Central China | P20 V2 1st Swarm Operation at Henan, China
Sources: XAircraft Corporation 19th May 2016
May 16, 2016, XAircraft service team and research and development team drove to Henan Province, China. Here are 200 Hectares of honeysuckle, this is the 1st large-scale operations for P20 V2, but it will also be the last field test prior to large-scale deployment.
Jiugong base is a very open farm, covering hundreds of hectares of land, planting honeysuckle-based cash crops. May is the best season for honeysuckle picking in this region, the surrounding villagers will bring their bucket to the farm for honeysuckle picking every morning before sunrise. After a few hours, the barrel full of honeysuckle starts arriving at the acquisition center for weighing. These experienced workers can pick up to three barrels a day, with a daily earning of 80RMB based on 8RMB/kg. During the peak picking season, there are more than 4000 honeysuckle picking workers daily picking nearly 40 tons.
During our operations, farm manager Zoujing Li often stopped to watch. He proudly told us that the honeysuckle cultivation base is the first line of the Fusen pharmaceutical industry chain, the company has strict cultivation of honeysuckle, picking, processing and other multi-channel procedures, and made into Shuanghuanglian oral liquid and intravenous injection drugs which its quality far suppress the national standards. Farm Manager Zoujing Li also revealed that the current honeysuckle market price is about 300RMB/Kg, high-grade honeysuckle prices can reach as high as 1600RMB/Kg.
The targets of this operation are mainly against pests such as a caterpillar, night moth, red spider and etc… Farm Manager Zoujing Li told us that, this farm had been using traditional chemical appliance method in the past. Each individual spray applicator cover less than 4 Hectares per day and the pesticide often fall along the leaves into the ground, causing chemical wastage and environment pollution. In addition, Farm Manager Zoujing Li also expresses concern over the efficiency using traditional appliance methods because it often leaves pests such as red spider un-touched. Pests such as red spider generally hide at the back of the leaves and traditional methods often miss these hiding areas, leaving the pests problem unresolved.
There are many problems with traditional spray applicator, such as low efficiency, unsatisfactory effects, and chemical waste. While researching for alternative methods for the chemical appliance, he came across a recent news article about UAV chemical appliance and its benefits. He decides to research further into this new technology and took the imitative to contact XAircraft directly for a trial on this 200 Hectares of honeysuckle. He was partially excited when XAircraft service team member Wang Ke told him that one of the benefits that XAircraft P20 has downwash airflow, which this airflow would turn the back of the leaves while it is applying pesticides. Farm Manager Zoujing Li nodded with satisfaction and said: “If this trial goes well, he would love to engage in a long-term contract”
Agronomist Cao zha said that the pesticides used during this trial are chronic drugs, so it could take up to a week before any effects and its efficacy last for half a month. After half a month, inspection is required to verify if the pest problem had been resolved, no further pesticide appliance is required if the undesired pests had been eliminated by then. Cao Zha commented very confidently that he expects outstanding result because the pesticides are applied in misty form, allowing the leaves to absorb on both sides.
“Look at the drones!” One after another, P20 began its operation, nearby villages gather excitedly to watch from the sidelines.
Total of 3 operation teams had been sent for this trial, each team manage and operates single P20 V2 Aerial Applicator. Peng Yunhua is the operation leader of XAircraft operation in Henan China and he is the most qualified and experienced operator on-site. As the chief pilot and team leader of this operation, he briefed that this farm is located at the intersection of plains and hills and the terrain is relatively complex. For safety consideration, the operations team will begin its operation in a relatively flat area, the purpose of this decision is to test the aircraft while training other operators for their first on-site operations.
Gao Tao is one of the team leaders during this operation, although he had interacted with P20 V2 previously, they haven’t actually done many practices before this operation. It is important to accumulate experience in the actual operation. However, with a basic understanding and experience, the controls of P20 V2 are quite simple. Accumulating experience and getting familiar with the P20 is important, everyone in the regional office is waiting excitingly and looking forward to hearing about our operations in the field.
Hilly terrain affected by uneven heights, ultrasound terrain-tracing mode was activated over these areas. To ensure the safety of the operation, operator Li Meng and other operators proceed around the field to observe and ensure safety while operating over these terrains and prepare to take urgent measures if necessary. But P20 V2 operated very smoothly over these difficult terrains, and it was not until the operation is completed that operator Li Meng gradually relaxed. Wang Hao from Zhengzhou Hena, China, is one of the new graduates from Xaircraft Class. During this operation, he is acting as drone observer to ensure the minimum distance of observing villagers are kept away during flight operations and to change batteries and chemical containers when the aircraft had landed. Day one of the operation lasted until 2 am, and it resumes at 6 am for Day 2, Sleepy Wang Hao rubbing his red eyes and said: “I must wash my head at noon for refreshment”. Although he was exhausted, we still often saw Wang Hao working tirelessly throughout the day in the field.
Service staff Li Senlin is also responsible for similar work as Wang Hao. Operation Day 1, he said “He hasn’t had much practice and experience with V2 yet, still getting familiar with the operating process by following and learning from the team leader”. During day 2, Li Senlin operated and flew a few times, and was very excited. Li Senlin often were a mask during operations because the field is very dusty, wearing a mask is much better. Although the environment is harsh, and work is tough, but his interest in the work far surpass the hardships of the environment.
Deputy Captain is responsible for the battery charging and delivery during this operation. In the operation charging center, deputy captain stayed at the charging center until 3 am in the morning arranging and checking all the battery are charged and arranged neatly to ensure there are sufficient battery and operational during day 2 of the operation. He shyly said with a smile “Although the job is hard, he loves his job, he loves to work outdoors. Thinking back when he first applied for the job, thinking XAircraft is a technology company with relatively high expectation, he applied and was accepted. The job is harder than previously imagined but also gave him the opportunity to travel extensively in the past year.
P20 V2 is now in the final phase of the field test. P20 V2 will soon be in full production and ready to mass deploy, areas such as Jiangsu, Hubei, Shandong, Xinjiang and other places also soon ushered in plant protection season. Growers are excited about our new technology and will soon transform their daily operation, the only thing hasn’t changed is, using technology to improve the farmer’s production, life to the realization of the original intention of the value of technology.