The first flight of the Ag-1, the first plane built specifically for agricultural aviation, takes place Dec. 1, 1950. It was built under the guidance of Fred Weick at the Texas A&M Aircraft Research Center.
The Ag-1 had a 39-foot wingspan and was powered by a Continental E-225 engine. Typical operating speeds were 60 to 90 mph, but it could attain a maximum speed of 115 mph.
During the summer of 1951, the Ag-1 embarked on a countrywide agricultural tour where about 650 pilots flew it to test its capabilities. Since it was a single-seat airplane, the pilots had no way to receive dual control instruction or be checked out by a pilot familiar with the aircraft. After going through so many test flights, Weick observed, “The mere fact that the Ag-1 survived this treatment and returned to College Station appears to be some vindication of both its handling characteristics and its ruggedness.”
The Ag-1 was a one-of-a-kind aircraft, and that is how it remains today as it was the only one ever built. Weick knew from the start that the Ag-1 was never intended to be the final product. It was designed to be a learning instrument as they developed and produced a finished commercial aircraft. Many of its features were later incorporated into nearly every new commercial ag airplane model built.