May 21, 2013
By Thomas B Haines
The first North American delivery of a Diamond DA42-VI occurred May 7 when Leesburg, Va., pilots Dave and Sue Passmore accepted the keys to their upgraded diesel-powered twin. The DA42-VI (Dash Six) represents the culmination of more than a decade’s worth of improvements to the model originally certified with Thielert diesel engines and also Lycoming avgas engines. Later variants featured Diamond-developed Austro Engine diesels. The Dash Six includes the latest version of the Austro engines and some 21 aerodynamic improvements, such as reduced seams on the fuselage, flush-mounted rivets, greater use of carbon fiber, and more to save some 88 pounds in weight and boost maximum cruise speed to 197 knots true airspeed; normal cruise speeds are routinely greater than 190 KTAS, according to John Armstrong, president of Dominion Aircraft Sales, a Diamond regional distribution center.
The twin, with its fuel-efficient diesel engines, air conditioning, and certified anti-icing system, is a significant step up in performance for the Passmores, who previously owned a DA40 XLS single. The couple plans to use the twin to visit their children across the country from Virginia.
Armstrong arranged a tour of Austria as part of the delivery experience for the couple. Dave Passmore with ferry pilot Friedrich (Fritz) Lehner flew the airplane from the factory in Austria to Diamond’s London, Ontario, facility for a few avionics upgrades. The airplane is expected to be delivered to the couple in Leesburg by the end of May.
Look for a more comprehensive report on the new model in an upcoming issue of AOPA Pilot magazine.
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.
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