Diamond DA42

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DA42 Twin Star
OH-DAC Tour de Sky Oulu 20140810 02.JPG
Role Light twin-engined utility and trainer aircraft
National origin Austria
Manufacturer Diamond Aircraft Industries
First flight 9 December 2002
Introduction 2004
Status In production[1]
Unit cost
Variants Aeronautics Defense Dominator
DA42 Twin Star
Diamond DA42 Twin Star instrument panel showing the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit installation
Diamond DA42 Twin Star Thielert Centurion 1.7 diesel engine
Diamond DA42 Twin Star showing prominent winglets

The Diamond DA42 Twin Star is a four seat, twin engine, propeller-driven airplane manufactured by Diamond Aircraft Industries. Its airframe is made largely of composite materials.[2]


The DA42 Twin Star was certified in Europe in 2004[3] and in the United States in 2005.[4]

The airplane is made of carbon composite material.[2] It is equipped with a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit.[5]

The DA42 Twin Star was the first diesel-powered fixed-wing aircraft to make a non-stop crossing of the North Atlantic, in 12.5 hours, with an average fuel consumption of 21.73 litres (4.78 imp gal; 5.74 US gal) per hour (10.86 litres (2.39 imp gal; 2.87 US gal) per hour per engine).[6]

In June 2010 a DA42 powered by Austro AE300 engines became the first aircraft to be publicly flown on algae-derived jet fuel.[7]

By March 2012 the DA42 had become the major income driver at Diamond Aircraft. Company CEO Christian Dries indicated that the market focus of the company had been changed by the recession of 2008—2010 and that the company now derives two-thirds of its revenue from military and government contracts, primarily for manned and unmanned (Aeronautics Defense Dominator) surveillance aircraft.[8]

Also in March 2012 Diamond aircraft announced they were developing a fly-by-wire version of the DA42, with the aim of reducing the accident rate in light aircraft. The system is expected to eventually include flight envelope protection, turbulence righting and autoland capabilities. The system will also include damage-tolerant by-pass capabilities, allowing flight with jammed or missing controls.[9][10] The autonomous DA42 was flown and landed without ground support in 2015.[11][12]


The DA42 is a composite-constructed, twin-engined, low-wing cantilever monoplane with a retractable tricycle landing gear and a T-tail. The enclosed cabin has four seats with a front-hinged canopy for access to the front seats and a top-hinged door on the left side for access to the rear seats.


The DA42NG "New Generation" is powered by Diamond's 3rd Generation Austro Turbo Diesel Engine. The Lycoming IO-360 engine is also available as an option. The 125 kW (168 hp) Austro diesel replaces the Thielert Centurion 1.7 and 2.0 engines. It is known for its good fuel efficiency, it uses 12.1 litres (2.7 imp gal; 3.2 US gal) per hour while loitering at maximum endurance or 30 litres (7 imp gal; 8 US gal) per hour at maximum continuous power (92%). It is also available with optional "on top" exhaust mufflers that reduce noise levels to below 59 decibels at a height of 500 feet (150 m).[13][14][15]

Thielert Aircraft Engines ended its production of the 1.7 litre Centurion engines (designated as TAE 125-01 Centurion 1.7) in favour of a new 2.0 litre. (TAE 125-02-99) engine.[16] Diamond began installing this new 2.0 L. engine in early 2007. Although engine displacement increased, it was de-rated to produce the same power 101 kW (135 hp) and torque 409 N·m (302 lbf·ft) as the 1.7 L. engine.[17]

In late 2007, Diamond aircraft announced it would begin building and installing its own aerodiesels, through a subsidiary, Austro Engine GmbH, and with other partners that included Mercedes Benz Technologies. The use of Thielert engines on the DA42 came into question due to Thielert filing for insolvency in April 2008.[18][19][20][21][22]

Due to the insolvency of Thielert and the decisions of the insolvency administrator, including cancelling warranty support and the prorating of time-between-overhaul for the Thielert engines that power the DA42, Diamond announced in July 2008 that production of the DA42 was suspended. At the time production was suspended the DA42 was reported to have 80 percent of the piston twin market.[1][23][24]

