Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., is pleased to announce the inaugural commercial operation of its RMAX remotely piloted helicopter for agriculture spraying service in the U.S. The RMAX flight was completed this week in California for Napa-based Silverado Farming Company, a leading vineyard management company. During its debut the RMAX applied a fungicide for preventative control of powdery mildew—one of the most common fungal diseases affecting grapes and many other crops.
For Yamaha, the U.S. debut of RMAX commercial services for the agricultural industry marks the culmination of several years working with the Federal Aviation Administration to receive appropriate certifications, as well as extensive field research with theUniversity of California, Davis. A representative from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation was on hand to witness Yamaha’s inaugural commercial spray application with RMAX this week in Napa Valley.
“We’ve been diligently working toward this U.S. milestone for RMAX since 2012, when our research partnership with UC Davis began,” said Brad Anderson, a market development manager for Yamaha’s Unmanned Systems Division. “It’s gratifying to have earned support from both the aviation and agricultural communities. RMAX provides a unique and effective solution for spray applications, particularly for grape growers with vineyards on slopes or difficult terrain.”
In April 2016 Yamaha opened a new office at the Napa County Airport to support RMAX commercial spray services for growers primarily located in Napa and Sonoma counties. The Napa office is dedicated exclusively to supporting RMAX spraying services for agricultural industry clients. RMAX is the only licensed unmanned aerial system (UAS) in Napa.
Brittany Pederson, a professional pest control adviser and viticulturist for Silverado Farming Company, said the RMAX provides a promising solution for grape growers in California’s wine country. “We’ve followed the UC Davis research trials and evaluations pretty closely,” said Pederson. “The results of those trials and conclusions drawn from work at the Oakville Experimental Vineyards were pretty strong and gave us the confidence to begin our own experiments with the RMAX on privately owned commercial vineyards.”
RMAX offers several benefits, including safe and reliable application of treatments with no soil compaction. The RMAX has also proven to be faster and more efficient than current ground spray applications (both wheeled and foot). It provides growers with more flexibility and accessibility to their fields, giving them another option for applications.
In December 2015 Yamaha received Part 137 Agricultural Aircraft Operations Certification from the FAA, the first for an unmanned aerial system. The certification enabled Yamaha to begin agricultural spraying in the U.S., subject to approval by state and local authorities in areas where the RMAX remotely piloted helicopters will be used. Within the U.S. agricultural research community Yamaha has collaborated with University of California, Davis to extensively research, evaluate and validate the application of RMAX for specialized agricultural spraying.
The RMAX has been in service internationally since 1997 and has logged more than 2 million flight hours treating agricultural acres. Today there are 2,500 Yamaha RMAX helicopters in operation worldwide spraying more than 2.4 million agricultural acres annually. RMAX has been used for agricultural spraying with many crops including rice, wheat, soybeans and vegetables.
For more information about RMAX or its use for agricultural spraying services in the U.S., visit YamahaPrecisionAgriculture.com
- Airbus unveils Flightlab testbed for new technologies
- Bristow renews service with Navblue
- Rheinmetall to supply digital classroom for German Navy NH90 training
- Garmin honored with consecutive On-Time Delivery Awards from Airbus
- Kaman Announces New Order for the K-MAX®
- Bell Evaluates Unique APT Configuration in Canada
- Eye In The Sky – Flight Data Recorder – achieves NZ certification
- Most US Helicopter Accident Indicators Pointed in Right Direction During 2020
- FAA Accepting Applications for Workforce Development Grants
- Bell marks 40 years of the 412
- NHV achieves ISO 9001:2015 Re-Certification
- Aero Asset report on Q4 pre-owned twin turbine market
- US helicopters conduct unique training with Greek military
- Devon Air Ambulance flies 1101 missions in 2020
- HAI caves in and cancels Heli-Expo 2021
- 21-Jan-21 ZT-RRT Bell 430 Bergville, South Africa (5F)
- NATA Supports New FAA Online Tool Easing Access to Aviation Safety Guidance
- Bid deadline for Pawan Hans extended by a month
- Air traffic controller saves CV-22 and six crew
- HeliOffshore 2021 Conferences goes virtual