A Brazilian dealer has united Thrush Aircraft’s cropsprayer and Quest’s Kodiak utility turboprop in a new campaign to develop the country´s agricultural aviation market.

Anápolis-based Thrush Aircraft of Brazil two months ago added a sister company -- Kodiak of Brazil – to market the single-engined turboprop as a complimentary asset for agricultural companies that operate flying cropdusters.

Idaho-based Quest previously delivered four Kodiaks into Brazil, but has switched dealers to focus on the agricultural market, says Jim Cable, president of Thrush and Quest dealerships in Brazil.

The switch follows the rapid growth of deliveries of turboprop-powered Thrush 510 cropsprayers in Brazil since 2011, despite local competition from the smaller, ethanol-fueled Embraer Ipanema. Nearly 50 Thrush 510s have been delivered to Brazilian customers in the last six years, accounting for about 45% of units delivered to that country´s agricultural aircraft market, Cable says.

Thrush´s growing clout in Brazil is partly enabled by the services Cable provides. Aircraft financing is expensive and difficult to secure in Brazil, so Cable has used the US Export-Import Bank to finance 90-95% of all Thrush deliveries into the market. He also provides free training for pilots and maintainers transitioning from the piston-powered Ipanema to turboprop cropsprayers.

In mid-August, Thrush of Brazil demonstrated the first Redbird-designed full flight simulator for agricultural aircraft, with 140 pilots using the device in three days at Brazil´s Sindag agricultural aviation conference, Cable says.

With Thrush aircraft deliveries growing, Cable says, his market intelligence team detected a new opportunity. Thrush aircraft owners often operate up to six farms scattered over a wide, remote área, Cable says. A passenger-carrying, utility aircraft is needed to allow them to fly pilots and maintainers to these remote airstrips.

The Quest Kodiak, which was designed as a sturdy transport for missionaries to reach remote airstrips, offers an ideal product for the market, Cable says. The aircraft is manufactured in Idaho, so a Kodiak buyer in Brazil also can leverage financing from the US Export-Import Bank, he adds.

Kodiak of Brazil displayed its first imported aircraft at LABACE, hoping to close on one of several deals currently in negotiation.

Cable expects agricultural market in Brazil is capable of generating four to five aircraft sales per year once the market matures.

Source: FlightGlobal.com