D-Jet Racking Up Hours

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It's been widely speculated that the D-Jet was more than a logical business move for Diamond. Company President Christian Dries has apparently driven the project personally because he wanted a jet. Dries did little to dampen that speculation when he took the controls of the prototype on its second flight. "I was particularly impressed by the feeling of space, security and solidity," Dries is quoted in a Diamond news release as saying after his 53-minute hop. "The simplicity of operation, from engine start through take-off, flight and landing was very obvious and reflects my vision of what a personal jet should be." After Dries' April 19 flight, the D-Jet was also in the air on the 20th and 21st. On those days, test pilots added a little throttle and continued their check of its basic flight qualities. The flights are conducted at Diamond's North American headquarters in London, Ont., where the prototype was built. And although the folks in southern Ontario are getting a good look at the jet, there's no word on its official public debut (although Diamond's company profile for the Berlin Air Show on May 16 lists "personal jets" among the company's products). Stay tuned ...