The Value of the Right Connections: Thrush Aircraft

[The Center] facilitated the conversations, got us a contact inside GE, which ultimately led to our contract and to the Thrush Aircraft being the first plane worldwide to be certified with the new H-80 engine.

– Payne Hughes, President, Thrush Aircraft, Inc.


  •  Industry experienced staff that provides expertise, and connects businesses to new technologies, research, business partners and industry trends
  • Collaboration of leaders from academia, business and government


  • Contract with GE Aviation for the outfitting of the H-80 engine on the 510G model
  • Flight–testing partnership with Middle Georgia State College
  • Access to the FAA Certification flight–testing equipment
  • A OneGeorgia grant that purchased the flight–testing software
  • Workforce recruiting
  • International and in-state contacts
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