Pyka, maker of autonomous electric aircraft for crop protection and cargo transport, and fruit and vegetable producer Dole have completed the first trial phase with Pyka’s Pelican Spray aircraft.

Upon receiving delivery of the aircraft in late 2022 in Dole Fresh Fruit’s operation in Honduras, personnel from both companies began flight operations and spray efficacy testing at Dole’s Isletas Farm.

Pyka’s autonomous electric aircraft “performed with excellence, demonstrating ease of operation and effective crop protection”, the company said.

As a next step, the use of Pelican Spray will be extended to larger areas of Dole’s banana plantations and supplement Dole’s existing fleet of agricultural spray planes.

The partners will expand the Pelican Spray service to additional operations in Latin America.

Dole and Pyka

“Dole is an internationally highly respected brand whose farming practices set industry standards for fruit and vegetable production across the globe,” said Volker Fabian, chief commercial officer of Pyka.

“With their commercial operations spanning multiple geographical locations, Dole will demonstrate the value of Pyka’s product on an even larger scale than we have seen to date.”

“We are excited to partner with Pyka in order to be on the forefront of technological advancement for the aerial application industry,” said Patricio Gutierrez Carvajal, regional director innovation, research and development Dole Tropical Products.

“This product addresses a market-wide need for a safer, cleaner, and more precise method of spraying crops by air. As a company, Pyka embodies the values of quality, innovation and environmental focus that align with Dole’s corporate mission.”

Pyka is defining the future of safe, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective aviation with certified autonomous electric airplanes for crop protection and cargo transport. Pyka’s proprietary technology includes autonomous flight control software, flight computers, high energy density batteries, advanced electric propulsion systems, and carbon composite airframes.
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