Ayres Thrush & Rockwell Thrush Commander


Country of Origin
United States of America
Agricultural aircraft
The original Snow S2 was designed by Leland Snow, who incorporated his knowledge as an experienced ag pilot into the S2's design. The Snow S2 prototype flew for the first time in 1956 and production deliveries began in 1958. S2 variants differed in engine options, and included the 165kW (220hp) Continental W670 powered S2A, the S2B and S2C with a Pratt & Whitney R985, and the R1340AN1 powered S2C600. Aero Commander acquired the design and production rights to the S2 series in 1965 and built the improved S2D Ag Commander. The rights to the S2 changed hands once more in 1967 when North American Rockwell (later Rockwell) acquired Aero Commander, continuing the series under the Thrush Commander banner. Rockwell models include the Thrush Commander600 with a 450kW (600hp) R1340 and the Thrush Commander800 with a 595kW (800hp) Wright R1300 Cyclone. Design and production rights changed hands a final time in 1977 when Ayres (who had previously carried out turboprop conversions to Thrush Commanders) acquired the rights to the Thrush Commander600. Ayres developments include the S2R600, which later became the S2R1340; the Bull Thrush, now just S2R1820; the Polish PZL3 powered Pezetel Thrush and the turboprop powered S2R series. The S2RT11, T15 and T34 are powered by PT6s, the S2RG6 and S2RG10 AlliedSignal TPE331s. Special missions developments are the S2RT65 NEDS Narcotics Eradication Delivery System for the US State Department, and the AlliedSignal powered Vigilante surveillance and close air support version. The latest development is the 660 Turbo Thrush, based on the S2R but with a larger hopper.
Thrush Commander600 - One 450kW (600hp) Pratt & Whitney R1340 Wasp nine cylinder radial driving a two blade constant speed Hamilton Standard propeller. S2RT34 - One 560kW (750shp) P&WC PT6A34AG driving a three blade c/s Hartzell prop.
600 - Max speed 225km/h (122kt), max cruising speed at 70% power 200km/h (108kt), typical working speed range 170 to 185km/h (91 to 100kt). Initial rate of climb 900ft/min. Service ceiling 15,000ft. Ferry range with max fuel at 70% power 648km (350nm). S2RT34 - Max speed with spray equipment 256km/h (138kt), cruising speed at 50% power 240km/h (130kt), working speed range at 30 to 50% power 143 to 240km/h (82 to 130kt). Initial rate of climb 1740ft/min. Service ceiling 25,000ft. Ferry range at 40% power 1230km (665nm).
600 - Empty equipped 1678kg (3700lb), max takeoff (agricultural category) 2720kg (6000lb). S2RT34 - Empty 1633kg (3600lb), max takeoff (ag category) 2720kg (6000lb).
600 - Wing span 13.51m (44ft 4in), length 8.95m (29ft 5in), height 2.79m (9ft 2in). Wing area 30.3m2 (326.6sq ft). S2RT34 - Same except wing span 13.54m (44ft 5in), length 10.06m (33ft 0in).
Pilot only, S2R offered with an optional second seat. S2R chemical hopper capable of holding 1514 litres or 1487kg of chemicals.
Includes 1300 built by Rockwell and 350+ by Ayres.
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Ayres Thrush & Rockwell Thrush Commander
The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.