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Ayres


In 1965 Rockwell-Standard acquired Snow Aeronautical, continuing to produce agricultural aircraft at Olney as Snow Commanders (as division of Aero Commander), and acquired Intermountain Manufacturing Company (IMCO) 1966. Thrush Commander was very notable specially-designed agricultural aircraft.


Working with Rockwell, Ayres commenced converting Thrush Commander 600 and 800 airframes to PT6 power before purchasing the entire production rights from Rockwell.
The entire Thrush Commander range was sold to Ayres Corp of Albany, Georgia, in November 1977 and then became known by the Ayres name.


Production continued in 1999 of various developed models as Turbo Thrush agricultural aircraft with piston and turboprop engines. The new owners will continue to manufacture the Models 600 and 800 Thrush Commanders. Fred Ayres, who developed the Turbo Thrush PT6 retrofit, was able to produce new aircraft rather than conversions. Has also developed the Loadmaster, a uniquely configured multipurpose transport with two turboprop engines driving a single propeller, intended mainly for carrying bulk and containerised freight but with passenger/troop and reconnaissance variants planned.


On 27 November 2000, the Ayres Corp filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, necessitated by the larger than expected development costs of the new Loadmaster aircraft.

 


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