Diamond Aircraft has announced that Lufthansa Aviation Training (LAT) will be the launch customer for its all-electric eDA40 trainer. The letter of intent (LOI) covering the planned purchase also includes provisions for the two companies to collaborate on testing the model “in a real training environment” at LAT’s location in Grenchen, Switzerland. According to Diamond, results will be used to inform further development of the aircraft for flight training and “to explore options for a suitable operation of a mixed training fleet consisting of the eDA40 and the conventional AUSTRO jet-fuel powered DA40 NG.” While the number of aircraft ordered and estimated delivery dates were not made public, the first trial phase in Grenchen is slated to begin as early as the end of the year.
“Diamond Aircraft’s fuel-efficient DA40 and DA42 models are already operating very successfully at our flight schools in Rostock (Germany) and Grenchen (Switzerland),” said Lufthansa Aviation Training CEO Matthias Spohr. “I am very pleased that with the signing of the LOI for the all-electric eDA40, we are now jointly opening a groundbreaking chapter in the topic of sustainability.”
Introduced in October 2021 as an all-electric derivative of its DA40 single-engine piston aircraft, Diamond says the eDA40 will be “the first EASA/FAA Part 23 certified electric airplane with DC fast charging.” According to the company, the eDA40 is expected to offer an endurance of up to 90 minutes “as the battery technology evolves” and be capable of recharging in under 20 minutes. The aircraft will use the Safran ENGINeUSTM 100 electric smart motor and Electric Power Systems EPiC battery technology and be outfitted with the Garmin G1000 NXi.