|DA40 Diamond Star|
|Manufacturer||Diamond Aircraft Industries|
|First flight||5 November 1997|
$420,000 DA-40XLT (2013 price)
|Developed from||Diamond DA20|
The Diamond DA40 Star is an Austrian four-seat, single engine, light aircraft constructed from composite materials. Built in both Austria and Canada, it was developed as a four-seat version of the earlier DA20 by Diamond Aircraft Industries.
Design and development
Based on the success of the earlier DV20/DA20 two-seat aircraft, the company designed a four-seat variant, the DA40. The DA40 is a four-seat low-wing cantilever monoplane made from composite materials. It has a fixed tricycle landing gear and a T-tail. The Rotax 914-powered prototype DA40-V1, registered OE-VPC, first flew on the 5 November 1997 and was followed by a second prototype DA40-V2 (registered OE-VPE) which was powered by a Continental IO-240. In 1998 a third prototype DA40-V3 flew powered by a Lycoming IO-360 engine. Four more test aircraft were produced followed by the first production aircraft in 2000. JAR23 certification of the IO-360 production variant was obtained in October 2000. In 2002 the production of the Lycoming-engined variant was moved to Canada and the Austrian factory concentrated on diesel-engined variants.
The DA40 has officially appeared in only three versions, the DA 40, DA 40D and DA 40F, as documented on its type certificates. The various model names that the aircraft has been sold under are marketing names and are not officially recognized by the authorities that have certified the aircraft.
In late 2006, the XL and FP models replaced the DA40-180. The FP replaced the fixed pitch propeller version of the 180 and the XL replaced the constant speed propeller version. The major difference between the new models and the 180 is the higher maximum cruise speeds. The DA40-XL is approximately four knots faster than the preceding DA40-180/G1000 with the two-blade Hartzell propeller and the "Speed Gear" option. The XL's speed increase is mostly due to the Powerflow exhaust system.
The DA40-XL has a constant speed propeller and is powered by a 180 hp (130 kW) Lycoming IO-360-M1A fuel injected engine. It has a maximum cruise speed of 147 knots, burning 9.2 gallons of Avgas per hour. Its maximum takeoff weight is 2,535 lb (1,150 kg).
The DA40-F (marketed as the "FP") has a fixed pitch propeller, a 180 hp (130 kW) Lycoming O-360-A4M engine, which has a carburettor rather than fuel injection and a more basic interior, but is otherwise similar to the XL.
The DA40-TDI uses a Thielert "Centurion" 135 hp (101 kW) diesel engine and burns diesel or jet fuel. It has a constant speed propeller and FADEC (single lever) engine control. The first flight of the DA40D was made on Nov. 28, 2002. This model is not certified in the US.
Efforts to increase the DA40's cruising speed centered on the propeller and wheel spats. The wheel fairing streamlining was improved, a three-blade scimitar-type constant speed propeller was incorporated and the Powerflow exhaust system from the XL was retained. The canopy contour was also revised, with the sides being more vertical before curving into the roof, which provides more shoulder and head room.
In the last half of 2007 the company updated the DA40 line by introducing the XLS and CS versions and eliminated the FP model. The XLS is the deluxe version, with the integration of some options into the standard offering including a Powerflow tuned exhaust, WAAS-capable G1000, GDL69 datalink, and TAS traffic alert system. The CS is the budget version, with fewer standard features.
Both CS and XLS versions of the DA40 use the Lycoming IO-360-M1A fuel injected engine. The major difference is the choice of propeller, with the CS using a Hartzell two-blade aluminum constant speed prop and the XLS using an MT composite three-blade unit.
Pilot and passengers enter the DA40 via the leading edge of the wing, an unusual feature among low-wing aircraft. The aircraft's nosewheel is free-castoring and directional control while taxiing is by mainwheel differential braking.
DA40s are produced at Diamond's aircraft factories in Wiener Neustadt, Austria and in London, Ontario, Canada. A joint venture has also been set up in China with Shandong Bin Ao Aircraft Industries for production of the DA40 TDI (Diesel) in Shandong Province. Capacity is available for up to 1,000 aircraft a year to be produced with certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency in 2008. A Chinese flying school has used its CD-135 for 13 hours per day on average.
