Smithsonian to Display Iconic Air Tractor Aircraft Designed to Look Like “Planes” Star Dusty Crophopper

Fans of aviation and the film Planes can experience something special tomorrow, August 21st, when Dusty Crophopper shows up at the Smithsonian’s Innovations in Flight Family Day and Aviation Display!

What’s Happening:

  • This Saturday, August 21st, the Innovations in Flight Family Day and Aviation Display at the Smithsonian, and will feature an Air Tractor AT-301/400A that has been fixed up to look like Dusty Crophopper (at the request of Disneytoon Studios).
  • The plane can be seen on the tarmac at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia as part of the annual fly-in and aviation show.
  • The custom painted aircraft has become a hit at air shows over the past eight years, following the release of the film Planes, and its sequel, Planes: Fire and Rescue.
  • Developed by Air Tractor, the AT-301/400A is considered the workhorse of commercial aviation. Though used primarily for agricultural purposes, the airplane is also utilized by other sectors, including firefighting and insect control.
  • In Planes, Dusty Crophopper accidentally gets a taste of revved-up racing fuel and decides he wants to fly in air competitions. Along the way, he learns about himself and discovers his success helps others up their games. In one scene, a friend tells Dusty how he is an inspiration to all the aircraft. The Air Tractor is puzzled by the comment, so the other plane adds: “Yeah, all of us who want to do more than just what we are built for”—a fitting honor for the adaptable aircraft.
  • Visitors can see Dusty Crophopper for the first time at the Smithsonian during Innovations in Flight Family Day on August 21st. Admission is free, but tickets are required.

What They’re Saying:

  • Dorothy Cochrane, a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum: “It’s here, and it’s part of our collection. Dusty flew in a couple of weeks ago. All we had to do was wash it and put it out for the public to see. The Air Tractor is the most-used agricultural aircraft. Firefighters have used it for years because they can make small precision drops with it. It’s the perfect plane.”