Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Air Tractor Celebrates 3,000th Plane


Air Tractor was founded by Leland Snow in Olney as a small, family-owned company in 1972, with roots going back to 1958 with Snow's first factory.

And now, company sales have reached a landmark that propelled Air Tractor officials to host a big celebration.

This bright Yellow plane is a symbol of pride for the Olney company, Air Tractor and for Leland Snow's daughter.

"This airplane's going to  Brazil to a customer that's bought several of our planes before for their agricultural spraying," says Kristin Edwards, Air Tractor's vice president of sales.

But this isn't just any plane, it's Air Tractor's 3,000th plane.

"When we looked at our schedule and realized we have a milestone of 3000 airplanes we thought we needed to mark this occasion and thank the people who have been involved," Edwards says.

And this celebration helped Air Tractor do just that.

Employees and community members attended along with company and state officials.

"Having been in business all my life, you realize that this kind of stuff doesn't happen by accident.  It's inspiration.  A lot of sweat equity.  A lot of hard work and a lot of great jobs in this community," says Senator Craig Estes.

The company employs 275 people who create aircraft that have literally taken off across the world.

The popularity of these planes has caused Air Tractor's sales to soar, which officials say is a huge accomplishment for a small company.

"We are now the leading manufacturer of agricultural planes.  When my father first started the business there were other models and other companies that built these planes but Air Tractor has managed to survive and become the leader," Edwards say.

And it all stated 41 years ago with Leland Snow.

Although the aviation pioneer died two years ago his daughter believes he was still part of this celebration.

"I know he's looking down on us now and smiling and very excited about the success we've had these last few years," Edwards says.

Air Tractor's 3,000th plane is expected to take off for Brazil to its new owners in the next few weeks.

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