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  1. #1

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    RC crop duster

    We have 60 acres nestled in a valley in colorado, and the area is being over run by canadian thistle. Why would I post this? Well, the property is owned by my wifes family and after seeing me fly a couple of parkies around, they all think I should build a crop duster.... Minature style. I have a couple of questions... Is it legal, (we own the property). Is it possible? I know it will take a couple of runs to complete the porperty (but I am willing to "sacrifice" the time. What airframe should I use? It is surrounded by national forest, cliffs and such so it has to be fairly agile, but fly slow. I thought of using my Big Stik (Its an ARF, so I think it would make a decent test vehicle) I though a telemaster might be good. I post this here because, you have always answered my questions and have seen some of the inginuity that has come frome this group...

    Thanks for any help

    Mike

  2. #2

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    RE: RC crop duster

    i would say to build a kadet senior and modify it quite a bit it is posible to do crop dustiong with rc planes it takes a while and you need to beef up the airframe to cary the loads but should work if i where to do the kadet i would use a gas gengin maby a g 23 or larger cause its alot of weight.

  3. #3
    Showtime100's Avatar
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    RE: RC crop duster

    Is it legal? I don't see why not. However, I have a hard time thinking this will be worth your time and money. Is this for fun or do you really want to get rid of the thistles. In my experience, the Canadian thistle is a nightmare to get rid of and usually takes several years to erradicate. What chemical do you plan to use? I have to believe that in order to make it worth a trip up it would take a few gallons at least of chemicals and the weight would be too much for your average RC model. A Giant scale with a beefy gasser may be necessary. Otherwise it would take you a century to put enough chemical down on 60 acres and would be no more than a novelty. I'd love to see it but man, I don't know about you but the $$$ would be too much for me. Anyways, I have Canadian thistles and I have sprayed the off-the-shelf RoundUp on them and it didn't even make a dent. Most people try to starve the expansive root system by cutting the plant at ground level to slowly kill them off. They are a pain to say the least. I don't know, I hate to be a nay sayer and someone with better RC knowldege may say differently, but to me you'd be better off rigging a 4-wheeler with a boom and have at em. Either way, good luck.

  4. #4
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    RE: RC crop duster

    why not pose this question in the AMA discussion area too? I think it is at least AMA "illegal" to drop anything (other than tiny nerf balls for a bomb run) from a flying rc aircraft or heli.
    With airplanes, keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.

  5. #5
    Showtime100's Avatar
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    RE: RC crop duster

    It is on private property so unless he plans on flying it at a AMA field or event it shouldn't be an issue. Though, I wouldn't bother with the AMA insurance if you somehow crop dust your mother-in-law with Dual herbicide.

  6. #6

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    RE: RC crop duster

    Here you go;

    I used to have one of these and it was the best flying plane ever. Very easy and fun to fly.

    http://www.rcguys.com/agwagon.html

    Here's the page where a guy rigged up a spray system but the pics don't display anymore. You might try contacting him for more info and pics but I also think It'd be more novelty than practical.

    http://www.rcguys.com/agwagon_spraysystem.html

    Mike
    Balsa USA brother #61

  7. #7

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    RE: RC crop duster

    Go with a giant telemaster from Hobby-Lobby. The senior telemaster ARF is a good plane as well but I wonder how much of a load you plan to take up with each flight. The Giant Tele is easy to fly, will lift a 20 pound load with ease and requires a short distance to take off and land.

    Really depends how much of a load you plan to lift with each flight.
    Tim Schuy
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    RE: RC crop duster


  9. #9

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    RE: RC crop duster

    The BTESuper Flying King is also an option, though it fly's a bit faster and has a higher wing loading then the Giant Telemaster.

    Cheers,
    Tim Schuy
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  10. #10
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    RE: RC crop duster

    Curtail (canadian thistle herbicide) requires 5 gallons of water PER acre to get any effectiveness. Canadian thistle has a root system that can be as deep as 30 feet. It grows from a singular root, much like the poplar stands in forests. Curtail is a slow killer, allowing the herbicide to reach those deep roots. 60 acres X 5 gallons per acre is 300 gallons of mixed herbicide. I don't see this as a plausible solution.
    Randy Rossmiller, member, Golden Triangle Flyers
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  11. #11

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    RE: RC crop duster

    Hmmm....
    Water is pretty heavy, about 8.35lbs/gal. If you wanted to do the whole 60 acres in one shot you'd need to be able to carry 2,505lbs of payload. That's gonna be one helluva big Telemaster to carry all that.

    However, 60 acres is a lot of area. I would say pretty impractical to do in one shot with a R/C airplane so even if you broke it down into 1 acre parcels thats gonna be 5gal x 8.35lbs = 41.75lbs of herbicide. That's still a pretty big plane to carry that. Even if you built one that's gonna be 60 flights to get one application. Is one all it takes to get the job done???

    If a big Telemaster can carry 21lbs of herbicide your looking at 120 flights (1/2 acre per load) to get one application. That's a big job just in the flying, not to mention the coordination and logistics to make your passes over the field to get even coverage and not too much overlap. Some FPV equipment would probably help here, At least to get you lined up for the drop pass.

    Not an impossible task but whew...... what a project.

    Mike
    Balsa USA brother #61

  12. #12
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    RE: RC crop duster

    And in three months he is still looking at Canadian Thistles standing tall, alive and well. No way is RC cropdusting on a large chunk of land going to be a practical endeaver.

    With that said... Please go ahead and build a giant crop duster and take lots of pictures or better yet video.

