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Thu, Aug 01, 2013

Dusty; An Animated Plane Brought To Life

Disney’s ‘Planes’ To Premiere Friday At Fly-In Theater

By Maria Morrison

On Friday, August 2nd, the new Disney movie Planes will be showing at the Fly­-In Theater. But there is more to the main character, Dusty, than is shown on the screen.

Dusty is modeled after an Air Tractor AT­-301. Air Tractors are crop dusters, used in over 30 countries across the world and manufactured in Olney, Texas. With only one seat and one engine, this plane is rather limited to its specific line of work (agricultural) but is also used as a glider tow plane.

This particular plane, Dusty, is made to look almost exactly like the movie character. It has an white, blue, and orange paint scheme, as well as the number 7 on the back half of the fuselage and a big D on the tail. Big blue eyes are stuck on the windshield. The plane was converted to an AT-400a. A three-bladed propeller is mounted on the turbine powered Pratt&Whitney 550 shaft horsepower PT6A-20. Although the engine has less horsepower than the normal turbine in an Air Tractor, it was helpful for economics and the character description.

Dusty was born in Rusty Lindeman's hangar. Rusty, the owner and pilot of Dusty, built the aluminum plane from a metal tubing fuselage. Rusty's Flying Service was hired by Disney to construct and fly an AT-400a that looked exactly like Dusty from the movie. Disney producers, Ultra Productions, and Air Tractor all helped build Dusty.

Dusty has become the figurehead for the movie, Planes, and has been touring around the USA, promoting the movie. This is his and Rusty's second to last stop until the DVD comes out in October. Make sure to see the world premiere of Planes on Friday, and see Dusty in the show throughout the week.

(Photos by Eric Van Gilder)

FMI: http://rustysflyingservice.com/
 

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