Henry Ford once said, “In hard times, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” This fitting aviation quote could not be more applicable to the newly relaunched Thrush Aircraft – and taking off against the wind is exactly what the company has done with the launch of two new aircraft in their 500-gallon product line, the 510P2 and the 510P2+.
Thrush is no stranger to challenges. In 2012, under different ownership, the company launched a new 500-gallon aircraft powered by the GE H80 turboprop engine. The airframe/engine combination was an instant success, with a newly redesigned engine mount that extended the nose and provided exceptional balance in the flight envelope plus spar caps that had a 60,000-hour life. However, lack of support from the engine manufacturer proved difficult to overcome long term.
Fast forward a little under a decade – Thrush has been “reborn,” and the company’s focus has been redefined. Thrush embraced the design success of the 510G airframe and has launched two new aircraft that utilize the existing airframe and its improved engineering – the P2 and the P2+. The aircraft will use the PT6A-34AG and PT6A-140AG turboprop engines, boasting 750 and 867 shp, respectively. Both aircraft come with a 4 blade prop designed for the application.
The Thrush 510P2/P2+ engines are positioned on slightly modified H80 engine mounts which extend the nose to improve stability and performance over the 510P model. Additional baggage/tool space is also available in the front of the aircraft. Other design changes in the 510P2/P2+ are improved air intake filter arrangements that provide quick access to the filter, stainless steel and aluminum hard lines for fuel and oil (eliminating the need to replace hoses in service), and a new electrical harness in the engine compartment. A new air plenum sealing feature that uses “P” seals will provide improved and efficient intake sealing has also been added. The 510P2/P2+ will have new data plates and be available in single and dual-cockpit configurations. Certification and subsequent deliveries are expected in Q4 of 2021 for the single-cockpit versions and in Q1 of 2022 for the dual-cockpit.
Read more at AgAirUpdate.