T-52 / DA40 CS Diamond Star
The Diamond DA40 CS Diamond Star was selected 22 December 2008 for the Powered Flight Program at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Twenty Diamond DA40 CS aircraft have been ordered, with deliveries to begin in early 2009. The USAFA Powered Flight Program is an airmanship course that incorporates both academic study and flight training to introduce cadets to the core aviation mission of the United States Air Force. The 557th Flight Training Squadron will operate the aircraft from the USAFA at Colorado Springs, Colorado, under a contract managed by primary contractor Blue Sky Aviation and its partner Doss Aviation.
"We are very excited to have been chosen for this contract and for the opportunity to provide cadet flight instruction in our new DA40s," said Anthony Sweet, President of Blue Sky Aviation. Ken Smith, President and CEO of Doss Aviation, Inc. added, "This is a fantastic opportunity for us. We have enjoyed a great relationship for several years with Diamond Aircraft and the United States Air Force Academy. It's a great win for our team and an even greater win for the Academy's flight training program."
The Diamond DA20 two-seat aircraft was flown in the USAFA Introductory Flight Training program from 2002-2007. Today, all USAF pilot and combat weapon system officer candidates receive primary flight training in the DA20 as part of the USAF Initial Flight Screening program at Pueblo, Colorado, operated by Doss Aviation.
"Diamond Aircraft is honored by the selection of the DA40 CS and our continued association with the United States Air Force Academy," said David Moser, Director of Fleet Sales at Diamond Aircraft. "Through the Powered Flight Program, cadets will be exposed to a modern aircraft, with cutting edge avionics, very early in their military careers."
The DA40, a four-seat, single engine, all composite, technically advanced aircraft, features the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit, making it well-suited for primary and instrument flight training.
With its 39-foot wingspan, the DA40 spends little time on the runway during takeoff. Using half flaps, the DA40 normally rotates at about 60 kt, which was achieved in about 700 feet on this 10-degree-Celsius day with a density altitude of 500 feet. With the composite, three-blade propeller pulled back to 2,500 rpm for noise abatement, the DA40 climbed at 1,000 feet per minute. The high-aspect-ratio wing provides a good rate of climb all the way to 10,000 feet, where the airplane was still climbing at 600 fpm.
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