Diamond Aircraft founder and CEO Christian Dries yesterday revealed plans to develop a fully aerobatic, tandem two-seat military trainer version of the D-Jet that he said will have ejection seats and sell for less than $3 million.
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Al Ain-based Horizon International Flight Academy, which has assembled a fleet of nearly 30 aircraft since it was established in 2002, is looking for growth opportunities.
Almost 27 years after bizjet legend Allen Paulson announced–and then abandoned–the single-engine jet known as the Gulfstream Peregrine, the single-engine very light jet (VLJ) concept is inching closer to fruition.
With no fewer than four airborne-sensing versions of the DA42 on static display here, Diamond Aircraft of Austria is staking a major claim to the growing market for low-cost surveillance platforms. Since entering the market two years ago, the privately held company has already sold 12 DA42 MPPs (multipurpose platforms) based on the popular DA42 touring aircraft.
An all-composite four-seat general aviation aircraft made in Austria is attracting serious interest in the ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) world. The manufacturer of the Diamond DA42 Twin Star is also marketing the airplane as a multipurpose platform (MPP), equipped variously with small radar, EO and IR sensors. A modular nose to house these has recently been certified.
The diesel-powered Diamond DA42 TwinStar made its first flight on December 9 from the factory at Wiener Neustadt, Austria. TwinStar’s Thielert Centurion 1.7 engines rated at 135 hp each are designed to operate on both diesel fuel and jet-A1. The composite-construction four-seat aircraft has a single-lever power control for each engine, fuel consumption of 67 pph at 180 kt and an option for an all-glass cockpit.
Of the many companies that have attempted to tackle world markets with a new-technology piston engine for light singles and twins, only Thielert in Germany has demonstrated some success. For that it can thank in some measure Diamond Aircraft, an Austrian company that has established a firm niche as a supplier of all-composite light aircraft, including the DA 42 twin-engine aircraft on display here in the static park.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) last month certified the Garmin G1000 integrated avionics system as part of the type certificate for the Diamond DA-42, a four-place diesel twin built in Austria.
Derived from the Dimond DA42 Twin Star widely used by flying schools, the DA42 MPP is developing into a family of aircraft that are capable of carrying all manner of sensors. That accounts for the rather strange shapes on the nose or beneath the fuselage that accommodate devices that tailor the MPP for specific tasks.