Air Tractor President Jim Hirsch and Managing Director Peter Mackay of Field Air Sales & Maintenance Pty. recently participated in a colorful ceremony in Jiamusi China marking the delivery of six Air Tractor AT-802F aircraft to Beidahuang General Aviation Company (BGA).
The company is a subsidiary of the Beidahuang Group, a provincial-level state farm agribusiness corporation based in the northeastern China province of Heilongjiang.
The Olney, Texas aircraft manufacturer and its Asia-Pacific dealer completed the delivery of six dual-use firefighting and agricultural spray aircraft for the spring season in northeast China. The first group of three single-engine AT-802Fs arrived in March after a 7,000-mile ferry flight across the Pacific Ocean. The second group of three arrived at the end of April.
“This occasion is a significant milestone in Field Air’s relationship with one of the world’s largest aerial agricultural operators,” said Mackay, who heads the Asia-Pacific Air Tractor dealership in Australia. Established in 1985, BGA has grown to operate more than 70 aircraft used for crop and forest protection, aerial surveying, and forest firefighting.
The two-seat tandem cockpit AT-802F is used around the world for aerial firefighting. It carries a useful load of 8,790 pounds with an FAA certificated gross weight of 16,000 pounds. A Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67AG turbine engine powers the airplane.
In addition to aerial firefighting missions, BGA plans to use the AT-802F aircraft for agricultural spraying operations. On the belly of each aircraft is a custom-built stainless spray system that re-routes contents of the airplane’s 800-gallon hopper to spray booms suspended beneath the wings. The system can provide constant flow or variable rate applications of crop protection products.
Because the aircraft are to be used for very different applications and working environments, Field Air Sales & Maintenance provided BGA an initial inventory of aircraft spare parts, tools and aircraft maintenance equipment. This is part of a larger, long-term commitment by Field Air, Air Tractor and Pratt & Whitney Canada to provide BGA with a best practices knowledge base, along with maintenance training and pilot training for successful operations with their new Air Tractor fleet.
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