Diamond Now A Turbo Prop
A DA50 powered by a turbine engine made its first flight 4 days ago in Austria. Christian Dries, CEO Diamond Aircraft, was the test pilot, along with Ingmar Mayerbuch, Head of Flight Test. This concept was first introduced in the spring of 2013. After the flight Dries said,“This aircraft with this turbine engine almost flies like a rocket.” The plane with room for up to seven passengers is called the “DA50-JP7” and will be manufactured in two different versions. The Tundra variant with big wheels and rugged landing gear for uneven strips and rough terrain as well as a training and high performance version. The DA50-JP7 can handle harsh climates with temperatures ranging from minus 50°C to plus 50°C.
The 465 hp AI-450S turbine engine is built by Ukrainian company Motor Sich JSC in collaboration with Ivchenko Progress. It has been newly designed especially for fixed-winged aircraft. The AI-450S has a 20% lower fuel burn than similar turbine engines. It is particularly fuel-efficient at medium altitudes. With dual electronic controls and a mechanical back-up system (Dual FADEC) it is very easy to operate. The engine starts at the push of a button. After certification which is expected mid to late 2016 the DA50-JP7 will be built at Diamond Aircraft headquarters in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.