On Oct. 5, Diamond Aircraft flew its D-Jet for the first time with the airplane’s new Williams International FJ33-5A engine of 1,900 lbst. Meanwhile, a D-Jet engineering prototype was on display at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando, Fla.
The 315-KTAS aircraft has done the bulk of development flight-testing. The five-seat aircraft has a ceiling of 25,000 feet and a long-range cruise speed of 240 KTAS, giving it a range of 1,350 nm. Previously, the airplane was fitted with a Williams engine of 1,500 lbst.
The decision to boost the D-Jet’s thrust rating came from the need to provide additional bleed air for better pressurization differentials and lower cabin altitudes in cruise flight. The first flight lasted 1.4 hours and all test points were satisfactorily completed, said Diamond Aircraft president Peter Maurer.
The jet was originally priced at $1.38 million (in 2006 U.S. dollars), but a higher price will be announced in coming months due to the recent selection of the FJ33 engine.
Certification is targeted for mid-2009.
In related news, Diamond also announced that ATP (Airline Transport Professionals) will provide factory-authorized initial and recurrent flight training for the D-Jet. ATP will also provide pre-type rating training, mentoring, aircraft management, aircraft positioning, and factory-authorized service.
The decision was presaged by the November 2006 announcement that ATP would buy 20 D-Jets, plus options, as well as five D-Jet simulators. The simulators are manufactured by Diamond Simulation, a wholly owned part of the Diamond organization. ATP currently has a fleet of 140 training aircraft and flew a total of 140,000 hours of training last year alone.