Switching from a turbine spray aircraft to an Edison Heavy1, by Edison Aerospace, will save the operator 45% on their operating costs
In aviation, an agricultural aircraft is a type of aircraft that has been specifically designed or built for agriculture work – usually aerial application of pesticides (crop dusting) or fertilizer (aerial topdressing); these aircraft are commonly known as “crop dusters” and “top dressers”. Hydroseeding is also carried out using agricultural aircraft.
Aircraft have been used in agriculture since the early days of aviation. In the United States, dusting crops with insecticides has been practiced since the 1920s. The first widely used agricultural aircraft were converted war surplus aircraft such as the De Havilland Tiger Moth and the Stearman. It was not until the 1940s, when more effective insecticides and fungicides were developed, as well as the advent of aerial topdressing by New Zealand’s government, that agricultural fixed-wing aircraft became a common sight.
However, today, for the first time since those early days, there is a clear alternative available, one that creates a greener Agriculture that is based on renewable energy use. This new trend in agricultural crop treatment is based on autonomous electric aircraft that are large enough to replace existing aircraft in capacity and field coverage. “We’ve reached a very important milestone – a brand new aircraft type has been created that fundamentally changes how our fields are treated from the air. We will no longer be burning dozens of gallons of fuel per hour, dumping the exhaust directly onto our crops in our wake, and we will no longer be losing up to ten pilots annually to accidents,” said Gene Avakyan, CEO of Edison Aerospace.
Air Tractor, Thrush and Cessna aircraft have been the most common aircraft for agricultural use, as well as Gippsland GA200s, Grumman Ag-Cats, PZL-106 KRUKs, M-18 Dromaders, PAC Fletchers, Piper PA-36 Pawnee Braves, Embraer EMB 202 Ipanemas, and Rockwell Thrush Commanders. Helicopters hae also been used for agricultural tasks, although in much more limited quantities due to their high operating costs.
“One of the best reasons for the coming switch to electric spray aircraft has been their dramatically lower operating costs. Switching from a turbine spray aircraft to an Edison Heavy1, for example, will save the operator 45% on their operating costs,” said Gene Avakyan.
“This is money that the operator can put in their pocket or use to reduce their rates and increase the demand for their services. Our goal is nothing less than to shift the industry to a revolutionary new paradigm,” added Victoria Unikel, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Edison Aerospace.