The FAA granted Yamaha Motor Corporation an Agricultural Aircraft Operations certificate for their RMAX crop spraying remotely piloted helicopters.
This certification, plus the waiver issued earlier in the year allowing it to commercially fly over agricultural properties, complete the compliance aspect and enable Yamaha to begin agricultural spray service operations at the start of the 2016 growing season.
The RMAX is an unmanned, remotely piloted helicopter designed specifically for agricultural spraying and weighs just over 200 pounds with a full payload, and is designed for treating specialty and high-value crops. RMAX is an economical alternative to spraying with tractor-pulled ground or backpack sprayers.
The RMAX was originally introduced in Japan in 1997 as the culmination of several earlier unmanned helicopter models designed and engineered by Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. since 1980. Globally, there are nearly 2,600 RMAX helicopters currently in use, and over two million flight-hours have been logged to date, with more than 2.4 million acres being sprayed each year.