Thrush Aircraft’s roots go deep into ag aviation’s past.

About Thrush

The company’s storied heritage began when North American Rockwell purchased the product line of Snow Aeronautical. Rockwell then put its world-class engineering and manufacturing skills to work, and the results were nothing short of amazing.

The first Rockwell ag plane was test flown in 1966. Even though it only carried a 400-gallon hopper, the aircraft contributed to the long, colorful history of crop dusting, and helped lead the transition to larger hoppers and more powerful engines.

In March 1970, Rockwell moved the entire product line from Olney, Texas to Albany, Georgia. By late 1973, the original 400 was in such demand that Rockwell increased the production rate to one airplane per day, which was unprecedented at the time. Later, in the 1970s, Rockwell sold production rights for their agricultural aircraft to Ayres Corporation and success continued for several years. Eventually, however, that success began to wane and new product development slowed. The company grew quiet.

Twenty-six years later, a forward-thinking businessman from Atlanta purchased the assets of the then defunct Ayres Corporation, renamed the company Thrush Aircraft. A strong growth cycle ensured – including the introduction of several innovations in both the agricultural and aerial firefighting markets. In the fall of  2019, leadership of the company transitioned to a new team led by industry veteran Mark McDonald. Bringing some 75 years of combined aviation experience to the company. Mr. McDonald and his partners have set their sights on increasing the company’s capability and capacity even more, and positioning the Thrush brand for continued long-term grown and success. 

With a well-rounded management team now in place, a solid product line, and a wealth of experience in all areas of manufacturing and support, Thrush Aircraft is now set for an even brighter future ahead.

Take off with a Thrush and see your business do the same.

We’re proud of the fact that Thrush aircraft are relied on for their role in helping operations of all sizes fertilize crops, control insects, eliminate weeds and fight fires. Whether it be increasing yields, saving lives, or preventing the loss of property or forest, it’s something we don’t take lightly.

Other jobs Thrush aircraft handle in stride include:

  • Sowing rice
  • Feeding shrimp
  • Top dressing for timber
  • Special operations for
  • Spraying crop canopies drug eradication
  • Border surveillance
  • Transport fuel to remote locations
  • Combating oil spills
  • Mosquito and locust control

This versatility is part of what has made Thrush a favorite of operators, both large and small, throughout the world.

Preferred by more than 2,200 Thrush aircraft owners hard at work in some 80 countries—that’s the proverbial proof in the pudding. Major operators who rely on Thrush include such familiar names as Dole Fresh Fruit, Del Monte Fresh Fruit, Aerovic, FumiPalma, as well as many governments around the world. You simply won’t find a more reliable brand of airplane anywhere.

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Real world experience, real-time capabilities.

Thrush Aircraft has a management team with a wealth of experience in all areas of manufacturing. We operate under the FAA-approved Production Certificate 5S0 and meet Mil-I-45208 inspection system requirements, Mil-Q-9858A quality system requirements and Mil-Standard-45662 calibration system requirements. The management team, along with a skilled employee base, have designed, manufactured, and operated ag airplanes for 30 years. We have a full complement of support personnel for planning, purchasing, subcontract coordination, engineering, and product support.

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The proven means to meet almost any need.

Over the years, a number of aircraft ground-breaking projects have been produced under contract at our Albany facility, including the Myers 200, Lark Darter, CalAir A9 and A9B, Rockwell 112, and all Thrush aircraft since 1970. Subcontracts have been accomplished for several aerospace companies including the FedEx cargo conversion kit for the Boeing 727, Lockheed aft quarter panels for the P3 Orion program, helicopter fuselages for the MD500, MD520, and MD600, British Aerospace 146 cargo door details, Aeronautical Engineers cargo door tooling and details for the 727 and 737, Pats, Inc. fuel tank inspection covers for Boeing, formed parts for Aeronca and Commander, and the design, tool development, and manufacture of kits for the OV10 for Dyncorp. The prior operations have also produced detail parts and tooling for Boeing to support the 727, 737, 747, 757, and 767 production lines.

The Albany Repair Station/Service Center was also responsible for the engineering, tooling development, parts manufacture, and installation of Stage 3 hush kits for the DC9, 727 and 737 aircraft. This program was performed for Airborne, US Air, TWA, Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Canadian Air, Scandinavian, Value Jet/Air Tran, Federal Express, and Air France.

If you have a manufacturing need that demands the best in both engineering and build quality, come let us show you what a difference our team can make on your project.

For more information regarding our manufacturing capabilities, or to schedule a project, please contact Mike Pierce our Contract/Planning Director at (229) 789-0462 or

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Every bit as dedicated to a hard day’s work as you are.

Thrush Aircraft has a labor base in the Albany, Georgia area of more than 160 dedicated experts. Our team has aircraft manufacturing experience dating back to the mid-1960s, including all phases of design, tooling production, planning, product manufacturing, product support, and customer service.

We’re a small company with big capabilities – all backed by the performance to prove it. This performance would not be possible were it not for the dedication of our staff and the appreciation they have for our customers. It’s partly about being from the South and the work ethic that comes with that, and partly about loving what you do. Come visit us one day soon, and meet the people who have made each Thrush airplane that rolls out the door the very best ag airplane in the industry. You won’t find a better team anywhere else in the world.