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.
Diamond Aircraft Industries
Certification of the single-engine Diamond D-Jet has been delayed again and is now scheduled for early next year. At last year’s EAA AirVenture show, Diamond announced that certification was going to take place this year. Meanwhile, D-Jet numbers two and three continue flight testing in Texas, which offers a much more benign climate than Diamond’s London, Ontario (Canada) headquarters.
Diamond Aircraft has again delayed certification of the single-engine D-Jet and is now planning for approval early next year. At the EAA AirVenture show last July, Diamond announced that certification was going to take place this year. Meanwhile, D-Jets number two and three continue flight testing in Texas, which offers a much more benign climate than London, Ontario (Canada), where Diamond’s North American division is based.
Diamond D-Jet S/N 003 made its first flight on October 5 with the upgraded Williams International FJ33-5A engine. S/N 003 is now in the final configuration for certification, with the new engine, new engine inlets and fairings, aerodynamic changes and production winglets. The new engine will be derated to match the power output of the previous FJ33-15, but Diamond plans to offer a higher-thrust D-Jet later in the program.
On Sunday, Diamond Aircraft (Booth No. 4707) flew its D-Jet for the first time with the new Williams International FJ33-5A engine (formerly designated FJ33-19), the production powerplant for the single-engine personal jet.
On Sunday, Diamond Aircraft flew its D-Jet for the first time with the new Williams International FJ33-5A engine (formerly designated FJ33-19), the production powerplant for the single-engine personal jet. D-Jet S/N 003–the first production-conforming copy of the airplane now that the -5A has been installed–was flown by chief test pilot Daniel Ribeiro and flight test engineer Gerard Struthers.
Diamond Aircraft is delaying the D-Jet program to install an engine with greater power output. The new engine is the -19 version of the Williams International FJ33-4A, delivering 1,900 pounds of thrust compared with the original -15’s 1,564 pounds. Coincidentally, that is almost the same engine change made by Spectrum Aeronautical with its S-33 Independence VLJ, switching from the FJ33-4A-15 to a 1,750-pound-thrust version of the -19.
The third flight-test D-Jet completed a one-hour 25-minute maiden flight April 15 from Diamond Aircraft’s London, Ontario facility. S/N 003 will be used for performance and handling quality refinement, and to develop avionics, fuel, autopilot and anti-ice systems. The airplane will be retrofitted with the Williams FJ33-19 engine later this year, but it won’t be the first D-Jet to fly with the uprated engine.
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.
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.