Saturday, October 24, 2015

Air Tractor unveils newest airplane

WICHITA FALLS, Texas - The newest series of aircraft manufactured by Air Tractor in Olney was unveiled Friday evening during the company’s annual dealer meeting.

The new aircraft, called the Air Tractor 502XP, is expected to receive its Federal Aviation Administration certification soon.

Air Tractor president Jim Hirsch said the XP stands for “Xtra Power” given the plane’s engine, a PT61-140AG from Pratt & Whitney Canada.

“The 502XP is a remarkable combination of power, stability and productivity,” he said in a news release. “It really performs and flies well with a full 500-gallon load in high and hot conditions.”

Hirsch hinted that something was coming down the pike during June’s SINDAG Convention in Brazil, an annual meeting of top players in the aviation business that focuses on agriculture. The president said they were working with Pratt & Whitney Canada on a few projects, and people driving near or on the plant’s property reported seeing a different type of Air Tractor airframe on the ramp in front of Plant 2 — the plane had a four-blade propeller compared to the traditional three- or five-blade version.

“The new PT6A-140AG engine is really well matched for the 502,” Hirsch said. “Pilots will be able to carry full loads on hot days. It will continue hauling the load all day, every day no matter the temperature. It’s got an extra margin of performance a lot of pilots will appreciate.”

Air Tractor produces eight aircraft with fuel capacity ranging from 400 to 800 gallons and are powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engines. The multi-role aircraft is used for agriculture, fire fighting, narcotic crop eradication, fuel-hauling, fighting locust plagues and cleaning up oil spills in coastal waters. Air Tractor planes are flown in more than 30 countries around the world.

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1 comment:

  1. Soubt it ... "Air Tractor produces eight aircraft with fuel capacity ranging from 400 to 800 gallons" .. more like "Air Tractor produces eight aircraft with product capacity ranging from 400 to 800 gallons"