Air Tractor Inc. is a United States aircraft manufacturer based in Olney, Texas. Founded in 1978, the company began manufacturing a new agricultural aircraft derived from the S-2B aircraft (designed by founder Leland Snow's previous company, Snow Aeronautical). Designated Model AT-300 Air Tractor, the new aircraft first flew in 1973.
Leland Snow began designing his first airplane, the S-1, in 1951. The 23-year-old Snow completed test flights with the S-1 in 1953. Snow's S-1 flew dusting and spraying jobs in the Texas Rio Grande Valley and in Nicaragua until 1957. He followed-up the S-1 with the models S-2A and S-2B, which were built when Snow moved to production facilities in Olney, Texas in 1958.
In 1965, Leland Snow sold his company to Rockwell-Standard and was appointed a Vice President of the Aero Commander division. During this time, the Model S-2R was developed and named the Thrush. The first 100 Thrush aircraft were built at the Olney Division before the plant was closed and Thrush production moved to Georgia in 1970. More than 500 aircraft were produced under Snow Aeronautical Corporation and Rockwell-Standard in Olney.
Snow resigned from Rockwell and devoted the next two years designing the Air Tractor. Construction began in 1972 on the AT-300, which later became the AT-301. Air Tractor's first turbine model, the AT-302, was introduced in 1977.
Sixteen years later, Air Tractor delivered its 1,100th airplane and soon began expanding the Olney plant for increased capacity. Today[when?], Air Tractor produces a line of aircraft that includes 400 and 500 and 600 and 800 US gallons (330 and 420 and 500 and 670 imp gal; 1,500 and 1,900 and 2,300 and 3,000 L) capacity planes powered by Pratt & Whitney piston or turbine engines.
|Model name||First flight||Number built||Type|
|Air Tractor AT-300||1973||Single engine agricultural monoplane|
|Air Tractor AT-301||Single engine agricultural monoplane|
|Air Tractor AT-302||Single engine agricultural monoplane|
|Air Tractor AT-400||1979||Single engine agricultural monoplane|
|Air Tractor AT-401||Single engine agricultural monoplane|
|Air Tractor AT-402||Single engine agricultural monoplane|
|Air Tractor AT-501||1986||Single engine agricultural monoplane|
|Air Tractor AT-502||Single engine agricultural monoplane|
|Air Tractor AT-503||Single engine agricultural monoplane|
|Air Tractor AT-504||Single engine agricultural monoplane|
|Air Tractor AT-602||1995||Single engine agricultural monoplane|
|Air Tractor AT-802||1990||Single engine agricultural monoplane|
- "Our Heritage". Air Tractor. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
- Gunston, Bill (1993). World Encyclopedia of Aircraft Manufacturers. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. p. 20.
- Simpson, R. W. (1995). Airlife's General Aviation. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing. p. 31.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Air Tractor.|