A machine used by surgeons in delicate operations could eventually provide ways of guaranteeing New Zealand farm exports’ provenance.
Yamaha Motors NZ wasted no time in getting the new certification, clearing the way for the company to fly its R-Max helicopter UAV. The test flights were done near Auckland.
The R-Max is powered by a 246cc engine and has a 28kg payload. It was designed in Japan at the request of the country's Ministry of Agriculture Forest and Fisheries, which sought an unmanned vehicle for crop spraying. It should suit the widely varying topography of NZ.
"We have developed a robust safety policy for the operation of the R-Max," says Yamaha NZ general manager Daryl Lovegrove.