Dusty Crophopper was immortalized on the big screen in the Disney animated films Planes and Planes: Fire & Rescue. Now America’s favorite ag plane is going to be immortalized at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center. NAAA received the official confirmation from the National Air and Space Museum’s general aviation curator Jan. 13.
The aircraft is a Dusty Crophopper-adorned Air Tractor AT-301/400A owned by Rusty Lindeman of Rusty’s Flying Service in Texas (pictured above). Lindeman agreed to donate the aircraft and Disney signed off on it if the National Air and Space Museum would be willing to accept it. NAAA brokered the arrangement between Lindeman, the National Air and Space Museum and Disney Enterprises to add the Dusty Crophopper character likeness aircraft to the museum’s collection of ag aircraft on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
In an email informing NAAA and Lindeman of the good news, Dorothy Cochrane, the general aviation curator, stated, “The suitability of the Air Tractor was recognized from the start, it just required internal determination of display or storage capability.”
It is no longer a matter of if but when Dusty Crophopper will be installed in the museum. Three-fourths of the air and space craft at the National Air and Space Museum on the Mall in Washington have been temporarily relocated to the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, while the D.C. location undergoes renovations. In addition, both museums have been closed to the public during the pandemic. It is possible Lindeman’s aircraft could be in place for the National Air and Space Museum’s innovations day at the Udvar-Hazy Center in June, but whether the event takes place will be based on federal and Smithsonian guidelines for reopening the museums and reviving on-site public programming.
NAAA is hopeful that the Dusty Crophopper aircraft can be on display starting on or near the 100th anniversary of the first application by a propelled aircraft on Aug. 3, 2021.