Machiel was almost literally born between model helicopters as his father is founder of the company.

Machiel started his own model helicopter flying school and had a model aircraft shop. Machiel is engineer and an excellent pilot with a wealth of experience in flying and building unmanned helicopters.

Esther van de Ruit

Commercial Manager & Compliance Officer

Esther has a great talent for planning and organising. She ensures High Eye meets al regulations, plans trainings, trade fares and makes sure the team and our products arrive on time.

Esther has an Commercial Pilot License (CPL) and worked for Maastricht Airlines (Fokker 50) and for Orange Aircraft Leasing (Beechcraft 300/1900) in the past.

Boaz Beekhof

Engineer & Pilot

Boaz studied automotive engineering at the Technical College in Rotterdam. After his study, he started at PAL-V, a company which designs a Personal Air and Land Vehicle (flying car). He worked on very complex and innovative subsystems, such as the exhaust, powerplants and steering column.

In his spare time, Boaz enjoys travelling the world and building his own custom motorcycles.

Christopher Witmer

Engineer & Pilot

Christopher has a bachelor in aviation technology with a minor in aerospace technology and light weight constructions. Before joining High Eye, Christopher worked for several manned aviation companies as a designer and engineer. He gained extensive experience in designing technical systems and processes. He has a great passion for 3D printing and molding.

Christopher has been a helicopter enthusiast for years and is an experienced model helicopter pilot.

Jeroen van Beek

Business development

Jeroen studied business economics at Tilburg University. He has been active with different companies and industries and now aviation is the focus. He is busy with (online) marketing, pricing and inventory, financial controlling and legal.

Daniella Piekaar

Back-office manager

Daniella worked as technical sales support at Peekel Instruments and as project assistant at the Recruitment and Training departments.

She makes sure all administration is correct and up-to-date.

Anita Speelpenning

Human Resources

Anita worked in various jobs in HR and was responsible for recruitment and selection of 400 heads of the ICT department of Stad Rotterdam Insurances.

Anita works part-time for High Eye and for the other companies in the holding.


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