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Thu, Sep 14, 2023

Pyka Completes Flight Tests Using Produce Spraying UAV

Dole Fruits and Veggies Serve as Test Targets for Crop Dusting Drones

Pyka and Dole plc - the Dole of produce fame - have completed the 1st trial phase using Pyka's Pelican Spray, a fixed-wing, twin-prop UAV.

The testing began in late 2022 at Dole Fresh Fruit's operation in Honduras. Pyka's Pelican was test flown and gauged for spray efficacy testing at Dole's Isletas Farm. The combination worked well so far, with Dole saying "Pyka's autonomous electric aircraft performed with excellence, demonstrating ease of operation and effective crop protection."

Next up? The Pelican Spray will be used for larger swathes of Dole's banana plantations, as well as being rolled out to supplement manned crop dusting aircraft. Additional partners are expected to begin leveraging the Pelican system, too. Pyka believes that it offers a wide range of efficiencies, with lower emissions, optimized spray operations, reduced chemical usage through greater spray precision. While it seems small for a single unit, the impact adds up, particularly when larger, turboprop driven aircraft are replaced by a small, electric UAV.

"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 of Innovation. He works in R&D at Dole Tropical Products, putting him in close contact with Pyka's work in Honduras. "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."

FMI: www.flypyka.com

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