In March 2009 Diamond achieved EASA certification for the Austro Engine AE 300 and returned the DA42 to production as the DA42 NG. The new engine produces 20% more power, while giving better fuel economy than the Thielert engines and results in a higher gross weight and increased performance. The first Austro-powered DA42 was delivered to a customer in Sweden in April 2009, with the first US customer aircraft expected in mid-2010. The Austro-powered DA42 NG received FAA certification on 9 April 2010.[1][25][26]


DA42 outfitted for aerial survey
DA42 at the MAKS Airshow in Moscow, 2007
DA-42 MPP at the 2010 Farnborough Airshow
Production aircraft built in Austria and Canada
DA42 M
Special Mission variant built in Austria, modification from standard DA42 and new production.
DA42 L360
Lycoming IO-360 134 kW (180 hp) equipped version using 100LL fuel instead of Jet-A1. This model is intended for the North American flight training market.[27][28]
Austro Engine AE 300 127 kW (170 hp) equipped version. EASA certified March 2009; FAA certified April 2010; Transport Canada certified 16 April 2012.[1][26][28][29][30]
Diamond Airborne Sensing a wholly owned subsidiary of Diamond produces the MPP or "Multi Purpose Platform" variant which is modified to carry aerial sensing, mapping and surveillance payloads.[31] The UK Ministry of Defence specified the DA42 MPP variant for its surveillance systems project, converted by DO Systems. Two ordered in June 2008.[32]
DA42 MPP Centaur OPA
Aurora Flight Sciences developed an Optionally Piloted Aircraft (OPA) as an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform and can be operated as either unmanned or with pilots on board. One in service with the Swiss military procurement agency Armasuisse.[33]
Dominator II
Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd developed an UAV version of the DA42, designated as the Aeronautics Defense Dominator and first flown in July 2009. Has an endurance of 28 hours with a 408 kg (899 lb) payload and speed of 140–354 km/h (75–190 knots) to a maximum altitude of 9,144 m (30,000 ft).[34][35]
Improved DA42 introduced in March 2012 with new propeller and aerodynamic clean-ups to the rudder and engine cowling, resulting in greatly increased cruise speed performance.[36]


Civil operators[edit]

The DA42 is mainly operated by flight training schools, aerial surveillance and mapping operators.

Military operators[edit]

  • Federal Security Service (FSB) – 2 DA-42M-NGs fitted with reconnaissance equipment ordered in May 2016, with delivery due by November 2017.[40]
  • Swiss military procurement agency Armasuisse – 1 – Delivery in end of 2012[33]
 United Kingdom

Aircraft on display[edit]

Specifications (DA42 Twin Star)[edit]

Data from Type Certificate Data Sheet

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 3 passengers
  • Length: 8.56 m (28 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 13.42 m (44 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 2.49 m (8 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 16.29 m2 (175.3 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,251 kg (2,758 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,700 kg (3,748 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Austro turbocharged diesel engine, 125 kW (168 hp) each


