Diamond Aircraft is proposing to build the first new pressurized piston single in decades. The company said this week that it will offer two versions of the DA50, the SuperStar and the Magnum.
The Continental-powered, full-featured SuperStar will be pressurized to provide about a 12,000-foot cabin at 25,000 feet. Meanwhile, the Magnum will be powered by Diamond’s new 170-hp Austro Engine AE 300, a jet-fuel burning engine. Both models will share the same five-seat composite airframe and wing, but the SuperStar will sport a 350-hp turbocharged, FADEC-controlled Continental engine.
“When we started taking position reservations for the DA50 we got clear feedback that customers loved the idea of a truly high-performance, modern, five-seat aircraft,” said Heike Larson, vice president of sales and marketing. “And many asked us to take it one step further by adding light pressurization. Other pilots are telling us they are tired of paying $500 and more per fill-up, yet they don’t want to sacrifice the features, comfort, and space.”
So while the hotrod SuperStar is designed for high-speed travel mostly in the United States where avgas is still widely available (if not expensive), the Magnum is meant more for the European market that finds avgas less available and much more expensive than jet fuel.
The pressurization project will push SuperStar certification back a year, until late 2010, compared to the schedule announced last year. The Magnum is set for certification in late 2009. Prices will be announced later.