At Aero, More New Stuff From Diamond

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The Aero show in Friedrichshafen, Germany next month promises to be a busy one for Diamond Aircraft. Company CEO Christian Dries told AVweb that two new airplanes will be shown there, both twins based on the Austro Jet-A-burning four-cylinder powerplant. The DA42 V1 is a much improved follow-up to the DA42NG, the first model that sported the Austro engines, developed by Diamond's sister company. The airplane has improved aerodynamics concentrated on the engine cowling and rudder and is considerably faster than the previous model. AVweb was given a brief test flight in the airplane and noted that its single-engine performance about 15,000 feet yielded nearly 400 FPM of climb.

Also on view there will be an entirely new model, the DA52. This aircraft is based on Diamond's large-cabin DA50 idea, which was originally to have a large-displacement Continental gasoline engine or an as yet unannounced diesel. But, said Dries, "the DA50 will never have a 350-hp Continental engine." What it may have, he said, is a turbine engine. He declined to offer details but said the potential turbine will come from the east, not the west.

Meanwhile, the DA52 twin will have the Austro engines, Dries said. The cabin is wider and longer than the DA42 and will be capable of accommodating 5 to 6 people. We were shown a prototype well under way, which Dries said would fly in early April. Performance, he said, is likely to be a few knots slower than the V1. We'll have more details on this airplane when Aero opens on April 18, along with a brief video report.