Past DA40 models were available with either traditional mechanical instruments or an optional Garmin G1000 glass cockpit suite. Current production DA40s are built only with the Garmin G1000 as standard equipment. In April 2008, Diamond introduced the optional availability of Garmin Synthetic Vision Technology on the DA40 XLS.
The DA40 has accumulated a very low accident record, particularly with regard to stall and spin accidents. Its overall and fatal accident rates are one-eighth that of the general aviation fleet and include no stall-related accidents. The level of safe operation is attributed to its high aspect ratio wing, low wing loading and benign flight characteristics. The aircraft can be trimmed full nose up, engine set to idle and it will descend at 600–1200 feet per minute at 48 kn (89 km/h) hands-off, a lower rate of descent than the competitor Cirrus SR22 can achieve with its airframe ballistic parachute deployed.
In a 2011 analysis by Aviation Consumer magazine, the DA40 was shown to have had a fatal accident rate of 0.35/100,000 hours, the lowest in US general aviation and considerably better than the market leading Cirrus SR20 and SR22, which that year had a combined fatal accident rate of 1.6/100,000, despite its full aircraft parachute system. By comparison, the Cessna 172 had a fatal accident rate of 0.45/100,000 hours.
- Initial model, powered by a Textron Lycoming IO-360 M1A 180 hp (135 kW) engine and a MT Propellers MTV-12-B/180-17. Maximum gross weight is 1150 kg (2535 lb) or 1200 kg (2646 lb) with modifications installed. In increasingly refined versions marketed as the DA40-180, XL, CS and XLS.
- DA40 D
- Diesel model, powered by a Thielert TAE 125-01 (Centurion 1.7) or TAE 125-02-99 (Centurion 2.0) engine of 135 hp (101 kW) and MT Propellers MTV-6-A/187-129. Maximum gross weight is 1150 kg (2535 lb). Marketed primarily in Europe, although certified in Canada and Australia as well, as the DA40 TDI.
- DA40 F
- Fixed pitch propeller model, powered by Textron Lycoming O-360-A4M and a Sensenich 6EM8S10-0-63 or a MT-Propeller MT 188R135-4G propeller. Maximum gross weight is 1150 kg (2535 lb). Marketed as the DA40 FP. This model is no longer offered.
- DA40 NG
- Latest model, offered in select markets only (DA40 model is still offered in other markets), powered by an Austro Engine AE 300 170 hp (127 kW) running on JET A-1 fuel. EASA certified April 2010
- Military trainer version, 20 acquired in 2009 and used by the 557th Flying Training Squadron at USAFA The type was replaced in 2012 with the Cirrus SR20-based T-53A.
- DA40 XLT
- Version introduced in April 2013 with an upgraded interior, including sun-resistant deluxe leather seats, improved lumbar contours, sun visors, more cup holders and improved storage for hand-held devices.
- DA40 Tundra Star
- Version with strengthened landing gear, larger tires for operation from unimproved surfaces and a 168 hp (125 kW) Austro AE300 diesel engine that burns jet fuel.
The aircraft is popular with flying schools and is operated by private individuals and companies.
Specifications (2007 model Diamond DA40 XL Diamond Star)
Data from Diamond Aircraft website
- Crew: one pilot
- Capacity: three passengers
- Length: 26 ft 5 in (8.1 m)
- Wingspan: 39 ft 2 in (11.9 m)
- Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
- Wing area: 145.3 ft² (13.5 m²)
- Empty weight: 1,755 lb (795 kg)
- Useful load: 890 lb (403 kg)
- Loaded weight: 2,645 lb (1198 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 2,645 lb (1198 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming IO-360-M1A air-cooled, 4-cylinder horizontally-opposed piston engine, 180 hp (134 kW)
- Cruise speed: 150 knots TAS (173 mph, 279 km/h)
- Stall speed: 49 knots flaps down (56 mph, 91 km/h)
- Range: 720 nm (828 mi, 1341 km)
- Service ceiling: 16400 ft (5000 m)
- Rate of climb: 1120 ft/min (5.69 m/s)
- Power/mass: 0.06802 hp/lb (110 W/kg)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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- "DA40 XL Fact Sheet" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
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- Diamond Aircraft Industries. "DA40 Diamond Star XLS and CS". Archived from the original on 26 October 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2008.
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- "Aviation Week & Space Technology". 14 October 2013: 60.
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