Thrush Aircraft and GE Aviation have signed the launch customer for the new H80-powered, 510-gallon, 10,500-pounds gross weight Thrush aerial applicator (crop duster). The launch customer is a joint venture between Boschung Global AG and Inter Sinex AG of Switzerland. The venture has plans to operate the Thrush 510 aircraft in Kazakhstan, which is the world’s seventh largest producer of grains and a major exporter of wheat.
“The robust design of the Thrush 510 aircraft coupled with the H80’s power, performance and low maintenance requirements are an ideal fit for our needs and the Kazakh agricultural market,” said Paul Boschung, president of Boschung Global. “We predict a growing opportunity for modern agricultural aircraft in Kazakhstan and neighboring countries. Our plan is to purchase additional aircraft for this market in the future.”
The H80 engine combines the turboprop design of the M601 engine family with GE Aviation’s modern 3D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials. The resulting technologies deliver more shaft-horsepower, improved engine fuel efficiency and increased temperature margin, enabling Thrush 510 operators to carry larger loads in hot weather, according to GE officials. The H80 engine features an extended service life of 3,600 hours and 6,600 cycles between overhauls.
Certification testing on the H80 is set to begin by year-end, with engine certification expected in mid-2010. The new H80-powered Thrush 510 is expected to gain certification from the FAA next summer, with customer deliveries to follow.
The Thrush features a 29,000-hour wing spar life with no mandatory inspections of the wing spars. Additional features include a tubular steel fuselage and cockpit roll cage, removable fuselage skins and chromate-treated aluminum surfaces for corrosion prevention.