David Oliver – The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is acquiring eight new Diamond DA40NG aircraft to support safer, more advanced training for cadets.
Australian Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said the fleet of Diamond aircraft introduced a modern aircraft for training and would inspire young Australians to pursue a career in aviation.
“Over the next 10 years these aircraft will provide a standardised flight training platform for aspiring young airmen and women, particularly those in regional areas. Defence has signed a 10-year contract with Airflite, which includes the provision of maintenance services. Airflite has been the principal maintenance contractor for the RAAF [Pilatus] PC-9A aircraft and has provided outstanding support for the past 30 years.”
The aircraft are due to enter into operations in the first half of 2019 and will be conducting flying training up to solo standard with cadet students. The Diamond DA40 NG aircraft will be based at RAAF Base Amberley in Southern Queensland, RAAF Base Richmond in New South Wales and RAAF Base Point Cook in Victoria. The aircraft will be regularly deployed to regional areas on weekends and during school holiday periods.
The four-seat composite DA40 NG aircraft is powered by the fuel efficient and silent 168hp turbocharged AE300 jet fuel engine manufactured by Austro Engine, a sister company of Diamond Aircraft Industries. The aircraft features airliner like integrated Garmin G1000 NXi avionics making it an exceptional Instrumental Flight Rules (IFR) platform. With a 125 knot cruising speed, the DA40NG has a range of 940 nautical miles. More than 2,000 aircraft have been delivered to date, many of which are operated by flying schools around the world.
by David Oliver