The fleet signals another step forward in capability for AAFC following the introduction of glider aircraft in 2014. The DA40 NG features the latest in avionics technology and a turbocharged jet fuel piston engine, giving Cadets the opportunity to learn on an aerodynamically advanced aircraft with contemporary navigation and flight control systems.
Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester made the announcement at the Australian International Airshow 2019 at Avalon.
Mr Chester said the fleet of Diamond aircraft introduced a modern aircraft for training and would inspire young Australians to pursue a career in aviation. “I am pleased to announce the leasing of eight aircraft for exclusive use by Australian Air Force Cadets,” Mr Chester said. “Over the next ten 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 Pty Ltd, which includes the provision of maintenance services. Airflite has been the principal maintenance contractor for the Royal Australian Air Force PC-9/A aircraft and has provided outstanding support for the past 30 years.”
Amila Spiegel, Sales and Marketing Director Diamond Aircraft Austria: „It is our absolute pleasure adding AAFC to our Diamond Aircraft family. They will hugely benefit from the most modern piston training aircraft technology available but also take advantage of Diamond’s operational cost efficiencies, low environmental impact and best safety record in the industry.”
“It is very exciting to see the Australian Air Force Cadets exposing their future aviation professionals to the most modern flight training aircraft available in the industry, with the DA40NG. No other training aircraft combines a modern all composite structure, with all glass Garmin G1000 avionics suite and a state of the art jet fuel powerplant.” Said Scott McFadzean, CEO of Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc. “These cadets will move on to become the future of aviation in Australia and abroad and we are very excited to be part of their journey into an incredible industry.”
Gary Martin, Air Commodore, Director General Cadets – Air Force adds: "The introduction of the new Diamond capability for the Australian Air Force Cadets now enables us to transition into a 5th Generation Youth Development organisation and aligns us with the RAAF‘s future plans for aerospace. This will ensure that our cadets are in the very best position for recruiting into our Defence Force or into our Defence Industry companies. It is a very exciting time for everyone involved in the project, and we will be conducting flying training up to solo standard with our cadet students in the April school holiday period with the first two aircraft."
The aircraft are due to enter into operations in the first half of 2019. The Diamond DA40 NG aircraft will be based at RAAF Base Amberley in Southern Queensland, RAAF Base Richmond in NSW and RAAF Base Point Cook in Victoria. The aircraft will be regularly deployed to regional areas on weekends and during school holiday periods.
One DA40 NG enjoyed a special shipping experience in a Royal Australian Air Force Globemaster III.
The modern and safe composite DA40 NG aircraft, powered by the sophisticated Austro Engine (a sister company of Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH) 168 hp AE300 jet fuel engine is an exceptional IFR (Instrumental Flight Rules) platform. The aircraft features airliner like G1000 NXi avionic from Garmin and is exceptionally fuel efficient and silent. Over 2,000 units of this type are in operations worldwide, many of them at renowned flight schools.