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Air Tractor AT-802A
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N6050H Air Tractor AT-802A c/n 802A-0011 - Farm Ag - Pierce Airport - Buckey in the USA - 30 September 2019 agricultural planes

The Air Tractor AT-802A is an all-metal cantilever low-wing monoplane designed especially for agricultural or fire fighting operations. It has a hopper of no less than 800 U.S. Gallons and is powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop engine which is highly suited for this type of flying. The standard engine for the fire-fighting versions is the 1350 hp PT6A-67AG. A popular engine is the 1295 hp PT6A-65AG. Other PT6A engines are optional, including the 1424 hp PT6A-67F. The propeller is a Hartzell five-blade constant speed prop with reversing capabilities.
In 1953, Leland Snow constructed his first crop-duster Model S-1 before graduation from Texas A&M University. The Texas A&M College Aircraft Research Center is known from the AG-1 Agricultural plane that was designed by Fred Weick in 1950. The AG-1 might be considered as the mother of all modern crop-sprayers in the world. The prototype Model S-1 (N5385N c/n 1001) was extensively tested in South America before the improved Model S-2 reached production. The pre-production prototype Model S-2, was first flown in 1956. Production of the S-2B by Snow Aeronautical Company started in 1958. North American Rockwell acquired the design and production-rights of the S-2 series in November 1965. The S-2R was marketed by the growing Aero Commander Division of Rockwell. In 1970, Snow resigned from Rockwell and he subsequently initiated design of a brand new low-wing crop spraying aircraft and formed Air Tractor Inc. to develop it. In 1972, construction began on the first Air Tractor, Model AT-300, a modern ag plane that bore a close resemblance to the Snow S-2D with its closed cockpit and fixed tailwheel undercarriage. The prototype Air Tractor AT-300 (N44200 c/n 300-001) first flew in September 1973. The production version, the AT-301, had a 600 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial engine and a crossweight of 6,900 lb. Air Tractor’s first turbine model, the AT-302, was introduced in 1977. Specifically for aerial firefighting, Air Tractor designed the AT-802. The airframe was based on the 500 U.S. gallons AT-503A with a dual cockpit in tandem configuration. Not long after the completion of the AT-802F, Snow made the decision to adapt the aircraft for agricultural use. At that time, the standard for the ag industry were 300 and 400- U.S. gallons planes, and the AT-502 was only a few years in production. Snow swapped the tandem cockpit for a single-seat cockpit, added spray plumbing and booms, and designated the 800 U.S. gallons ag plane: model AT-802A. In December 1992, the AT-802A receive its FAA Type Certificate. In 1993, production of AT-802 series aircraft began with two models: the AT-802F, 2-seat single engine air tanker for aerial firefighting, and the AT-802A, a single-seat airplane with a payload of 4.195 kg and an 800 U.S. gallons hopper for high production agricultural spraying. On 1 July 2008, Air Tractor, Inc. became an employee-owned company. Today, Air Tractor produces the most extensive line of ag aircraft with 400, 500, 600, 800 and 1,000- U.S. gallons capacities; powered by Pratt & Whitney piston or turbine engines. On 6 May 2019, the 800th aircraft in the AT-802 series was delivered to a customer.

On 17 January 1995, Air Tractor AT-802A s/n 802A-0011 was registered N6050H with Bonne Idee Aero Service, Mer Rouge, LA. On 29 September 2007, the N6050H was sold and on 3 November 2007, registered with Morrison Aircraft Corp. Inc., Cas, AR. On 2 December 2017, Air Tractor AT-802A N6050H was transfered to a new owner at Bukeye, AZ, and on 28 December 2017, registered with Farm AG Enterprises, Buckey, Arizona.

page last updated: 18-11-2019
Photo Copyright © Jack Poelstra, the Netherlands

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