The Ag Cat was the first aircraft specifically designed by a major aircraft company for agricultural aviation. Claiming the title as one of the most successful agricultural aircrafts of its kind, they are still in use to this day.
Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation proposed designing a “purpose built” crop dusting airplane in order to solve for a pressing need within the agricultural community. At the time there was a growing interest among farmers for aerial applications of chemical fertilizer and seed.
Grumman released their first G-164 on May 27, 1957 when it accomplished its maiden flight. The Ag-Cat was able to handle the rigors of low altitude flights and high “g force” agricultural application maneuvers. It also boasted a low stall speed and ample visibility, not to mention it was also designed to handle a heavy takeoff weight, due to the extra pounds the crop-dusting materials added.
The small prop plane saw two different models with Grumman before it was subcontracted to the Schweizer Aircraft Company of Elmira, New York. By 1981 Schwiezer purchased the outline and showcase rights to the G-164 Ag-Cat. In 1995 Schweizer sold the Ag-Cat’s assembling rights to the Ag-Cat Corp of Malden, Missouri who have assembled a few of the aircraft model.
G-164 Ag-Cats are still flown today. It continues to be known as one of the most successful agricultural aircrafts ever built. It has been in almost continuous production since the 1950s, and farmers continue to rely on its durability to help them get their jobs done efficiently.