Guardian Agriculture, a pioneer in Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) systems for large-scale sustainable farming, has secured U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization to operate its aircraft nationwide. This landmark approval makes Guardian Agriculture the first commercially approved eVTOL operator in the U.S., permitting the company to safely deploy its systems nationwide and positioning it as a frontrunner in the fast-growing agricultural eVTOL space.
Conventional farming is increasingly shifting from ground spraying equipment to unmanned autonomous systems. However, most available systems are insufficient for comprehensive coverage at competitive prices. Guardian Agriculture now stands as the sole U.S. firm offering an eVTOL solution with a size that ensures equivalent coverage to traditional aerial crop dusting and ground spraying equipment while maintaining or reducing costs and delivering digital precision.
Adam Bercu, Founder and CEO of Guardian Agriculture, stated that eVTOL-powered crop protection is superior for crops, the environment, and growers’ profitability. With over $100 million in customer orders, the company’s Guardian SC1 platform is the only autonomous, electric aerial crop protection system tailored for large-scale agriculture. Moreover, Guardian Agriculture’s commitment to designing and manufacturing its systems entirely in the U.S. supports national competitiveness, job creation, and security.
The FAA’s recent approval allows Guardian Agriculture to revolutionize farming with the Guardian SC1, according to Willie Negroni, Wilbur-Ellis VP of Supplier Relations. He expressed confidence in the technology and the Guardian team, announcing Wilbur-Ellis as both a customer and an investor.
The Guardian SC1 provides precise, safe crop protection application in a time- and cost-effective manner. Boasting a 200-pound payload capacity and a 15-foot aircraft width, the SC1 efficiently covers 40 acres per hour. In addition, the system, which integrates an autonomous aircraft, ground station supercharger, and software generating domestically stored data, offers on-target application when and where required.
Guardian Agriculture is set to be the first eVTOL manufacturer operating at scale nationwide and accumulating thousands of hours of commercial flight time. However, Jeff Sparks, the company’s COO, sees this as the beginning, with opportunities to demonstrate the system’s safety and reliability extending to other use cases and products beyond agriculture.
The company will commence commercial operations in California in support of its Wilbur-Ellis customer in the coming months while continuing to expand production capacity. Established in 2017 and headquartered in Massachusetts and California, Guardian Agriculture boasts a world-class team of engineering, autonomy, and manufacturing experts who have held executive positions at Apple, BAE, Sikorsky, Tesla, and Uber. The company’s founder is also a former BattleBots champion.
Image provided by Guardian Agriculture