  13. #13

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    RE: RC crop duster

    Right now we use the pump hand sprayers and it is a pain to get family members to get out there and spray. If I show them how to fly it will get more people to help with the spraying and be a lot of fun. I share the property with lots of family.. there are about 35 of us and a couple of brother in laws and all of my nephews, which makes about 17 of us, know how to fly or want to learn... all in all it is mainly a fun project for us.

    The Flying king is a great idea, I am currently building a venture 60 and loving it.

    If I pursue it further, I will post pictures.

    As usual, thanks guys

  14. #14
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    RE: RC crop duster

    And think, if each 35 of you purchase a new telemaster, you will be helping to preserve the hobby too!
    N Central Regional Director
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    RE: RC crop duster

    ORIGINAL: Ilikebipes

    And think, if each 35 of you purchase a new telemaster, you will be helping to preserve the hobby too!
    Hey, and with 35 Super Flying Kings, it's only four flights a piece!

  16. #16
    Showtime100's Avatar
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    RE: RC crop duster

    ORIGINAL: fordboy76
    Right now we use the pump hand sprayers and it is a pain to get family members to get out there and spray.
    Ah, I wish I was a kid growing up in this day and age. There was no if ands or buts when it came to doing a job that needing done on the family farm. I couldn't even imagine saying no to my parents when it came to chores. Heck, spraying thistles would have been one of those "fun" jobs. Try picking rocks. I know how it goes though and certainly not judging... Just jeoulus of how good kids have it these days. Cartoons 24/7 and 200 channels.... I had one channel (CBS) and only saw Cartoons on Saturday mornings.

    Just having fun...


  17. #17
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    RE: RC crop duster

    The weight of the spray equipment is another factor. Have you worked out the mechanics of the spray system? If so let us know.

  18. #18

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    RE: RC crop duster


    ORIGINAL: Showtime100

    ORIGINAL: fordboy76
    Right now we use the pump hand sprayers and it is a pain to get family members to get out there and spray.
    Ah, I wish I was a kid growing up in this day and age. There was no if ands or buts when it came to doing a job that needing done on the family farm. I couldn't even imagine saying no to my parents when it came to chores. Heck, spraying thistles would have been one of those ''fun'' jobs. Try picking rocks. I know how it goes though and certainly not judging... Just jeoulus of how good kids have it these days. Cartoons 24/7 and 200 channels.... I had one channel (CBS) and only saw Cartoons on Saturday mornings.

    Just having fun...

    Yes indeed to everything above... But can you imagine what social services would do to us if we treated our children like we were worked on the farm... I am a retired Kansas farm kid turned software engineer. WAAAY easier!

  19. #19
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    RE: RC crop duster

    Maybe one of the Sig Four Star kits would work.

  20. #20

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    RE: RC crop duster

    hi,
    maybe my pawnee will help.


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  21. #21

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    RE: RC crop duster

    Could this be done. Surely. However, you will need a pumped spray system that is predictable and effective. And with most of the planes mentioned above your payload will be limited to several pounds-read about a quart of the mixed liquid. I flew my Flyin' King(referrenced above as a possible choice of plane) and with a 2 1/2lb skydiver, the takeoffs were interesting. That was here in Florida, not up in Colorado. As another thought, some year or two ago I ran across a thread on RCU(or somewhere) about agroup of college kids modifying a plane for long range flight. You might search and find that thread and see what kind of weight they were able to carry. Depending on the terrain and elevation, maybe you could buy an ultralight. But then, with that kind of money you could just pay a cropduster.
    UltraSport Brotherhood #17

  22. #22

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    RE: RC crop duster

    I really think this is an awesome idea! Even if it doesn't work really, it sounds like a really fun project. I have thought about building some kind of plane that drops water as to put out a fire for a long time. Of course there are many issues to deal with, but I say go for it. If you can scale up a current plane design to a larger one of maybe 15' wing span or so, you could carry at least 1.5 gallons and with mini electric water pump and sprayers you could have a pretty awesome plane on your hands. Hey, if money isn't an issue at all you could go as far as installing a GPS plotter in the plane to see where you have gone. Sooo many options, just don't think it is piratical, just a good challenge.
    Seth

  23. #23
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    RE: RC crop duster

    Hi;
    I'm several months late, but I'll throw my $.02 in. My son and I just got a Giant Telemaster ARF. We are planning to fly it "heavy" with a significant load. Hobby Lobby has told us that someone has 20 lbs of batteries in their ARF. We plant to carry a payload in the +/- 25 lb. range. As a side note, we flew a stock Senior Telly ARF at 24+ lbs AUW powered by a Zenoah 20cc ei. We have a Sr Telly Kit (modified) built that is projected to fly at 28 lbs AUW powered with a SPE 26cc. We have flow it, just not fully loaded.

    The lifting ability of the Telemaster has to be seen to be believed. I cannot see any reason why a Giant Telly powered with a 50cc engine won't fly at 55 lbs. The Senior ARF loaded at 24 lbs was a little sluggish and has a "heavy" feel on the sticks, but at no time did I feel the plane was in danger of losing lift. It would climb, while not vertical, at a very impressive rate. With a "normal" fuel load, the Zenoah is just shy of being able to hover the plane.

    In a nutshell, my experience is that Telemaster will easily lift around 120% of its dry weight. My Senior ARF with the Zenoah weighs about 11.5 lbs and we flew it at 24 lbs. The Telly is easy and fun to fly, I would recommend it for the cropduster project.
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