Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...
drVanTraveler last edited by
@іди-на-хуй-Влад-formerly-known-as-Distraxi said in Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...:
@ttyymmnn Probably not, from the pilot’s perspective. It’s a dangerous enough game already…
This is the correct take,
Very dangerous flying with a side order of toxic chemical exposure.
pip bip last edited by
@іди-на-хуй-Влад-formerly-known-as-Distraxi unless he bins it.
eaeaerick last edited by
facw last edited by
@іди-на-хуй-Влад-formerly-known-as-Distraxi Yeah, you wouldn't be doing it with a little electric quadcopter anyway. But from both a safety perspective, and from the needs of precision agriculture, it seems like something that a computer would be better suited for.
I know I mentioned my dad working in NZ, based in Hamilton, from 76-78...but I don't think I ever mentioned what he did. He was a sales and service advisor, but also a demonstration pilot for agricultural topdressing (a term I learned much later in life and found out is almost exclusively an NZ thing -- applying fertilizers and not pesticides, which is what "cropdusting" usually implies).
So you can imagine a guy in his late 20s, with about 10-12 years of flying under his belt in the US, suddenly getting a crash course in how to finesse a plane into a grass field at 20% uphill grade, taxi it at full throttle to the top of the hill, refill the hopper, then take off downhill fully loaded.
I don't personally have any pics, but here's YouTube with a quick airshow display on flat ground. These were the exact aircraft he used and they're still around today:
3point8isgreat last edited by
Testing out the new SOCOM plane I see.
Future Next Gen S2000 Owner last edited by
But you're heading into "winter" mmmmm..... definitely Sus.
Future Next Gen S2000 Owner last edited by
@іди-на-хуй-Влад-formerly-known-as-Distraxi A better options seems to be a fly by wire helicopter with some lifting capabilities and a slower release rate. Like a repurposed Bell or Sikorsky.
davesaddiction last edited by
Love watching them work!
@facw TIL: the future is here.
@ash78 Huh, hadn’t realised it was just a kiwi thing (or the fertiliser version at least). Wonder what farmers whose paddocks are too steep for trucks do for fertilising in other countries - we’re not exactly the only people who grow grass on hills.
@іди-на-хуй-Влад-formerly-known-as-Distraxi Considering that aerial fertilizing was invented there (I learned this today), I think it might just be a source of national pride even more than a practical decision sometimes. Or that you NZ has a lot of aerial services, while selling the idea to a land-based farmer elsewhere is a much harder thing to do when it's not already a century-old expectation locally (and probably competitively priced due to that history and competition).
@ash78 As you say, why it works in NZ probably has a bit of "because it's been around long enough that you don't need to convince people that it works" to it.
Also there'll be economies of scale because NZ's very mountainous and traditionally did a lot of sheep farming in the high country. Sheep can handle steeper land than cows, horses or 4x4s, so there's a lot of too-steep-to-drive on paddocks out there.
Plus, farms here tend to be relatively large - you couldn't do aerial topdressing on the postage stamps Swiss or French mountain people call a farm without giving about 20 of your neighbours a free ride.
It's still not obvious to me what the alternative would be though - if you can't drive a tractor or spreader truck on it, what do you do? Quadbike or manual can't be cost effective when you're using fertiliser by the hundred tons, and steep country is almost invariably wrongly shaped for irrigation-sprayer type distribution. In places like the Rockies do they just leave it in trees if it's too steep to drive over, or at least not bother fertilising and just accept lower productivity? The fact that when I just googled "how to fertilise steep pastures" pretty much all the hits in the first few pages were from NZ suggest maybe so...
@іди-на-хуй-Влад-formerly-known-as-Distraxi Great insights and points.
In the US, the trend has been consolidation over the decades. Since we have so much land area, there's far less necessity to cram small farms into every little valley (compared to 100-200 years ago). Those places that still exist in hilly or mountainous terrain often go with more boutique specialties, like winemaking or raising grass-fed cows, things like that.
The running joke in places like North Carolina or Tennessee (my general region) is that millionaires buy mountain property because it overlooks farmland, but that raises the value of the farmland so much, the farmers sell it to other resort developers...and the idyllic view is gone
As an analog, I'd be interested in what Japan does -- they're notorious for squeezing every last bit of productivity out of their agriculture. I know that even the small farms in the UK Midlands (where we just visited) were very tractor-dependent, despite some pretty steep terrain. I didn't see an ag plane anywhere I looked. But even there, a lot of them seem to be deriving more and more income from organic farm shops and tourism than simply ag production the traditional way, so maximum yield might not be a priority anymore. Just speculating...off to learn more on The Interwebs!