United Airlines’ pilot-training business has ordered 25 Cirrus TRAC SR20s and taken options to purchase a further 50, part of an effort by United to significantly ramp pilot training.

The carrier’s in-house training subsidiary United Aviate Academy ordered the aircraft, which are pilot-training variants of Cirrus’ SR20, United says on 17 February.

Aviate, which already operates 25 TRAC SR20s, expects to receive the first of the new batch in May.

Cirrus TRAC SR20s

Source: United Airlines

Cirrus TRAC SR20s

Expanding the fleet will help Chicago-based United meet its goal of training up to 5,000 new pilots by 2030, the airline says.

United Aviate, based at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport, also recently purchased seven new flight simulators, the first of which it expects to receive in April.

TRAC SR20s are “purpose built” for training and “developed specifically for flight-training institutions”, according to Cirrus.

Powered by a single 215hp (160kW) Lycoming IO-390 piston engine, TRAC SR20s have five seats and Garmin Perspective+ avionics. Baseline SR20s have maximum cruise speed of 155kt (287km/h) and maximum range of 1,021nm (1,891km), according to Cirrus.