The third flight-test D-Jet completed a one-hour 25-minute maiden flight on Tuesday from Diamond Aircraft’s London, Ontario facility, with chief test pilot Daniel Ribeiro at the controls. S/N 003 will be used for performance and handling quality refinement, as well as to further develop avionics, fuel, autopilot and anti-ice systems.
With manufacturers adding a dizzying number of derivative models to their lineups, classifying the available crop of business jets is becoming harder than ever. In an attempt to make better sense of the groupings, AIN has decided to begin using cabin volume as the chief attribute defining the cutoff points for each category.
Late last week, Diamond Aircraft selected a more powerful version of the Williams FJ33 turbofan–the FJ33-4A-19–for its single-engine D-Jet. With 1,900 pounds of thrust versus 1,564 pounds for the originally planned FJ33-4A-15, the more powerful engine offers “a potential future performance upgrade path” for the very light jet.
As most in the industry have come to understand, business aviation follows the general economy, but lags behind it by a year or two. The last few years were no exception.
Diamond Aircraft last month received a $19.6 million “repayable investment” from the Canadian government for research and development of its $1.4 million single-engine D-Jet. The government’s investment coincides with Diamond’s decision to manufacture the five-seat, all-composite jet single at its facility in London, Ontario, where the D-Jet R&D program is based.
Diamond Aircraft on Saturday received a $19.6 million “repayable investment” from the Canadian government for research and development of its $1.4 million single-engine D-Jet. The government’s investment coincides with Diamond’s decision to manufacture the five-seat, all-composite jet single at its facility in London, Ontario, where the D-Jet R&D program is based.
This year, the aviation world will be watching Diamond Aircraft closely as the first of the
Diamond Aircraft, which manufactures composite single- and twin- engine piston aircraft, has announced it will build a single-engine jet. The five-place (two in front, three-in-a-row in back), all-composite D-jet is projected to sell for “well under $1 million” and have an mtow of 4,700 pounds. Cruise speed at its 25,000-foot maximum altitude is set at 315 knots, with a cabin altitude of 8,000 feet.
The forecasts released last month at the NBAA Convention from turbine-engine manufacturers Honeywell and Rolls-Royce and market research firm Inflight Management Development Centre (IMDC) agree: the business jet market has turned the corner. Honeywell and Rolls-Royce project delivery of between 500 and 550 business jets this year, on par with, or slightly above, last year’s deliveries.
Personal jets, mini-jets, ultra-light jets, very light jets. The category has many names and now many contenders. But no company has yet brought a very light business jet to certification and production. Several programs that have been displayed over the years at past NBAA conventions, such as the Alberta Phoenix FanJet and Century Aerospace Century Jet, are now “on the shelf” and may stay there forever.