There’s a new single-engine carbon-fiber turboprop aerobatic trainer on the way from Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH.
The Austria-based aircraft manufacturer announced the maiden flight and completion of the basic flight program of the DART-550, a 550-horsepower, 247-knot, two-place turboprop powered by a General Electric GE H75-100 engine.
DART-550 systems include an electronic engine and propeller control system; and a five-blade, full feather MT propeller; Martin Baker MK16 ejection seats; and Garmin G3000 integrated avionics systems. The expected 247-KTAS expected maximum speed is based on a maximum takeoff weight of 5,291 pounds (2,400 kilograms). A maximum-endurance flight profile will provide the aircraft with capability to remain aloft for eight hours plus fuel reserves, Diamond Aircraft said.
Variants will be available with other engine power ratings, seat configuration, and avionics “for diverse customer needs.”
Diamond Aircraft is convinced its DART series offers “something unmatched on the market,” said Markus Fischer, sales director for the DART series, adding that the aircraft’s introduction will “make it very difficult for DART’s competition when performance and commercial arguments become a critical decision making factor.”
The company expects full certification of the turboprop trainer by the European Aviation Safety Agency soon, Fischer said.