YouTube – Air Tractor
36 ft. 4 in.
254 US gals.
Air Tractor builds the largest single engine dedicated agricultural and fire fighting aircraft in the world. It is the AT-802.
Kubecka Flying Service Pilot Report:
When your spray operation is located in the largest state in the country, and more that 60% of your spray work consists of huge rice fields spread over thousands of acres, you need a big ag plane that has the size, power and performance to keep up with the workload. Dan Kubecka, president of Kubecka Flying Service in Edna, Texas, has found such a plane in the Air Tractor. In fact, Kubecka was so impressed with the performance of his first Air Tractor that he recently purchased a second with an 800 gallon capacity, bringing his fleet to five spray planes: the two AT-802 aircraft and three smaller Air Tractor aircraft.
“I’ve always had confidence in the Air Tractor,” says Kubecka. “I have owned several Air Tractors, and they just keep getting better. That was a big reason I was one of the first operations to purchase it when it was introduced, and the superior work I got out of the one was a big factor in deciding to purchase my second.”
In December of 2019 Elbit Systems successfully demonstrated their Hydrop system using two Air Tractor model 802 fire fighting aircraft. The aircraft were able to quickly extinguish a burning field, from as high as 500 ft in what has been described as a “computed ballistic trajectory”. This shows that aircraft using the Hydrop system equipped aircraft may now operate safely at night. Previously, aviation authorities have banned low-altitude water drops during darkness for safety reasons.
Through the years Air Tractor aircraft have been refined and improved. Most recently airbags are being installed as standard equipment in all models. In Air Tractor air tankers, a new triple redundancy computerized retardant delivery system is now standard. It enables pin point drops with fraction of a second timing.
Air Tractor has been selling various models of single engine aircraft for over 50 years. In that time sales have exceeded some 2,000 aircraft.
RC Air Tractor
Duane Habets scratch built a RC Air Tractor with a glass fuse and balsawood sheeted wings. Wingspan is 92 in. and power is from an 1.08 two cycle engine.
The RC Air Tractor from e-Star Models has a 49.5 in. wingspan and a length of 31 in. Recommended power is an AXi 400 2212/26 brushless motor. All up weight of the ARF is around 25 oz.
Pilots report that flying the e-Star RC Air Tractor is similar to flying a low wing trainer. The flaps have been reported as being very effective.
Watt Flyer forum reports that the RC Air Tractor by Pat’s Custom Models is fun to fly with well balanced controls. It tracks and performs best at higher speeds. When the flaps are lowered it really slows, but without any change in pitch. Speed of the Air Tractor should be kept up because it tends to stall without warning by suddenly dropping a wing. Recovery is in less than seven feet with full control returning quickly.
Team Duster Designs has plans and short kits for the RC Air Tractor. Their 72 in. wingspan Air Tractor can be powered by an OS 70 to 120 four stroke engine. Their 100 in. wingspan Air Tractor uses a Moki 1.8 two stroke engine for power.
Mile High RC has the RC Air Tractor ARF with a 110 in. wingspan and 78 1/2 in. length. Recommended are from 30 cc to 60 cc gas engines.