Wednesday, November 30, -0001

ROCKWELL COMMANDER “THRUSH”


1965–80



STANDARD DATA: 600) Seats 1. Gross wt. 6,000. Empty wt. 3,700. Fuel capacity 100. Engine 600-hp Pratt & Whitney.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 140. Cruise mph 124. Stall mph 55. Initial climb rate 900. Range 402. Ceiling 15,000. Takeoff run 775. Landing roll 500.

STANDARD DATA: (800) Seats 1. Gross wt. 6,000. Empty wt. 4,100. Fuel capacity 100. Engine 800-hp Pratt & Whitney.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 155. Cruise mph 137. Stall mph 57. Initial climb rate 1,600. Range 330. Ceiling 25,000. Takeoff run 600. Landing roll 500.

Aero Commander’s entries into the agricultural aircraft market were in three basic sizes. The Sparrow was the smallest of the lot with a payload of 1,400 pounds and utilizing a 235-hp engine. The Quail was an intermediate model using the same airframe as the Sparrow but with engine power increased to 290 hp. The Thrush Commander was not only the largest of the Aero Commander line but also was the largest specialty designed agricultural craft in production in the United States. With 600 hp, this impressive aircraft can carry a payload up to 3,280 pounds and fuel capacity double that of any other ag plane. With that big Pratt & Whitney pulling it along through the air, it can probably use all the fuel it can get.

The Thrush 800 utilizes an impressive 800-hp Pratt & Whitney radial engine. It has a useful load of 1,900 pounds and a hopper capacity of 400 gallons. Marsh Aviation Co. builds a modification of the Thrush, called the S2R-T Turbo Thrush, in which turbine power replaces piston power. For standard use, the AiResearch turboprop is derated to 600-shp; however, maximum 778-shp output is available for emergencies. One advantage other than additional power is that normal automotive diesel fuel can be used if jet fuel is not at hand. Top speed is increased to 205 mph, and climb rate is boosted to 3,000 fpm.



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