What makes a Thrush the best ag aircraft ever built?
Specifications and performance data are one thing. Real world quality and value are another. At Thrush, we focus on both, and its reflected in literally everything we do, from cockpit design to flight characteristics. It’s a passion that’s been here in Albany for more than forty years, and it’s only getting stronger. Here’s a summary of what we’re talking about. Use the points here to compare us with others, and to get a better feel for all that goes in to every aircraft we build.
A standard cockpit that’s way above standard.
Standard on every Thrush is the MVP-50T glass panel display from Electronics International. Its full-color screen provides excellent viewing – even in direct sunlight – allowing you to monitor all performance function parameters while maintaining excellent situational awareness. Its 50 different functions include an active G-meter and on-board data recording, as well as ag-specific features such as boom pressure and an electric fan brake light. Its color-coded interface and verbal alerts significantly enhance cockpit management and safety.
Fast. Agile. And secure.
Every Thrush offers superb visibility, speed and maneuverability. And its large wing area, low wing loading, and outstanding handling qualities are specifically designed to let you get more done, and help bring you home safely after a hard day’s flying.
Built tough – just like the work you do.
All Thrush Aircraft feature four massive 4140 steel main spar caps – each is 19.5 feet long, and its two lower spar caps are 1.5" thick. The 700 series main spar is 16 feet long and its two lower spar caps are 1.75" thick. Our aircraft will be with you for the long haul. The Thrush 510G has a FAA approved spar life of 60,000 hours. The 510P has a spar life of 29,000 hours. And the 710P series has a spar life of 26,000. In addition, all three aircraft hve no mandatory inspections on the wing spar. And the all-metal airframe construction on all our models is designed and tested to resist fatigue and corrosion. We even put an anti-corrosive hot linseed oil coating on our interconnected 4130 steel tubes throughout the airframe.
Less stress on the wing. Less stress for you.
The load on our aircraft’s new lower spar caps is carried by over twice as much metal as the old spar caps – reducing the maximum stress in that area by over half. And our 500 series features a long lower splice block with 8 bolts, the largest being 1" in diameter. It’s designed specifically so that if there were ever fatigue, the last hole on the lower splice blocks would fatigue first - long before the lower spar cap does – and it can be easily replaced. The Thrush 710P features a new 54-foot wing span, with a 12-foot long main spar center section machined from a solid slab of 4140 steel that’s 2 1/2" thick and nearly a foot wide. A single pin joint on the 710P is able to support a load over 450,000 pounds.
No Airworthiness Directives
There are no FAA Airworthiness Directives, issued, pending or requested against any Thrush airframes built after 2003. Why is that important? Because it means less cost and downtime to comply with major ADs, less replacing of time limited-items, and less interference with spraying operations - all of which can drive up your cost per hour of flying. You need to stay in the air in order to stay profitable. A Thrush will keep you flying more days and more hours than any other ag airplane.
Built with pilot safety in mind.
It’s not just our passion to build great aircraft. We are also passionate about innovation and safety. That’s why every Thrush has a rugged heli-arc welded 4130 steel truss fuselage. The large window area and all glass cockpit offers high protection for pilots – as well as superb visibility and low workload, while the surrounding roll cage is designed to withstand high G overturn impact for unsurpassed impact safety.
The best airframe in the business.
Every one of our airframes features rugged heli-arc welded 4130 steel truss fuselage. All Thrush Aircraft welded structures are TIG welded so they are high quality, clean and precise. This means you can check worrying about airframe corrosion and fatigue right off your list.
Wire strike protection is standard.
All Thrush aircraft are well protected against wire strikes and are the only ag aircraft with a wire strike protection system. You’ll find every Thrush aircraft has wire cutters on the main landing gear, wire cutters and deflectors on the cockpit, and a wire deflector cable from the cockpit to the vertical fin. We want you home every night, and be ready to go again tomorrow.
The view is great from here.
The hoppers on all Thrush aircraft are made of lightweight fiberglass with polyester resin to resist abrasion and offer strong adhesives, making maintenance and repairs trouble free. Plus, the transparent construction allows hopper levels to be viewed in flight and on the ground during loading operations. This saves you time, and let’s you keep working without having to guess at your remaining load.
Broad and beautiful.
Every 500 series Thrush features a big beautiful 47.5-foot wing span, with 365 square feet of total wing area and our 710P has a 54-foot wing span, and 405 square foot total wing area. All of our wings features 36 carefully manufactured main ribs to transmit the load from the skins to the wing spars, plus a wet wing with the 7 inner bays for fuel. And with a fuel capacity of 228 gallons, you’ll spend more time on station, less time making trips back to the pump.
We’re thick skinned.
Our leading-edge skins are manufactured out of high strength .050 aluminum. Plus, our leading edge contains 27 ribs which are not attached to the skins, eliminating structural damage to the ribs if there is ever a strike to the wing. In addition, every skin, rivet, bolt, hose and tubing is sealed using aircraft sealant, and each wing features 37 inspection covers for routine maintenance and visual inspections. It’s a level of detail you won’t find on any other agricultural airplane, and just one more reason Thrush is the aircraft of choice of the hardest working operators worldwide.
Easy to fly. Simple to maintain.
Every Thrush is designed to make life easier for you – from flying with confidence, to making service and engine and systems more accessible on the ground, especially for frequently inspected parts. You’ll find we’ve designed each Thrush to be beautifully simple, with low maintenance requirements and very high durability. To make things even simpler, every Thrush comes standard with over 900 stainless steel cam locks, studs or grommets to easily strip down for cleaning and maintenance. Plus, our safe-life limits exceed all competitors.
Corrosion protection that’s second to none
We powder-coat all our airframes, engine mounts and tripod landing gear, giving you a durable finish that lasts a lifetime. Powder-coating fights exposure to moisture and chemicals and its hard, tough coating doesn’t fade and is incredibly chip and crack resistant. In addition, the aluminum parts on our aircraft are treated to prevent corrosion. Our chromate chemical conversion process coats each part to improve corrosion resistance of the aluminum while providing an excellent base for painting. We even put an anti-corrosive hot linseed oil coating inside our interconnected 4130 steel tubes, engine mount, and throughout the airframe. Every one of our airframes features over 100 stainless steel clips attached to the fuselage. And on the outside, we use PPG for all painted parts because it’s specially formulated to withstand the daily grind of harsh environments, while leaving a durable long lasting high gloss finish. No one ever said you couldn’t look good while you work.
Short strips don’t scare us.
For many of our operators, long, hard surface strips are a luxury. Short, rough, unimproved dirt is more the norm. That’s not a problem in a Thrush. Our aircraft are designed with wide-stance landing gear capable of absorbing the weight on landing. So you can get in and out of wherever you need to, with confidence. All Thrush landing gears have no life limit. The combination of 29" high flotation tires and dual caliper brakes lets the Thrush achieve maximum performance. You don’t quit when the strips are tough, and neither do we.