Ayres Corporation

Last updated
Ayres Corporation
Industry Aerospace
FateBankruptcy; acquired by Thrush Aircraft
PredecessorAlbany, Georgia, division of Rockwell International
Successor Thrush Aircraft
Founded1977 (1977)
FounderFred Ayres
Defunct2001 (2001)
Subsidiaries LET
An Ayres S-2R Thrush AyresThrushC-GVVZ.JPG
An Ayres S-2R Thrush

Ayres Corporation was an American aircraft manufacturer owned and run by Fred Ayres.



In 1977, Ayres bought the Albany, Georgia division of Rockwell International, which made the S2R Thrush Commander agricultural aircraft. [1] [ failed verification ] Before this, Ayres had been a distributor of Thrush Commanders.[ citation needed ] After the acquisition, Ayres developed two-seat and turboprop-powered versions of the Thrust Commander.[ citation needed ] By 1981, the company was operating a crop-dusting training school. [2] A special V-1-A Vigilante version of the Thrust Commander was developed in 1989 for anti-drug operations in South America. [3] The company attempted to sell 10 Turbo Thrush aircraft to Iran in 1993, but was unable to receive an exemption from U.S. government sanctions. [4]

In 1996, urged on by Federal Express, development was begun on the Ayres LM200 Loadmaster, designed to carry 7,500 pounds of cargo. [5] The aircraft was to be powered by two 1350 hp LHTEC TP800 driving a single five-bladed Hamilton-Standard propeller through a combining gearbox. To support this development effort, Ayres acquired the LET aircraft manufacturing company in the Czech Republic in September 1998. [6] [ failed verification ] [7] [ failed verification ] In 2001, the company was forced into bankruptcy when creditors foreclosed on it and the Loadmaster program was terminated. [8] [ failed verification ]

In 2003, the company's assets were bought by Thrush Aircraft. [9]


Model nameFirst flightNumber builtType
Ayres Thrush Single engine agricultural monoplane
Ayres LM200 Loadmaster N/A0Unbuilt single engine cargo monoplane

See also

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  1. "What's New". Atlanta Constitution. 30 November 1977. p. 3C. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  2. Pirtle, Caleb (9 August 1981). "Let Us Spray". Atlanta Weekly. pp. 6–9, 12, 16, 17, 25. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  3. Scott, Phil (1 August 2007). "You Might Get Shot At". AOPA. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  4. Brice, Arthur (8 January 1993). "South Georgia Manufacturer Upset that U.S. Won't OK Crop-Duster Sale". Atlanta Constitution. pp. H1, H8. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  5. Thurston, Scott (1 December 1996). "FedEx Deal Could Put Small Firm 'On the Map'". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. R6. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  6. Thurston, Scott (18 August 1998). "Ayres Soars into Europe on Czech Purchase". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. D2. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  7. Hirschman, Dave (10 September 2000). "Carrying the Load". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. pp. Q1, Q5. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  8. Padfield, R. Randall. "Loadmaster in limbo as Ayres fades away". AINOnline. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  9. Hirschman, Dave (28 September 2003). "Aircraft Factory Enjoys Revival". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. pp. E1, E7. Retrieved 10 November 2020.