Diamond Aircraft Signs Deal With LIFT Academy For 56 New Trainers


Diamond Aircraft announced today (May 2) it has inked a deal with Leadership In Flight Training (LIFT) Academy for 50 single-engine DA40 trainers and six twin-engine DA42s. The aircraft will be used in LIFT’s new training facilities in Galveston, Texas; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and its newest base at Tuskegee University in Alabama, historic home of the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II.

Ed Bagden, Director of Flight Operations and Academic Programs for LIFT Academy, said of the new Diamond trainers, “These aircraft are chosen for their advanced technology and fuel efficiency, which not only align with our sustainability efforts but also closely mirror the aircraft our pilots will operate at Republic Airways. This strategic expansion ensures that LIFT Academy continues to offer industry-leading training, preparing our students with a seamless transition to their careers as airline pilots.”

LIFT’s affiliation with Republic reflects its goals as a training provider, to ensure “that students are trained from day one for a career with Republic, aligning with the airline’s mission to offer a safe and reliable flying experience. Republic’s partnership with major airlines, including American, Delta, and United, further amplifies the opportunities for LIFT graduates.”

Trevor Mustard, Head of Aircraft Sales and Marketing for Diamond Aircraft Canada, said, “We are honored to further strengthen our longstanding relationship with LIFT Academy and are looking forward to continuing our collaborative efforts for many years to come.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.


  1. This is terrible news. Why didn’t LIFT order Textron / Pipistrel Velis Electro’s? Haven’t they heard that eAviation is the future of aviation? Think of the lead these airplanes will be spewing around Galveston, Myrtle Beach and Tuskeegee. LIFT could lay claim to being green and saving the planet beyond saving money on maintenance and operation of their fleet. I don’t think Diamond’s are as “sustainable” as an eAirplane? Well … maybe they’ll operate them on SAF?

  2. I seem to recall LIFT have been using Diamond aircraft for some time. It would make sense then from a maintenance perspective to continue fleet expansion with similar models.

    Also, the 100UL AvGas variants are going to carry a significant cost premium over 100LL, which for a training school where fuel represents a decent chunk of running costs, Diamond’s economical jet-fuel engines will become increasingly attractive.

    Plus, Diamond is pushing on with development and certification of their eDA40 trainer (the battery technology for which is mentioned in another article in this issue of AvWebFlash).

      • I’ve only ever seen DA-40 NGs in the LIFT fleet. I don’t think any Lycoming powered DA-42s have been manufactured in 10 years.

        • Thanks for the info. I thought the diesel DA40 sales were very rare in the US. Also, I thought the main reason for the Lycoming on the twin were stubborn fleet buyers, lol. Nice to see a school using new tech.