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Air Tractor AT-802
N80166 N802JH
N80166 N802JH
Antonov An-2
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PZL-104 Wilga 35
LV-HKT Air Tractor AT-802 c/n 802-0477 - Plan Nacional de Manejo del Fuego / 2 - Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg in Germany - 20 July 2023 agricultural planes

The Air Tractor AT-802 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.

In 2013, Air Tractor AT-802 s/n 802-0477 was registered LV-HKT in Argentina. The aircraft is powered by a 1350 hp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67AG turboprop engine. The 2013-built privat owned Air Tractor AT-802 entered service for Plan Nacional de Manejo del Fuego (National Fire Management Plan Fire).
Due to climate change, the risk of forest fires is increasing in Germany. That's why in the summer of 2023, the Katastrophenschutz Niedersachsen at Braunsweig has two Argentinian firefighting aircraft at its disposal for firefighting purposes in the summer. Air Tractor AT-802 LV-HKT is one of two Argentinian Air Tractor AT-802s active in Germany. On 18 June 2023, both machines arrived at Braunschweig after a long flight with five stops from Argentina. Both Air Tractor AT-802 LV-FBB and LV-HKT are operated this period by Titan Aerial firefighting of Viver, Castellon, Spain. On 20 July 2023, exercises were held with both Air Tractor AT-802 LV-FBB '1' and LV-HKT '2' at Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg to train local fire brigades on how to fill the water tanks of these aircraft.

page last updated: 23-07-2023
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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