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Diamond goes bigDiamond goes big

Diamond Aircraft unveiled a five-seat, single-engine prototype DA50-V at AERO Friedrichshafen, two weeks after logging the maiden flight of the first of three new DA50 variants in the pipeline, featuring seating for four, five, or seven.

DA50-V photo courtesy of Diamond Aircraft.

Diamond provided a few interesting performance figures from the DA50-V prototype that first flew in March: a maximum takeoff weight of 3,968 pounds and a payload of 1,256 pounds; the prototype has been clocked at 173 knots true in testing and is expected to have a maximum range of 1,020 nautical miles. Proving these figures out in a production model would give the DA50-V an edge over the Cirrus SR22 in payload, range, or both.

Payload and elbow room are key selling points of the new DA50-V, which debuted at Europe’s largest general aviation show, held April 5 through 8 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The five-seat version will be powered by the 260-horsepower, jet-fuel-burning engine from French firm SAFRAN/SMA, a powerplant that burns 6.8 gallons per hour at 50 percent power, with a maximum operating altitude of 20,000 feet, Diamond noted in a press release.

The choice of a French engine was curious to some. Austrian Diamond Aircraft’s sister company, Austro Engine, produces the AE300 and AE330 four-cylinder engines, which also run on Jet A; the 180-hp AE330 recently had its time between overhaul increased to 1,800 hours, the company announced at AERO Friedrichshafen.

The DA50-V seats five adults. Photo courtesy of Diamond Aircraft.

But more power is needed to get the DA50-V, and the seven-seat VII model that will follow, off the ground, as Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH Owner and CEO Christian Dries noted in an article published, in German, in the AERO Friedrichshafen show newspaper.

“The DA50-V sets the benchmark in luxury, comfort and economy in General Aviation,” Dries said in a press release. “It’s the perfect aircraft for the demanding pilot who wants to go far without cargo restrictions.”

The carbon-fiber construction and modern avionics (a Garmin G1000 NXi and GFC 700 autopilot are both featured) are also selling points, along with the fuel-efficient aviation diesel engine. The company pulled out the stops to catch attention at the show, commissioning a paint scheme from one of Europe’s most renowned airbrush artists, Knud Tiroch, who is perhaps best known for painting the Formula 1 cars of Scuderia Toro Rosso.

The DA50-V is expected to reach the market in 2018, along with the four-seat, 230-hp DA50-IV model. A DA50-VII model will follow with seven seats, retractable gear, and a choice of piston and turboprop engines.

In addition to the eye-catching efforts on the ground in Friedrichshafen, Diamond also posted a YouTube video featuring behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the DA50-V prototype.

The DA50-V flown to AERO Friedrichshafen features a paint scheme designed by an artist who has alos painted Formula 1 cars. Photo courtesy of Diamond Aircraft.
Jim Moore

Jim Moore

Editor
AOPA Online Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Topics: Diesel, Alternative Fuels, Technology

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