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.
Like its non-turbine siblings–the DA40 Diamond Star and DA42 Twin Star–the Diamond D-Jet will feature a Garmin G1000 integrated avionics suite, Olathe, Kan.-based Garmin said yesterday. As such, Diamond’s very light jet single will have a three-panel G1000 flight-deck system with two primary flight displays and a multifunction display.
Russian optical sensor specialist UOMZ has steadily increased market penetration with its range of sensor pods and is increasingly perceived to be price-competitive without compromising quality. The company’s strength lies particularly in the development of gyro-stabilized sensor systems.
The Diamond DA42 MPP (multi-purpose platform) fitted with an UOMZ sensor pod attracted considerable interest when it was displayed at the Paris Air Show. Present studies could lead to the aircraft being offered as an optionally piloted or unmanned aerial vehicle, a development that could be available in about three year’s time.
Record high fuel prices have served to concentrate minds on how to keep operational costs from spiraling. This cannot be other than good news for Thielert Aircraft Engines, which is recording burgeoning sales of its Centurion engines. With avgas difficult to obtain in some parts of the world, the general aviation market has been eagerly turning to diesel power both for the easier access to jet fuel and the need to cut costs.
First flight of Diamond Aircraft’s D-Jet has apparently slipped from this past October to sometime next year, according to the company’s Web site. A Diamond spokesman did not return repeated telephone calls seeking a reason for the delay in the very light jet’s progress. One press report from the AOPA Convention last month quoted a company representative saying that the D-Jet would fly in March.