The single rotor Yamaha RMAX is a high end UAV exceeding many of the standard capabilities found on its competitors in the agricultural sector. Benefiting from a relatively long development history, initial research and product development on its predecessors began in 1983 with completion of its first industrial-use unmanned helicopter in 1987.
The RMAX boast some seriously impressive specifications, amongst which is the 28kg load capacity achieved by its more than 3m diameter rotor and 246cc engine. Fueled by a mix of regular gasoline and 2-cycle engine oil it produces a maximum output of 15.4kw and is capable of flights up to 60 minutes in duration. The Yamaha RMAX is designed with a range of safety features that includes a self-monitoring function enabling the helicopter to perform a self-check on each part of the helicopter before flight. Other safety features comprise advanced braking and speed control that enable the helicopter to be easily brought into a hover, along with automated safety flight modes that initiate in the event of radio or GPS interference.
What really differentiates the Yamaha RMAX from many of it competitors is its ability to not only be used as a remote sensing platform but also as a vehicle for applying both wet and dry products in the field. The RMAX can be equipped with 2 x 8 liter tanks for liquid spraying and 2 x 13 liter hoppers for granular spraying. These enable the UAV to be used for spraying, seeding and variable rate dispersal, whilst mitigating any soil compaction normally associated with the performance of these activities by conventional means.
Yamaha state that the RMAX can perform spraying operations over 2 acres of field in an average of 6 minutes. This is a very eye-catching specification when you consider the optional 6 frequency controller that can enable up to 6 helicopters to be flown at one time during spraying operations, without any crosstalk or interference.
Interestingly, the Yamaha RMAX is not available for outright purchase in Australia. It is only offered on a fully maintained rental arrangement with pricing dependent upon several factors including type of use, equipment level and required operating period. Yamaha Sky Division Australia provide several reasons for this restriction, most interestingly of which includes the international trade in arms agreement because of its high end capabilities. Additional reasons sited are ensuring maintenance and responsible environmental usage, along with the cost effectiveness of these agreements for operators.
More information about the Yamaha RMAX can be found at the Australian Yamaha RMAX website