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The Autonomous Electric Spreader Pelican, from California-based manufacturer Pyka, was recently certified for development flights in the United States.
Posted Oct 15, 2020 at 5:21 PM
Several manufacturers have already released multi-aircraft drones, but winged drones are faster and can carry heavier batteries, giving them a longer range, Pyka says.
Pyka claims his prototype will result in an airplane that is much cheaper to fly than gasoline-powered human-piloted spreader planes.
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Controlling a spreader plane is quite a risky job, with all those low altitude maneuvers. Since the Pelican is an unmanned aerial vehicle, there is no risk of crashing and suicide.
It is 6 m long and its tail is 11.5 m. It needs a runway (or not too bumpy field) of only 150 feet to take off with 285 kg of pesticides or herbicides. The pelican can spread 55 hectares (135 acres) of fields per hour.
It is powered by three 20 kW electric motors that make it fly at a cruising speed of 145 km / h. With its lithium polymer battery, it has a range of approximately 110 km.
Certification granted by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows Pyka to fly the pelican over agricultural fields in real-life conditions, but only for development purposes. Appropriate certification would have to be requested and issued for Pyka to market the aircraft.
For now, Pyka personnel will go to the locations to be distributed to make flight plans after all obstacles have been collected. . Based on this data, the pelican makes consecutive steps across fields, never deviating more than 1 meter from its intended course, minimizing waste, Pyka says.
It takes off and lands without intervention. human.