Agricultural aviation

Agricultural aviation. It consists of the use of airplanes or helicopters for work in agriculture or in other areas covered with vegetation. Such is the case of the application of chemical products (pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers), spreading seeds (usually suspended in water), fighting fires in forests and weeds, etc.


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  • 1 Background
  • 2 Technical aspects
  • 3 Agricultural aviation in Cuba
  • 4 used agricultural aircraft in Cuba
  • 5 Tracks and auxiliary equipment
  • 6 Sources


Since the emergence of aviation numerous applications of these devices were found such as passenger transport, general cargo and mail , military uses, sports , instruction, and other special services. The first reports of their employment in agriculture date from around 1920, when surplus biplanes from World War I began to be used to apply insecticide and fungicide products in the US.

Technical aspects

Generally, in the world agricultural aviation, small single-engine aircraft are used, very simple in operation and maintenance, although helicopters are also used on a smaller scale. The biplanes are convenient because the double wings give it great lift capacity to fly at low speeds, as well as the possibility of maneuvering in relatively small spaces and taking off and landing in fields of short length. For product spraying these aircraft have a pump , a tank (tank), and sprinklers placed on the wings.

Agricultural aviation in Cuba

Dromedary: a new plane for our agriculture.

In Cuba, agricultural airplanes are decisive in rice planted in large areas, where more than 70 percent of the work requires the use of aerial means. Agricultural aviation, which in the final years of capitalism had been introduced in Cuba on a small scale, reached a massive use in the application of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and in the planting of rice, thereby increasing the productivity of labor in these labors Airplanes were acquired, runways and maintenance bases were conditioned , and personnel were prepared to operate the aircraft and their technical service . In 1975 there was already a park of 150 planes.

Used agricultural aircraft in Cuba

Antónov AN-2. Until recently our agricultural aviation used only AN-2 aircraft, manufactured by the firm Antónov, of the USSR, a model dating from 1946, but that its ability to lift in the air to fly at low speed made it one of the indispensable equipment for aerial spraying and other work in many countries. Its mass with a total load is 5,500 kg, it has an engine of 1 000 hp, cruising speed of 190 km / h, and 190 km / h minimum, with a range of 845 km. It can load 2 140 kg of products.

M-18B Dromedary . A newer equipment has been introduced for a few years. The M-18B, known as Dromedary for the shape of its cabin, is a single-engine agricultural aircraft, manufactured since 1978 in different variants by the Polish company PZL-Mielec for the spray of liquids in the fight against forest fires and the plant protection (fumigation). Its mass with load is 5 300 kg, engine of 980 hp, speed of 225 km / h (minimum 108), load 2,200 kg and has a range of 970 km.

An important feature distinguishes them: the AN-2 is double-wing (biplane), while the M-18B has single wings (monoplane).

Tracks and auxiliary equipment

Agricultural aviation in Cuba is operated by Base Business Units (UEB) of the National Air Services Company , located in the main rice agribusiness complexes, where there are several airstrips of compacted soil, equipped with the necessary conditions and equipment to store the products that are applied with the airplanes, and for the supply with fuel and products, as well as the conservation and maintenance.


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