Diamond Aircraft has resumed flight testing of its D-JET single-engine personal jet following the airplane’s temporary grounding after the furloughs of about 200 employees in March.
“Our team’s spirits are certainly lifted with the resumption of flight activities,” said Diamond president Peter Maurer. “Being able to bring back part of the team allowed us to resume flight operations and we are looking forward to finishing the campaign with [Serial Number] 002 and 003, while in parallel finalizing detail design work and starting the production of conforming aircraft 004.”
The one-hour flight of D-JET 003, the first flight since March 27, included shakedown of aircraft systems, control sweeps, gear cycling, flap cycling, verification of navigation equipment and software, several touch and goes, and completion of some control system test points.
Diamond test pilot Mark Elwess reported the flight to be uneventful without any issues or aircraft snags. Completion of the flight-test campaign for the prototypes will continue on a “regular basis,” although no firm date was given for when certification is expected.
Diamond suspended the D-JET program after a funding shortfall last spring, caused in part by the Canadian government’s rejection of a $35 million loan guarantee for the company. Diamond has since secured private funding to jump start the D-JET program.
In the meantime, the company says it will skip major aviation shows in North America, including AOPA Expo in Hartford, Connecticut, later this month and the NBAA Convention next month in Las Vegas, moves aimed at focusing resources on the D-JET certification program.