October 6, 2008
Diamond Aircraft has flown its single-engine D-Jet with the planned higher-thrust Williams FJ33-5A engine. The aircraft, serial number 003, which had been flying on the smaller -15 version of the engine, flew for 1.4 hours with the new engine and aerodynamic refinements designed to take advantage of the extra power. Diamond President Peter Mauer said incorporating the new engine, which will eventually provide more thrust for the D-Jet, delayed development of the aircraft but will be a better package for owners. "When Williams introduced the new engine, we had to decide whether to continue with the original FJ33-15 or upgrade to the FJ3-5A right away, even if it meant a program delay," Maurer said. Also on the eve of NBAA 2008, the company announced that Middle Tennessee State University had added eight DA40 singles to its fleet, bringing the school's total DA40 fleet to 19.
That means ab initio students at MTSU will get real-world training in the same kind of environment they'll likely encounter in their future flying careers. "These DA40s represent absolute state-of-the-art training platforms reflecting some of the latest technologies that career pilots will ultimately encounter in the most advanced airliners," said David Moser, Diamond's fleet sales director. All of MTSU's DA40s have the Garmin G1000 suites and the latest eight have the GFC Automated Flight Control System and Garmin's Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT).
Last week, Diamond announced the sale of five D-Jet single-engine jets to SwiftJet, a Canadian company that hopes to start a point-to-point service as an alternative to the sometimes-convoluted routings of traditional airlines' hub-and-spoke scheduled service. The company has an option to buy 10 more of the five passenger jets.
Diamond has its certification test jet at NBAA's static display, a mockup of the jet and a training simulator at the booth as well as a DA40 and DA42 on static display.