YAMAHA’S REMOTE-PILOTED HELICOPTERS COULD BE AVAILABLE TO FARMERS.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Yamaha’s FAZER remotely piloted helicopter an exemption for certain commercial ag spraying operations. This machine is the latest in Yamaha’s fleet to receive FAA approval. “This new FAA approval for the FAZER operation follows more than 20 years of experience and proven agricultural performance,” says Brad Anderson of Yamaha. “The FAZER is our next step in the evolution of this unique line of remotely piloted helicopters.”
The FAZER includes myriad improvements like 50% increased payload capacity, improved control using a newly designed transmitter and new control system, and quieter operation. Currently, FAA and state regulations require that the RMAX and FAZER be operated by a certified and licensed Yamaha employee. However, the company is also working to type certify its FAZER R. “Once certified, the company plans to lease the FAZER R to other individuals and organizations that are properly qualified to operate the machine,” says Anderson. “Pricing has not yet been determined.”
The FAZER R retains the strong base functionality of the original FAZER, but it is easier to operate and has improved spraying accuracy. With a 32-liter payload, it can spray nearly 10 acres without reloading chemicals or refueling.
“With the new FAZER R certification,” Anderson adds, “we believe this will open up the possibility for growers to lease the units.”
Yamaha has been operating remotely piloted helicopters for over two decades. In Japan, it has over 2,500 machines operating to control pests in 35% of its rice fields.
While Yamaha’s entry into commercial services in the U.S. has been in vineyards, Anderson says the company is just scratching the surface for the potential of its units. “We’re looking at various applications in other specialty and high-value crops. The potential of utilizing our equipment for spot-spraying could also provide multiple benefits within the ag industry.” Learn more at yamahamotorsports.com/ motorsports/pages/ precision-agriculture.