Stronger protection from bird and drone strikes further affirms company’s focus on safety.  

(Albany, Georgia) Few hazards are more worrisome to an aerial firefighting pilot than a bird strike or, more recently, a high-speed drone strike. Post-impact images and outcomes reveal the extensive damage such collisions can cause – especially to the cockpit, and to the pilot when the aircraft windshield is compromised or penetrated.

Thrush Aircraft is now providing customers with a significantly higher level of protection from such occurrences by making advanced technology Storm Shield™ windshields from Storm Aeronautics standard equipment on all Thrush aircraft beginning this summer.

In testing at the National Institute of Aviation Research, Storm Shield windshields sustained impact energy loads eight-times greater than OEM windshields from a competing aircraft manufacturer before showing any visual damage. And at failure, the Storm Shield windshields produced small granular crumbles of material rather than the damaging slivers of glass common in other windshields under similar conditions – while also maintaining their structural integrity better than competing OEM windshields.

“This was perhaps one of the easiest decisions I’ve made here at the company,” said Mark McDonald, chief executive officer of Thrush Aircraft. “Providing better protection for customers and their aircraft is something we take very seriously. And adding these new windshields is yet another part of our on-going commitment to building airplanes designed to bring pilots home safely each night” he continued.

“We’re very proud to have our windshields become standard equipment exclusively on new Thrush Aircraft” said Jared Storm, president of Storm Aeronautics. “Like Thrush, we are deeply committed to pilot safety in every product we build. And flying behind a Storm Shield windshield provides a new level of cockpit protection that’s unmatched in the industry” he continued.

In addition to becoming standard equipment on new Thrush aircraft, Storm Shield windshields are also available from Thrush as a retrofit kit for all current Thrush models. Installation requires roughly six hours with some sealant drying time, and kits can be ordered by contacting Kevin Pierce, director of services at Thrush, (229) 317-8222 or support@thrushaircraft.com.