mervfrench PHOTOGRAPHY



Posted by mervfrench on August 4, 2011

Given the good season that farmers are having this year with the rainfall a lot of nitrogen is being spread on crops.  Planes are a quick way to get it on especially if the paddocks are a bit wet to get a tractor onto.

I was visiting a few farmers today and saw this plane in action. it was loading on the farms own strip and it was returning to load every 11 minutes  so I didn’t have to wait to long for it to come back.

I went down the strip a little way and I was just short of it leaving the ground but the wing went over my head as I crouched down to get the shot and the noise and wind rush from the 1150 hp turbo prop was quite a buzz.

A interesting fact about these planes is because they operate at low levels they run on diesel fuel.

You can see the urea spreading from the plane in the last shot.
















































15 Responses to “Spreading.”

  1. Cool Merv,

    These planes run Pratt and Whitney PT6 gas turbines and they are a really cool engine. They produce about 900 BHP continuous and only weight about 200 kg!

    The reason why they can use diesel is it has the same flash point as Jet A1 but as you say they are always low flying. Diesel freezes above 1,000 ft because it doesn’t have the additives that Jet A1 does.

    I used to own the Cessna Caravan that is operated at the Drop Zone which has the same engine!

    I used to service the earlier aircraft these guys owned back in the day. I am pretty sure you will find they are owned by Dunn Aviation and they are still going! Old Dunny was a real character and a salt of the earth!

    How’s that for a bit of background mate! 🙂

    • mervfrench said

      Spot on mate.

      This is one of Dunns old planes and is now owned by Scott Powell of Taurus Aviation. Scott was piloting this one today.

      He contracts the plane back to Dunns over summer when he gets back from summer spraying over east. Dunns use it for fire bombing.

      Scott said it was 1150 hp. Maybe they screwed the pump a bit. 🙂

      Planes are cool things to watch I think, especially up close. Getting this close at normal airport would be impossible.

  2. Its probably a slightly larger model of the PT 6 range then Merv. The Caravan’s run the PT6-114a series which are 900 BHP.

    I am guessing theirs is a suped up model for sure to carry all the weight they do.



    • mervfrench said

      Yeah it was carrying 1.5t of urea and it sprays with 2000lts on board so that would be nearly 2 t.

      And it is quite a big plane in itself.

      I’ll watch while you hold the prop I think. 🙂

  3. Did you know you can hold the prop of a PT 6 whilst it is starting up because they are not physically attached to the power turbine!

  4. Eden said

    Nice shots Merv 🙂

  5. muzz said

    Geez mate you are getting into the action now. How’s a bit of urea affect your camera kit – does it do any good on the hair?

    Nice bit of background on the plane as well, it’s always good to get a bit of a story with the images.

    By the way, your ute looks like it could do with a wash 🙂

    • mervfrench said

      I was a buzz getting those ground shots.

      I do wash the ute weekly then go on dirt roads again so its never ending.

      The urea bounces off so its not to bad. i wouldn’t want to soak a camera in it though. 🙂

  6. Great shots mervfrench!

    First off, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m the community manager of the PT6 Nation, a dedicated community to the PT6 engine by Pratt & Whitney Canada. I saw your pictures of the Air Tractor, and they are amazing! I would love to see these pictures posted on the Nation. Our community loves to see PT6-powered aircraft from everywhere around the world. The number of comments we receive each day speaks for itself.

    Sharing your pictures with other citizens of the Nation would be a great opportunity for you to showcase your work to a PT6 fan base! 🙂

    I invite you to join the Nation at, post a story and share your pictures to the Nation.

    Make sure to also join the Nation on Facebook :

    PT6 Nation Community Manager

  7. hodgy1 said

    Mad bastard, haven’t you heard about crop dusters clipping things close to the ground.

  8. did you get any of that stuff in urea??? Could be bad for your hearing!

    Love plane pics.

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