Longview University Receives Diesel Aircraft - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/24/07-Longview

Longview University Receives Diesel Aircraft

     A Longview university is touting the arrival of two new state of the art training aircraft, of which only a handful exist in this country. For a $1-million price tag, Letourneau University now owns two Diamond D-A 42 Twin Star diesel engine aircrafts.

    "It's very similar to a conventional aircraft, it handles about the same, the big difference is that the engines are electronically controlled by computer" says Letourneau University assistant flight instructor Bruce Chase.

     The planes will become trainers for Letourneau flight students, the advantage being they handle like jets.

     "To actually climb in the cockpit and look around and see the neat little features on it , it's going to be a fun airplane to fly." said Letourneau student Nat Roszhart.

    "This is going to change the dynamics of flight training for pilot training it reduces the cost" says Chase.

      The planes can fly up to 900 miles at a time using diesel, which is much cheaper and easier to get than regular aviation grade gas. It sports a computer monitored liquid cooled state of the art engine.

   "Fully integrated flight instruments, navigation instruments, moving map all in two displays in the cockpit replacing all the convention displays you find in the old cockpits" says Letourneau chief flight instructor Weldon Barnett. 

  "It's a huge financial investment, but we think the returns, the quality of training the high level of technology will all benefit our students." Barnett says.

     Flight classes including the Twin Stars will begin on Tuesday.

    Bob Hallmark, Reporting bhallmark@kltv.com  

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