  • Maximum speed: 356 km/h (221 mph; 192 kn)
  • Range: 1,693 km (1,052 mi; 914 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 5,486 m (17,999 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 6.5 m/s (1,280 ft/min)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ a b c d Niles, Russ (March 2009). "Re-engined Diesel Twin Star EASA Certified". Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  2. ^ a b "Diamond DA42 Twin Star Utility and Trainer Aircraft, Austria". Airfoce-technology.com. Retrieved 2014-08-19. [unreliable source?]
  3. ^ Diamond Aircraft (May 2004). "DA42 Twin Star EASA certification". 
  4. ^ Diamond Aircraft (July 2005). "DA42-TDI Twin Star FAA certified". 
  5. ^ Diamond Aircraft (2003). "Garmin's G1000 System offered in the DA42 Twin Star". Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  6. ^ Diamond Aircraft (2004). "DA42 Twin Star crosses Atlantic non-stop: first Atlantic crossing of a diesel powered aircraft". Archived from the original on 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  7. ^ Pew, Glenn (June 2010). "EADS: Algae-Fueled DA42 A "World's First" (And Better)". Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Bertorelli, Paul (13 March 2012). "Diamond's Commercial/Military Turn". AVweb. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Bertorelli, Paul (13 March 2012). "Diamond's Dries: Fly By Wire As "Electronic Parachute"". AVweb. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Pew, Glenn (29 November 2012). "DA42 Fly By Wire Progress". AVweb. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  11. ^ Bertorelli, Paul (8 September 2015). "Diamond's Autonomous DA42 Completes Autolanding Tests". AVweb. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  12. ^ Diamond DA42 Autoland on YouTube
  13. ^ "Diamond Airborne Sensing Facts". 
  14. ^ "Diamond Aircraft News". 
  15. ^ "Clarity Aerial Sensing Law Enforcement". 
  16. ^ Thielert Aviation Engines (January 2007). "Thielert engine in next development stage". Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  17. ^ "Diamond Aircraft Product pages". 
  18. ^ Niles, Russ (April 2008). "More Trouble For Thielert". Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  19. ^ AvWeb Staff (May 2008). "Cessna Suspends Diesel 172 Sales, Diamond Steps Up Support". Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  20. ^ "Diamond Says Thielert Insolvency Administrator Is Playing Hardball". Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  21. ^ Bertorelli, Paul (May 2008). "Thielert: How To Kill A Company (Maybe Two)". Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  22. ^ Bertorelli, Paul (May 2008). "Thielert: No Warranty Support For Diamond Diesels". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  23. ^ Niles, Russ (July 2008). "Diamond Tries To Soothe DA42 Customers". Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  24. ^ Niles, Russ (November 2008). "Diamond's Thielert Problems Ease". Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  25. ^ Peppler, Graeme (April 2009). "Diesel DA50 Headed To U.S.". Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  26. ^ a b Pew, Glenn (April 2010). "Diamond's DA42 NG, FAA/EASA Certified". Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  27. ^ Diamond Aircraft (November 2008). "Diamond Aircraft unveils new Lycoming-powered DA42 L360 twin at AOPA Expo 2008". Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  28. ^ a b Diamond Aircraft (July 2008). "Diamond announces DA42 New Horizons: Austro-Engine, Lycoming powered DA42s". Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  29. ^ Aero-News Network (2009). "Diamond Aircraft Receives FAA Certification For Austro Engine AE300 Powerplant!". Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  30. ^ Diamond Aircraft (16 April 2012). "Diamond DA42 NG receives Transport Canada certification". Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  31. ^ "Diamond Airborne Sensing website". 
  32. ^ a b "Air Forces Monthly (UK edition), Oct 2008, pp 70". 
  33. ^ a b "armasuisse webpage: Diamond DA42 Centaur OPA". 
  34. ^ Niles, Russ (August 2009). "DA42-Based UAV Tested". Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  35. ^ defence.professionals GmbH (July 2009). "Aeronautics Defense Systems successfully tested unmanned Diamond DA42". Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  36. ^ A. Horne, Thomas (20 April 2012). "Diamond shows off new airplanes and powerplants". AOPA. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  37. ^ "Misiones: la AFIP retuvo tres aviones que el Gobierno le compró al ejército de EE.UU.". La Nacion. La Nacion. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  38. ^ "Ghana Air Force to spend US$200 million on five aircraft". DefenceWeb. 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  39. ^ "Diamond Aircraft :: Diamond Airborne Sensing Sells DA42 MPP Surveillance Aircraft to Niger". Diamond-air.at. 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  40. ^ Butowski, Piotr (June 2016). "Russian Diamonds". Air International. Vol. 90 no. 6. p. 4. ISSN 0306-5634. 
  41. ^ Diamond Aircraft Industries Royal Thai Air Force chooses 6 DA42 for it's (sic) training program
  42. ^ Market Expands for Light ISR Aircraft
  43. ^ Фотографии с места катастрофы самолета Diamond DA-42 в Закарпатье
  44. ^ The Register British Forces operating two modified DA42 with 39 squadron in ISTAR role.
  45. ^ Displaying Serials in range ZA
  46. ^ Kauh, Elaine (28 November 2014). "Diamond's First DA42 On Display In Austrian Museum". AVweb. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 

External links[edit]