DULUTH, Minn., July 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cirrus Aircraft today confirmed that its SR20 aircraft has been selected as the aircraft of choice for the U.S. Air Force Academy's Powered Flight Program and that fulfilling the new fleet order is already underway. The Air Force Academy will receive 25 SR20 aircraft – designated as T-53A trainers in the customized configuration – starting this summer and continuing through 2012.
"We're honored to have been chosen by the Air Force Academy for its airmanship training requirements," said Jon Dauplaise, Cirrus Vice President of Domestic Sales. "The Academy's Powered Flight Program gives its cadets tremendous inflight experience and is potentially the first step in an Air Force pilot career. We're confident that the cadets and their instructors will benefit from the SR20's latest-generation avionics, the largest and most comfortable cabin in this class of aircraft, docile handling, intuitive control characteristics and, perhaps most importantly, from the most advanced aviation safety features available today." Dauplaise added: "This fleet of new aircraft confirms the U.S. Air Force's confidence in Cirrus and is another notable step forward in the growth of our global training aircraft efforts."
"We've been studying the replacement of our existing trainer fleet since 2010," said Lt. Colonel Brad Oliver with the academy's 557th Flying Training Squadron. "The T-53A meets or exceeds all of our performance and operational criteria and is very well-suited to our mission. And, while we hope never to have need of it, our cadets and instructors will now have the option of 'pulling the 'chute' if it's needed."
Each aircraft delivered to the Air Force Academy will be equipped with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System™ (CAPS), airbag seatbelts, integrated fuselage roll cage, cuffed wing design, Cirrus Perspective by Garmin™ avionics and more active and passive safety systems and features that are standard equipment on all Cirrus aircraft.
The value of the purchase is approximately $6.1 million and the new fleet of T-53A trainers will be based at the Academy's Airfield (AFF) in Colorado Springs, Colo.
About Cirrus Aircraft
Cirrus Aircraft is a recognized leader in general aviation. Its all-composite line of personal aircraft — the SR20, SR22 and the turbocharged SR22T — incorporate innovative and advanced performance, electronic and safety technologies, including Cirrus Perspective™ by Garmin® avionics and the unique Cirrus Airframe Parachute System™ (CAPS). As of mid-2011, total time on the worldwide Cirrus Aircraft SR-series fleet surpassed five million flight hours with 48 lives saved to date as a direct result of CAPS being a standard safety feature on all Cirrus aircraft. The Cirrus Aircraft Vision SF50 jet, with nearly 500 production positions reserved, will provide a new personal and regional business transportation solution - the 'personal jet'. All Cirrus aircraft are made in the USA with a direct sales force in North America and authorized sales centers covering export markets in 60 countries around the world. For additional information on Cirrus and its products please visit cirrusaircraft.com.
SOURCE Cirrus Aircraft