Air Tractor Announces Launch of The 502XP American Expedition

Air Tractor’s newest addition to its product line, the 502XP, will soon take off on a journey across America.

Dubbed “The 502XP American Expedition,” the aircraft and team from Air Tractor and Pratt & Whitney Canada will visit all seven Air Tractor dealer regions in the United States, along with a stop at the California Agricultural Aircraft Association convention in Sacramento. Current and prospective Air Tractor owners and pilots are invited to visit the dealer in their area for an up-close look at the new airplane.

The 502XP American Expedition gives a nod to the history and legacy of Air Tractor founder Leland Snow.

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Snow flew his S-1 and S-2 series aircraft to the Texas Aerial Applicators Conference and later to the California Agricultural Aviation Association Convention for demonstration flights and to allow prospective customers to familiarize themselves with the plane in the region and conditions where they operated.

The 502XP joins a long line of Air Tractor aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) engines. The new PT6A-140AG turbine engine, paired with a 4-blade Hartzell propeller is at the heart of the 502XP’s productivity. The engine produces 867 shaft horsepower, which is an increase of 117 shp over the PT6A-34AG. In addition to the extra power, the 502XP incorporates a larger vertical stabilizer and rudder, paired with a carefully balanced airframe and propeller, which results in improved control and handling characteristics.

With a cruising speed of 167 MPH, a rate of climb of 816 fpm at 10,480 lbs, and 5% better specific fuel consumption, the 502XP offers operators a cost-effective and high-quality airplane for spraying, seeding, fertilizing and other jobs of all sizes.

According to Air Tractor President Jim Hirsch, “The 502XP is a remarkable combination of power, stability and productivity. It really maneuvers and performs well. High and hot conditions with full 500 gallon loads are no problem for the XP”.

“Put into economic terms,” Hirsch continues, “the 502XP will enable pilots to cover more acres in less time as compared to other 500 gallon planes and have an extra margin of engine performance.”

The 502XP received FAA Type Certification in March, with deliveries commencing in April. Hirsch reports that about half a dozen airplanes have been delivered with several more on the production schedule for 2016.

The 502XP American Expedition will officially launch on September 6 in Rosenberg, Texas, at Lane Aviation. The 502XP will then visit seven additional dealer locations through mid-November, giving local and regional pilots and operators the chance to not only view and see the plane, but also to fly it. The event will feature Air Tractor and Pratt & Whitney team members who will be available to answer questions about the 502XP and PT6A-140AG engine.

Dates and locations of The 502XP American Expedition:
(Please note that some locations are not at dealer’s airport but another site.)

  • September 6-7: Lane Aviation (T54) Lane Airpark
  • September 9: Neal Aircraft (F49) Slaton Municipal Airport
  • September 22-23: Queen Bee Air Specialties (GNG) Gooding Municipal Airport
  • October 4: Frost Flying (3AR0) Frost Flying Airport
  • October 11-12: Farm Air (IS08) Curless Airport
  • November 1-2: Southeastern Aircraft (2IS) Airglades Airport
  • November 11-12: Valley Air Crafts (TLR) Mefford Field Airport
  • November 14-16: CaAAA convention (MCC) McClellan Airfield

Contact the Air Tractor dealer in your area for more details and visit to learn more about the 502XP and Air Tractor’s extensive product line of agricultural and firefighting aircraft.