Industry News

May 2012 Issue

Diamond’s DA42 V1: Performance Unmasked

We were skeptical that Diamond could find additional performance in the diesel twin, yet a trial flight revealed faster cruise and better single-engine performance.

When Diamond’s voluble CEO Christian Dries first flew the prototype diesel-powered twin that eventually became the DA42 in 2002, he said something he would later regret. The airplane would cruise at 200 knots on 10 to 12 GPH. The reality, of course, proved rather less. The DA42 was a strong seller, but a 200-knot cruiser it wasn’t. More like about 155 knots on real-world power settings, although the economy was certainly impressive. A decade later, Dries and Diamond are at it again and this time, to quote another famous CEO, they think they’ve got the goods. The soon-to-be-introduced DA42 V1 includes a long menu of aerodynamic improvements that seem to substantially improve the aircraft’s climb rate, cruise speed and engine-out performance.

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