Thrush Aircraft 1st Q Newsletter

2014-03-18 09:02:57


A message from Payne Hughes

The Thrush factory has been a landmark here in Georgia for more than 40 years - and in that time, none of us can remember a winter as cold or bitter as the one that is (thankfully) just about to wrap up. Last week, the daffodils were beginning to rise in some of the planting beds around town, and our pecan trees here on our factory grounds are starting to show some life as well. Spring is almost here - and that means our local operators will soon be taking to the air in earnest, as the growing season gets underway.

Even though the weather this winter has been less than optimal for almost everyone across the country, we've been busy here inside the factory preparing a number of new things for the season ahead. One of those that we're most excited about is our new fire bomber - the 510G Switchback. 

Working closely with our friends at Transland, the Switchback's gatebox will give operators the ability to switch from normal spray operations, to fire bombing, then back to spraying - all in a very short time. Flight testing of the Switchback is now underway, and the early results have exceeded our expectations so far. 

You'll be hearing more about this versatile new aircraft in the months to come. In the meantime, I hope the warmer weather will be reaching each of you soon - and that the beginning of this new year will mark an exciting, and profitable time, for your own operations.

To help make that possible, know that our team here at Thrush is ready to support you with whatever needs you may have - from aircraft, to parts, to the best technical advice in the industry. All of it is just a phone call away and - as always - if your travels should ever bring you to south Georgia, the coffee pot is always on and we'd love to have you come join us for a cup - and see how our aircraft get built. 

In the meantime, thank you for your continued business and for your support - and here's to a great spray season ahead.

510G Switchback now flying

Here at Thrush we've just rolled out the 510G Switchback - a versatile new aircraft designed to be used in both normal ag operations and an initial attack air tanker for wildfire suppression. The Switchback gives operators the ability to not only spray crops with the best agricultural aircraft in the world, but to fight fires with it as well. Thanks to a newly designed gatebox from Transland, the Switchback system's straightforward disconnect gives the aircraft flexibility to be used in multiple roles beyond firefighting all with a minimum of change-over time. The Switchback is intended for fire agencies who want a lower cost, simpler aircraft with multi-use capabilities, including dry application, liquid and firefighting - all in one package.

The 510G Switchback is being announced to the public at the Tangent Link Aerial Fire Fighting Conference in Sacramento, CA this month. The conference draws aerial firefighting experts from around the world, and gives them an opportunity to learn and demonstrate the latest technologies in wildfire prevention and suppression. The new 510G Switchback will be on static display there at the Conference, and will put on a flying demonstration as well.

The 510G Switchback is powered by the GE H80-100 engine, and utilizes the FAST (Flexible Application System) from Transland. This new hydraulic gatebox also features guidance and hydraulic gatebox control by Dyna Nav System. The controlled gate allows for programed salvo drops that are both consistent and even. Best of all, the FAST system is designed for the operator to change the system from Ag to fire work in less than one day.

This amazing new system is a true partnership with the three companies - and has been in development for more than a year. Initial testing results have been outstanding - as the aircraft has been able to dump its' entire 510 gallon capacity in just under two seconds. We think this bodes well for the future of air attack, and we're proud to be leading the way.

510G Wins Canadian Certification

Transport Canada, the Canadian civil aviation authority, has granted full type certification for the new Thrush 510G, which is powered by the new GE H80 turboprop engine. This latest approval comes hot on the heels of certification of the aircraft in Argentina, Brazil, China, South Africa and Uruguay last year, and serves as an excellent indicator of the airplane's amazing market reception following its initial certification in the United States by the FAA in October 2012.

The Canadian certification process began some thirteen months ago, shortly after FAA certification was received, and it was concluded at Transport Canada's offices in Ottawa to an enthusiastic reception. The certification includes both the single- and the dual-cockpit versions of the Thrush 510G.

Thrush Canadian customers have been very anxious to put the 510G to work over Canada's farm fields and certification comes just in time for the new growing season. The folks at Transport Canada were simply great to work throughout the certification process - and they have also been extremely thorough in their evaluations. Thrush is very proud to have our airplanes carry Transport Canada's seal of approval.

The new Thrush 510G is expected to set the bar significantly higher for agricultural aircraft in the region, and all of us here are looking forward to seeing more and more of them leave the factory headed North!

Air Repair and North Star Aviation named newest factory authorized 

Service & Support facility

Here at Thrush, we are continuing to strengthen our Service & Support network with the appointment of Air Repair and North Star Aviation as our newest factory authorized Service & Support facilities to join the Thrush Aircraft service network. These appointments will significantly improve Thrush maintenance and service to our customers in their prominent regions in the south and in the midwest.

Air Repair is located in Cleveland, MS and they operate a full service maintenance center. The company currently supports various ag aircraft, and their knowledgeable maintenance and technical team have been providing support and service to Thrush operators for years. North Star Aviation is located in Ulysses, KS and supports customers in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. North Star provides service from minor repairs to major inspections, as well as AOG support.

These latest appointments affirm Thrush's on-going commitment to meet the growing operational needs of current and future customers. We will continue to strengthen and enhance support for our operators around the globe - all with the purpose of ensuring every Thrush aircraft is ready and able to get up and go to work anytime you do - and bring you safely home each night.

Thank You

It is a great privilege for all of us here at Thrush to be your aircraft supplier of choice - and it is a responsibility we take very seriously. Thank you for your continued business and for your support - and know that you've got the world's greatest team of ag aircraft engineers, builders and technicians behind you every time you fly. Have a great season ahead, fly safely, and come see us one day soon.