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Jun 16, 2011 7:15 PM by Kate Richards

Air Force Academy getting trainer planes

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) - The Air Force Academy is getting 25 new trainer aircraft for a total of $6.1 million.

The Air Force Air Education and Training Command says the school will get the first two T-53A aircraft on Monday. The remaining 23 will be delivered by May 2012.

The Air Force says the T-53A is manufactured by Cirrus Aircraft and is based on the Cirrus 20, a single-engine propeller plane. The Cirrus website says the civilian model has a base price of $290,000.

The cost of the academy's trainers is $244,000 each.

The academy says the new trainer replaces the T-52A manufactured by Diamond Aircraft. The academy currently leases 20 T-52As.

The school says officials believe purchasing the new planes instead of leasing them was in the best interest of the Air Force.

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