Argentina ag spraying operator Hector Fain is ready to strap into the seat of his new Air Tractor 502XP and begin working. This month marks the start of the spraying season in the Santa Fe province of Argentina. And Air Tractor representative Alejandro Moreno, of AgSur Aviones, reports that Fain is eager to work the airplane as it hauls full 500-gallon loads in the subtropical heat over fields of soybeans, corn, rice, sunflower, and cotton.
The 502XP was delivered to Fain in February, 2017. A lengthy process of airplane type registration by the Administración Nacional de Aviación Civil then followed. Being the first of its kind in Argentina, the registration process took longer than expected reports Moreno. Once airplane registration was completed, Hector flew the 502XP for a few hours during the winter months to familiarize himself with the airplane’s handling characteristics. Now it’s time to put the airplane to work. The new 502XP joins Hector’s existing aircraft fleet, consisting of an AT-802 and two model AT-502B airplanes. Hector has also recently closed a deal with AgSur Aviones on the purchase of another AT-802.
Hector and his brothers are owners of Fain Hermanos Servicios SRL. With its operations based in the town of Villa Minetti, the company provides aerial spraying services for farms in four different provinces: Chaco, Santiago del Estero, Santa Fe, and Corrientes. During the late-summer months, temperatures in the area can climb near 38° Celsius. Relative humidity can approach 70 percent. So this will be an ideal application of the 502XP, which can provide an extra margin of power that boosts productivity when high density altitude challenges aircraft performance.
The 502XP is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140AG turbine engine. The engine produces 867 shaft horsepower, an increase of 117 SHP over the PT6A-34AG that powers Fain’s AT-502B, and is paired with a 4-blade Hartzell propeller. With a cruising speed of 267 km/h (167 mph), a rate of climb of 249 mpm (816 fpm) at 4.754 kg (10,480 lbs), and 5% better specific fuel consumption, the 502XP offers operators like Hector Fain a cost-effective and high-quality plane for spraying, seeding, and fertilizer applications. Its large vertical stabilizer and rudder paired with a carefully balanced airframe, provide excellent control and handling characteristics that help to reduce pilot fatigue.
More information about the 502XP, other Air Tractor products, and a listing of Air Tractor dealers serving Latin America can be found at www.airtractor.com.