Crop dusting with insecticides began in the 1920s in the United States. The first widely used agricultural aircraft were converted war-surplus biplanes, such as the De Havilland Tiger Moth and Stearman. After more effective insecticides and fungicides were developed in the 1940s, and aerial topdressing was developed by government research in New Zealand, purpose-built agricultural fixed-wing aircraft became common.
Agricultural aircraft designs
In the US and Europe they are typically small, simple, and rugged. Many have spraying systems built into their wings, and pumps are usually driven by wind turbines. In places where farms are larger, such as New Zealand, Australia, the former Warsaw pact nations and parts of the developing world, larger and more powerful aircraft have been used, including turboprop powered aircraft such as the PAC Cresco, twin engined types,... Read More