THRUSH AIRCRAFT INC
Former Ayres Corporation bought Albany factory and manufacturing nad world marketing rights to Thrush Commander-600 nad -800 from Rockwell International General Aviation Division in November 1977. Acquired 93 per cent shareholding in Let Kunovice of Czech Republic in 1998, but stopped providing finance in July 2000 after Czech bank cancelled a debt repayment freeze; Let declared bankrupt in October 2000.
Ayres filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late November 2000 and was seeking further investment of US$80 million; work restarted on the Loadmaster programme after a financing agreement with GATX, as debtor-in-possession, was concluded. However, GATX foreclosed on the company on 7 August 2001, securing all assets in return for a debt reduction of US$10.3 million.
Quality Aerospace established, also on 7 August 2001, to take over almost all of Ayres's assets at 21,100 m² (227,000 sq ft) Albany plant and continues to produce aerostructures, support existing Thrush fleet and promote Turbo-Thrush. Thrush Aircraft Inc purchased Ayres assets on 30 June 2003, and began the process of restarting the production line, with intention to manufacture two new aircraft by November 2003.