By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- Officials from Florida Tech Institute of Technology announced the arrival of five new airplanes in February for its aviation program.
The five aircraft, delivered on Feb. 21 are Piper Archer TX models, with Garmin G1000 glass cockpit avionics systems.
The addition of these aircraft brings the program's fleet total to 46 aircraft.
"Florida Tech has one of the finest aviation programs in the country," said Greg Reverdiau, director of business operations at FIT aviation programs. "With the ability to issue both FAA, American and EASA, European, licenses right here in Melbourne, as well as type rating in Boeing and Airbus products, we are one of a kind."
The Archer aircraft has the capability to fly at a speed of 128ktsa/ 237 km/h, with plenty of power to provide for the needs of flight training.
Officials said that the design of the aircraft is also well-suited to stand up to the conditions, associated with flight training.
"They provide our customers with the latest technology and allow us to operate more efficiently with airplanes that are very reliable," said Mr. Reverdiau said about the Archer aircrafts.
He added that the aircrafts used in the program are purchased by Florida Tech from Piper Aircraft, Inc., but he did not specify the purchasing amount of each aircraft.
The only non-Piper Aircraft, he said, is a 2000 Aurora Citabria that is used by the program for aerobatics training.
All of the Archer TX models delivered, to date, have been options exercised through Florida Tech and Piper's Aviation Career Alliance, an agreement that allows for a total of 28 training aircraft options during a five-year term, with a total of 14 options remaining after delivery of a new, twin-engine trainer Seminole in January.
Business Dictionary defines an "option" as a contract to keep an offer open for a fixed period of time, during which the offeror cannot withdraw the offer.
Officials said that the overall goal of the alliance is to provide better opportunities for graduates from aviation programs and other programs that are offered through the university.
"We think the alliance has been very productive so far," said Kenneth Stackpoole, vice president of FIT Aviation Programs. "We have been very pleased with the integration of the new aircraft into our fleet, and we have already seen some students and graduates go to work with Piper in a variety of capacities."
Piper Aircraft, Inc., is a global aircraft manufacturer, based out of Vero Beach.
"Piper Aircraft is extremely pleased that our joint Career Alliance with the Florida Institute of Technology is providing opportunities for aviation students, as well as the company," said Piper President and CEO Simon Caldecott.
For more announcements, visit the brand new aviation website http://aviation.fit.edu.