Diamond D-Jet May Make Oshkosh Debut...

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Light Jets Abound

Diamond hopes to fly its D-Jet to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh next summer for its North American debut, according to a company representative we spoke with over the weekend at AOPA's convention in Tampa. Actually the folks around London, Ontario, will likely be the first to see it in flight as Diamond has decided to move development and construction of the five-place single-engine aircraft to its North American headquarters in Canada. "America is where the market is," Bernie Toller, of Diamond sales and marketing, told AVweb on a brisk walk between the hotel and convention center in Tampa during AOPA Expo. First flight is planned for March. The plane's public unveiling will actually be at the Berlin Air Show May 16 to May 21, next year. The company had planned to fly the plane by the end of this year but it's been busy with such things as developing two versions of its twin DA-42 and building a factory in China. Although it hasn't even displayed a mock-up of the jet, Toller said there are 78 firm orders for the aircraft, which the company has said it plans to sell for less than $1 million. The D-Jet is, in some ways, less capable than the very light jets (VLJs) under development. Its maximum altitude is 25,000 feet and it will cruise at 315 knots, but Diamond has always maintained that the D-Jet is aimed at a different market than VLJs. "I think we have a tremendous niche," he said.