D-Jet Makes A Quick Stop And Go

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Diamond's newest project, the single-engine D-Jet prototype, made its world debut at AirVenture on Wednesday morning. The jet rolled in to a welcome from officials from EAA and the FAA, then was displayed at Aeroshell Square before flying back home to Canada mid-afternoon to get back to work. Diamond CEO Christian Dries said the five-place jet is "extremely comfortable" to fly in, and so far has logged about 30 hours aloft. Labeling it as a "personal jet," Dries said its target market is the 500 to 700 hour owner-pilot. With that in mind, the aircraft is designed to be safe and easy to fly. The jet will be certified up to 25,000 feet, which Dries says is a safer altitude. "At that altitude, if there is a pressurization failure, you have about three minutes to react." At 40,000 feet, he said, you'd have a much briefer window. "Up there, you pass out and then you pass away," he said. The D-Jet also will include a whole-aircraft ballistic parachute, under development by BRS. Dries says the lower altitudes are safer and the aerodynamics are easier to manage. The jet, which has a Williams engine and Garmin avionics, is expected to be on the market in 2008.