Stokes Flying Service has a long history of successful R&D efforts that benefit their customers and the industry as a whole. Examples include the early use of turbine aircraft that could carry more product and deliver it to the field more efficiently and safely, and the early development of GPS (Global Positioning System) guidance (smart spraying). Similar to smart bombing in the military, smart spraying eliminates the need for a man on the ground flagging the pilot, and at the same time allows the aircraft to fly a much more accurate pattern over the field. This results in cost saving and improved performance with crops reaping the obvious benefit of accurate application of product.
Another product recently developed at Mid Continent Aircraft and proven at Stokes Flying Service is called "Load Hawg". Load Hawg takes the place of a man climbing up on the wing of an Ag plane to refill it's hopper with product. It consists of a power opening door, or hatch, and an auger that evenly distributes the product in the hopper. This greatly improves safety in the aerial application business since this role was considered the most dangerous job involved in loading an aircraft.
Currently under development at Stokes Flying Service is the next generation in "Prescription Spraying". This involves the use of multi spectral imaging combined with a man on the ground walking the field to determine the precise amount of product needed in each area of a field. This information is loaded into the on board computer directed GPS system on the aircraft that controls a new "Variable Rate" system that adjusts the amount of product applied to each part of a field based on a more accurate than ever "Prescription" for perfect application of needed material. This will reduce the amount of product used in a field since product would be applied only to areas that need it thus reducing cost for the farmer, while improving his yield.
Once you realize how much Dennie Stokes has and continues to contribute to the technological development of the aerial application industry, it is easy to see why his work is considered second to none.