Formed in August 1970 to produce a modern version of the 1920s Ford Tri-Motor under the designation Bushmaster 2000. This updated design of the aircraft first built by the Stout Metal Airplane Company was evolved by Aircraft Hydro-Forming Inc. This latter company was acquired by the Whittaker Corporation in February 1969, which wished to dispose of the Tri-Motor program. Improvements, by comparison with the original design, included more powerful lighter-weight engines with constant- speed fully feathering propellers, and new systems.

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