Farmers given peek into future flight

PEOPLE in Te Kowai might have thought they saw a UFO but in reality it was the launch of the latest in drone technology.

The Yamaha RMax and MR7 multimotored drones were flown close to the small town yesterday.

Whitsunday Aerial Solutions Professional operations manager and chief pilot Adrian Plahn, said the aircraft were "very unique" with only four of them in Australia.

"(These drones) are not out there to do what manned aircraft can do," he said.

WASP Director Louise Brown with the MR7.
WASP Director Louise Brown with the MR7. Tony Martin

The RMax is approved for agricultural work for chemical spraying, granule fertilising, and mosquito control. The aircraft cannot be purchased, these are leased by WASP NQ only, providing support on farms to target areas where manned aircraft can not access for safety reasons.

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WASP NQ director Louise Brown and only drone pilot in Queensland said there was "a lot of intense training" involved. "(It was a) long road," Ms Brown said.

She "stumbled across the aircraft" and has never looked back.

The MR7 multimotored drone is the only one of its kind, specially built for WASP. It is for mapping and photography.


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