NC6331K - The Crop Dusting Seabee
Crop Dusting Seabee
Spelling sudden death to mosquitoes, gypsy moths and other forest and lowland insect pests at the rate of 3,000 acres per day per plane, Republic Seabee amphibians are being specially equipped for aerial pest control and crop dusting operations by Ken Tyler, of Tyler Flying Service, which has headquarters at Massapequa, L.I., N.Y., but operates throughout the United States. Tyler declares amphibians have many advantages in aerial pest eradication, particularly over forest, coastal, or water-interspersed areas.
[RAC News Release 20 June 1947]
During June 1947, Seabee # 555 (NC6331K) was equipped with Ken Tyler's (Tyler Flying Service, Inc.; Massapequa, New York) patented aerial spraying rig for crop dusting, forest spraying, mosquito eradication and other pest control operations. The automobile fan mounted on the nose supplied the power to drive the pump just inside the bow door. Tanks were installed in the place of the rear seats and tubing carried the spray liquid out of the sides of the cabin to the spray bar mounted beneath the wings. The entire spraying equipment could be installed or removed in 45 minutes. The rig was demonstrated for the Department of Agriculture in an insect infested area of national forest in the Adirondacks.
The crop dusting Seabee was illustrated by the above and below Republic Aviation Corporation photos released to the press on 20 June 1947. Don Parker (right) was the assistant manager of Republic Aviation Corporation's personal plane sales division.
It is not known if the Crop Dusting Seabee was a success... According to an internet source Ken Tyler was the Chief Test Pilot at Republic during the war. Prior to the war he was a Hollywood stunt pilot & his claim to fame was flying inverted from LAX to SFO. He also flew as a fighter pilot for Spain during the 30s. He was killed in a crash while doing a film in Henderson, KY, in the mid 1960s.
NC6331K was originally delivered on 01 April 1947 to Republic Aviation Corporation as a demonstrator, but was officially sold to Tyler Flying Service on 30 June 1947. The fate of #555 is not known...