Effects of Lowering Aerial Spray Boom on Spray Drift and Swath Width




Tom, H.H.
Hoffmann, W.C

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Drift is one of the major concerns of today’s aerial applicators. With the increasing encroachment of urban areas into agricultural lands and changing regulatory conditions, aerial applicators must use the latest technology to make every application as efficient as possible. A spray boom system for aircraft was designed, constructed and tested. The system lowers the spray boom by 0.45 m (1.5 ft) and moves forward by 0.37 m (1.2 ft) once the aircraft is in the air. The purpose of constructing the system was to increase the distance between the spray release point and the turbulence generated by the aircraft. During in-wind swath analysis tests, the swath width was increased by 1.9 m, resulting in a 10.3% increase in swath width. A drift test was conducted to compare the drift from the spray system with the boom in the raised (original) versus lowered positions. There was 25.9 and 55.9% less deposition at 10 and 310 m, respectively, from the flightline with the boom lowered.