Purdue Takes Delivery of New Fleet of Cirrus Aircraft

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's aviation technology program will provide its students with a new, more modern fleet when it takes delivery of a Cirrus aircraft at 1 p.m. Thursday (July 29).

The media event at the Cirrus Pavilion at the EAA AirVenture Grounds in Oshkosh, Wis., completes Purdue's $5.1 million purchase of 16 Cirrus aircraft that will be used to provide hands-on experience for students enrolled in the supervised flight instruction program. The Cirrus fleet replaces an aged collection of Piper-built aircraft.

"Purdue continues to push forward the use of modern aviation technology to the benefit of its students and mankind," said aviation technology department head Brent Bowen. "It's no coincidence that the Wright brothers recruited a Boilermaker to redesign their plane, Amelia Earhart came here to equip and test her Electra and many future aviators, beginning with Neil Armstrong, continue to come here to launch their careers as astronauts."

The purchase comes as Purdue approaches the 50th anniversary of its flight degree program. The program includes primary flight instruction, instruction in advanced aircraft as well as large airline-type simulation instruction. The flight program is part of a larger educational department, which has a current enrollment of about 600 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in aviation technology.

With the recent purchase of an Embraer PHENOM 100 jet aircraft, Purdue now offers the only non-military university flight-training program in which every student flies a jet.