Cirrus Aircraft‘s SR20 aircraft has been selected as the aircraft of choice for the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Powered Flight Program. 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’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.