Thrush Aircraft Teams with General Electric on 510G Model
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
Later this summer following federal certification, Thrush Aircraft will begin delivery of its 510G aircraft with the General Electric H80 engine. GE worked exclusively with Thrush to launch the new-generation engine, which offers increased temperature margins, better fuel efficiency and excellent thrust.
"We're excited to offer our customers the performance and features that GE brings to the table," said Thrush Vice President of Sales Eric Rojek.
Thrush aircraft are used for agricultural spray operations, fire control, drug eradication, border surveillance, fuel transport to remote locations and mosquito and locust control. Since 1966, more than 3,000 Thrush aircraft have been delivered and 2,200 are still in operation in 80 countries around the world.
While Thrush produces four models, two models – the 510P and 510G – account for 90 percent of production. The aircraft offer fully digital, glass-panel cockpits, powder-coated steel airframes and state-of-the-art safety features.
Bringing Aerial Applications In-House
According to the National Agricultural Aviation Association, 71 million acres out of a total of 408 million acres of U.S. cropland are treated aerially each year. There are approximately 1,350 aerial application businesses in the United States.
"We're seeing more large growers and co-ops purchasing aircraft," Rojek said. "Usually there is a small window to plant and harvest or if fungus breaks out or a disease, growers need to react quickly."
"Ag aviation operators have a book of business so it can be difficult to react quickly. If there are two days of rain, then it's a question of who gets bumped from the schedule. Large growers who don't want to take that chance are bringing it in-house."
Thrush aircraft are designed for mass use over large acreage. Banana growers, for example, represent a major market segment for Thrush, according to Rojek.
Selling the Thrush advantage
According to Rojek, there are only two major players in the agricultural aircraft industry – Thrush and Air Tractor. "It's like Ford and Chevy so we are always trying to educate customers on the advantages of Thrush."
Thrush spends considerable time on the manufacture of each unit, producing approximately 50 aircraft per year. Design, production, planning and product support are based in Albany, Ga. Raw materials such as metal, fiberglass and parts come into the Albany facility and finished aircraft come out ready for delivery.
"Our aircraft are higher quality because we do all work in-house," Rojek said.
Thrush is also committed to providing reliable local support for its aircraft. The company currently supports aircraft up to 45 years old across more than 80 countries.
"We can ship production parts anywhere in the world in 24 hours but there could be delays in customs. That's why we stock parts in-country," Rojek said.
Thrush has dealers located in Argentina, Brazil and the United States. It is represented in Africa, the Caribbean, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia by Africair, Inc. In addition, there are five service centers in the United States as well as centers in Argentina, Australia and Canada.
More information on Thrush Aircraft is available at www.thrushaircraft.com.