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Thrush earns weight increaseThrush earns weight increase

New models, legacy conversions approved to fly at 10,500 poundsNew models, legacy conversions approved to fly at 10,500 pounds

Thrush Aircraft of Albany, Georgia, has completed a certification effort spanning more than eight years that allows the 510P and 510G models to take full advantage of their 500-gallon spray tanks and fly at 10,500 pounds.

The FAA has certified the Thrush 510P under Part 23 to fly at 10,500 pounds. The Thrush 510G is also certified under Part 23 for operations at 10,500 pounds gross weight, the company announced Feb. 22. Photo courtesy of Thrush Aircraft.

The company declared “mission accomplished” on Feb. 22, announcing FAA certification of the 510 models to operate legally at their maximum weight capacity. The Part 23 certification of the 510P applies to serial numbers T34-273 forward, covering nearly every 510P produced since 2003 and powered by the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34AG turboprop. Roughly 180 of those 510Ps already in the field are eligible for a kit installation that will increase the maximum gross weight to the same 10,500 pounds.

“Thrush Aircraft has and will always put pilot safety first—and ensuring all of our aircraft are certified to the very latest standards and can safely work day in and day out at their full operational weight is a key element in doing just that,” said Payne Hughes, president of Thrush Aircraft, in a news release. “We made a significant investment in putting our designs through the rigors of FAA performance and structural testing because our customers count on our airplanes to be fully capable of bringing them home safe and sound each night. It’s a responsibility all of us here take very seriously—and loose guidelines and overload factors published more than 40 years ago don’t instill the level of confidence we think customers deserve. Which is why we want to ensure our airplanes are always built to the highest standards possible.”

Thrush Aircraft Vice President of Sales Eric Rojek, reached by telephone at a conference of aerial applicators in Canada, said the conversion kit includes minimal parts, a new airspeed indicator and placards, and is priced at about $2,000.

“What we tried to do is minimize the expense as much as we can,” Rojek said, noting that many operators are based in foreign countries, and the company sought to keep the weight increase as simple and accessible as possible. The price of a new 510P varies according to equipment requirements, and typically lands just north of $900,000, Rojek said.

Thrush Aircraft has sold more than 2,100 aircraft to operators in 80 countries, with agricultural spraying, forestry, and firefighting the primary missions. Thrush-made airplanes also have been adapted to warfighting missions, utilizing their heavy hauling capabilities for close air support and related roles on the battlefield.

Jim Moore

Jim Moore

Editor-Web
Editor-Web Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Topics: Turboprop

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