Diamond Picks Williams Power

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Diamond has picked Williams International to power its single-engine entry in the burgeoning personal jet market. A lone Williams FJ33-4 will provide the ponies for the D-JET, which is lumped loosely in an ever-increasing field of twin-engine mini-jets dominated by the Eclipse 500, Adam 700, and Cessna Mustang, among others. Adam has also picked the FJ33 for its twinjet while Eclipse and Cessna have gone with Pratt and Whitney Canada's 600 series. The FJ33-4 pumps out 1,400 pounds of thrust flat-rated to 72 degrees F and is based on the larger FJ44, which is already in use. Diamond said the advanced development of the Williams engine fits with Diamond's "aggressive" timetable for the D-JET, which includes a first flight next year. Pratt and Whitney Canada was also a contender for the D-JET. Although it's often referred to in the same context as the other mini-jet offerings, the D-JET is a different sort of aircraft, claims Diamond's North American CEO Peter Maurer. In an earlier interview with AVweb, Maurer explained that the D-JET is more aimed at the private and training market than the other offerings. For one thing, it's certified to 25,000 feet, high enough to get over most weather but low enough to avoid some complicated and expensive certification items. Its cruise speed of around 300 knots is slower than the twins but then it only burns about 276 pounds of fuel an hour at that speed. The D-JET is also expected to be the least expensive mini-jet, with a projected price of $850,000, against Eclipse's $1 million-plus, Adam's $2.3 million and the Mustang at almost $3 million.