Penn State is aerial seeding bioenergy crops on 300 acres just north and east of the University Park campus using planes like this one. The Pratt and Whitney aircraft designed by and built for Jeff Chorman, is powered by a turbo propellor. Jeff Chorman of Allen Chorman and Son Inc. was in Centre County to spread clover and canola seed on University property.
While the seeds are loaded from the top fo the aircraft, distribution is from the underbelly of the plane. The specially equipped aircraft will precisely deliver the seed at a speed of 160 miles per hour utilizing GPS technology to pinpoint the right fields and the swath width.
Prior to loading seed and takeoff, Brian Macafee, Glenn Cauffman and Jeff Chorman review maps of the area to determine exact locations for the seeding.
This is just one of four skids of seed to be used in the seeding operation. Canola was chosen because the grain is 40 percent oil that can be used to fuel tractors and harvesters.
As Jeff Chorman loads the aircraft, Brian Macafee and Jake Logan hand opened sacks of seed to him. While the craft is capable of carrying 4,000 pounds, each trip will carry 1,600 pounds of clover and canola seed.