Aircraft Review

June 2010 Issue

Diamond HK36: Gliding and Flying

Diamond is making another run at selling motorgliders in North America. Since flying one doesn’t require a medical, will older pilots nibble?

Shortly before the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Germany stunned the world by fielding the most advanced and competent air force on the planet. And it did that despite Draconian post-war treaty restrictions that all but prohibited combat aircraft development. But the pilots came from a different tradition—a passion for gliding and soaring. That continues yet today with most of the world’s glider production centered in Europe, including the re-introduced HK36 Super Dimona motorglider from Diamond Aircraft. "New" doesn’t exactly apply to this airplane because it has been in and out of production for 20 years. In fact, the design is really responsible for much of the way Diamond airplanes look, feel and fly for before it was a powered airplane company, Diamond’s predecessor, HOAC, was a motorglider company, with antecedents extending to 1980.

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