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|Fate||Bankruptcy; assets sold in 2003|
|Predecessor||Albany, Georgia division of Rockwell International|
|Headquarters||Albany, Georgia, United States|
|Fred Ayres, owner|
Ayres Corporation was a US aircraft manufacturer owned and run by Fred Ayres. In 1977, Ayres bought the Albany, Georgia division of Rockwell International, which made the S2R Thrush Commander agricultural aircraft. Before this, Ayres had been a distributor of Thrush Commanders. After the acquisition, Ayres developed two-seat and turboprop-powered versions of the Thrust Commander. A special V-1-A Vigilante version of the Thrust Commander was developed in 1989 for anti-drug operations in South America.
In 1996, urged on by Federal Express, development was begun on the Ayres LM200 Loadmaster, designed to carry four demi containers. The aircraft was to be powered by two 1350 hp LHTEC TP800 driving a single five-bladed Hamilton-Standard propeller through a combining gearbox. To support this development effort, Ayres acquired the LET aircraft manufacturing company in the Czech Republic in September 1998. In 2001, the company was forced into bankruptcy when creditors foreclosed on it and the Loadmaster program was terminated.
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