Our fleet consists of a six turbine Air Tractors and on Turbine Helicopter. The airplanes are all Air Tractor Models manufactured in Olney, Texas. One AT-402 powered by a PT6-15 Pratt and Whitney 680 SHP engine fills the bill for the sixth airplane in California during rainy seasons and is a perfect fit for the low gallonage applications in the Midwest.
We have two AT-502’s with PT6-34AG Pratt and Whitney 750 SHP engines, one of these airplanes makes the trip to North Dakota in the spring and is usually needed in California most anytime it is available. The next two workhorses are AT-502A models featuring PT6-60AG Pratt and Whitney Engines producing 1100 SHP, these airplanes are virtually never overloaded and with the slower rotating propeller is substantially quieter than the 34’s and fit very well in California. Finally the airplane that insures we almost never get behind is one AT-802A, it struts a PT6-65 Pratt and Whitney; 1170 SHP and is truly handles a 800 gallon load. The Helicopter is a Bell 206 (Jet Ranger) and handles all the sensitive areas.
All are equipped with Hemisphere GPS M3s or G4s capable of Constant Rate or Variable Rate applications thanks to Auto-Cal Flow Controls. This gives us accuracy within two-tenths of a gallon applied rates. Flight logs are maintained always which gives us very accurate post flight information to examine the results of most any flight. This has come in handy as California has become a very Law Suit happy state. Our customers realize this capability as important to them as it is to us.
In recent years of Ag Aviation technological advances have made tremendous progress. When it comes time to pick your applicator we encourage each one to become familiar with these advances and remember that ‘All Ag Planes are not created equal”. Technology does make a difference and cannot be viewed as the same as even ten years ago, and certainly not twenty years ago!