Thrush Aircraft

Last updated
Thrush Aircraft, Inc
Private Company
Industry Aerospace
Predecessor Ayres Corporation
Founded2003 (2003)
  • Larry Bays
  • Payne Hughes
United States
Area served
United States/Internationally
Key people
Mark McDonald
Thrush 510G Thrush510G.jpg
Thrush 510G

Thrush Aircraft, Inc. is an American aircraft manufacturer based in Albany, Georgia. It currently manufactures the Thrush series of agricultural aircraft.



Rockwell International originally built the facility in 1965 and operated it until it was purchased by Ayres Corporation on 23 November 1977. In July 2001, Ayres filed for bankruptcy and the rights to the S-2 aircraft were passed to Quality Aerospace. [1] In 2003, the factory was purchased by Larry Bays and Payne Hughes, and one month later Quality Aerospace transferred the type certificates of the S-2 to Thrush Aircraft. [2] [3] In 2005, the company had 150 employees. [4] By 2013, this had increased to 185. [5]

The 510 was introduced in 2009. [6] The first two examples of the 510G Switchback, a variant designed for firefighting were delivered to the Georgia Forestry Commission in 2017. [7]

The company entered bankruptcy protection in September 2019 for the second time, intending to restructure and emerge in a better financial position. The company laid-off 113 employees as part of the process. [8] As a result of the restructuring, Mark McDonald was named CEO. [9]


Model nameFirst flightNumber builtType
Thrush 510 Single engine agricultural monoplane
Thrush 550 Single engine agricultural monoplane
Thrush 710 Single engine agricultural monoplane

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  1. "Directory: world airliners". Flight International. 12–18 November 2002. p. 46.
  2. "Thrush Aircraft has good jobs soaring again". WALB News 10. 2 October 2003. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  3. "Type Certificate Data Sheet No. A3SW" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  4. "South Georgia company proud of its crop-dusting planes". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Associated Press. 8 May 2005. p. F3. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  5. Nay, Don (28 August 2013). "Exporting is Good for GA. Businesses". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. 16A. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  6. Fletcher, Carlton (20 November 2009). "Thrush introduces next generation of ag aircraft". Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  7. Lews, Terry (18 December 2017). "Georgia's Forestry Service Gets Newest Firefighting Aircraft". The Telegraph. p. 3A. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  8. Niles, Russ (29 September 2019). "Thrush Aircraft in Bankruptcy". AVweb. Archived from the original on 30 September 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  9. "Thrush Aircraft Re-Emerges". AgAir Update. Marsayl Media. June 2020. pp. A10–A13. Retrieved 15 November 2020.