Home-Press ReleasesGE & Thrush Aircraft support next-gen Ag pilots with $5,000 scholarships

GE & Thrush Aircraft support next-gen Ag pilots with $5,000 scholarships

LONG BEACH, California – Dec. 5, 2016 – GE Aviation and Thrush Aircraft will collaborate with the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) to establish a flight training scholarship program for aspiring agricultural pilots. The scholarship program, entitled “Ag Wings of Tomorrow,” will establish three new $5,000 scholarships that can be used by pilots to cover Ag-specific flight training costs. The Ag Wings of Tomorrow scholarship will be awarded annually.

The program will be administered by the NAAA who will award the initial scholarships in 2016. Those interested in the Ag Wings of Tomorrow can stop by GE Aviation’s booth at the NAAA convention in Long Beach for more information.

“GE Aviation is a strong supporter of NAAA’s mission to help small businesses and pilots aid farmers in producing a safe, affordable and abundant supply of food, fiber and biofuel, in addition to protecting forestry and controlling health-threatening pests,” said Norman Baker, President & Managing Executive of GE Aviation Czech, GE’s Business & General Aviation Turboprops. “We’re honored to partner with NAAA and Thrush to offer the $5,000 scholarships to strengthen that mission by incentivizing more pilots to enter this vital industry in the years to come.”

Indeed, many would-be pilots are turned away from the concept when they look at how much it costs to become one. The education required is strenuous and expensive, comparable to standard student loans for quite a large number, and whilst that can be helped by SoFi refinancing, or other options, it is harder to get the capital up front when it comes to learning how to fly.

Still, with a hopper capacity of 510 gallons, a gross weight of 10,500 pounds, and GE’s H Series engines up front, the Thrush 510G is designed for superior performance for agricultural operations and will need pilots ready to operate them. The Thrush 510G features a 60,000-hour wing spar life. Additional features include a tubular steel fuselage and cockpit roll cage, removable fuselage skins, and chromate-treated aluminum surfaces for corrosion prevention; all designed to maximize pilot safety, reduce maintenance times and enhance aircraft productivity.

The H Series turboprop family incorporates GE’s 3-D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials to create a powerful, fuel-efficient, durable engine with no recurrent fuel nozzle inspections and no hot section inspection for a multitude of uses: agricultural, business turboprops, commuter and utility aircraft. GE is also developing an integrated Electronic Engine and Propeller Control (EEPC) for true single lever power control, and full auto-start capability to help ease pilot workload for H Series-powered aircraft. EEPC system has received type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on November 25 with the first application being the Nextant G90XT.

About Thrush Aircraft Company
Headquartered in Albany, Georgia, Thrush Aircraft manufactures a full range of aerial application aircraft used in agriculture, forestry and fire fighting roles worldwide. Founded in 2003, Thrush is well-known for building the most durable aircraft in the aerial application industry, as well as the best flying – from both pilot and operator perspectives. All Thrush models provide superb visibility, light control response, and a high degree of maneuverability and speed, along with superior efficiency and low direct operating costs. Today there are more than 2,100 Thrush aircraft operating in some 80 countries around the world.

About GE Aviation?GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. For more information, visit us at www.ge.com/aviation. Follow GE Aviation on Twitter at http://twitter.com/GEAviation and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/GEAviation.





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