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I have about 200 hours and my father is looking to start his license. We are in the market for either the Diamond DA40 or the Cessna 182. Both have the glass cockpit and there is only about a $10,000 dollar difference in price. I am leaning towards the Cessna, but Diamond dealers are at both of the FBO's we will primarily fly too. We fly about 35hours a month, so it is very practical for us to purchase an aircraft. I think that it might be better to purchase the Diamond because the dealers are at both FBO's, but is the value of the Diamond going to keep up in a few years like the Cessna. I am looking for input on what would be the smarter buy in this situation. Thanks, Jason
OK, first a pet peeve - you have a pilot's certificate. Licenses are used for fishing, hunting, driving, etc.
There, I feel better. Anyway, as far as the DA40 vs. the 182. I instruct in both of them and am qualified to teach G1000. Both installations are essentially alike, with the exception of the circuit breakers and the location of the emergency gyros. Cessna didn't use pullable breakers and Diamond installed the gyros just below the glareshield as opposed to the bottom of the panel.
From the standpoint of flight characteristics, they're both great airplanes. The biggest difference is that slowing down the DA40 is a bit trickier because it's a very slick design. Simply put, you can't charge into the pattern like you can with a Cessna (or a Piper) and expect to slow down to a reasonable speed easily. You need to plan for the pattern a few miles out, but then you should do that with any airplane. Having said that, there is a myth that the DA40 has to be flown in a very wide pattern because of it's clean design. If flown at the proper speeds, you can safely fly it in the same size pattern as the Cessna. And don't let the whole yoke vs. stick debate throw you. Other than pilots'egos, at our level there really isn't any difference (and, by the way, the P-38 was a great fighter and it had a yoke).
Composite vs. Aluminum? I dunno. The DA40's and C1's I've seen in training are holding up just as well as the Cessna products. I've taken tours of both factories and have been impressed with the workmanship in both. I trust both airplanes, else I wouldn't fly in them.
So now it's down to creature comfort, payload, and style, at least as far as I'm concerned. Quite honestly, the DA40 wins on style points. It looks cool and like it's going 120 knots just sitting on the ramp. On the flip side, though, I'm inside the airplane when I'm flying, and there usually aren't girls to impress as I fly by anyway (besides, my wife frowns on that kind of behavior). I think that the Cessna is a bit more comfortable, particularly for the rear-seaters, and some folks don't like climbing on a wing to get in a plane. At 72.5" with long legs, the DA40 does fit me, but the rudder pedals are almost full forward (the FBO joke at my home base is seeing me scrunch into one after one of our female instructors has been on the right side - I can't wait to get to the T-handle), and there is pretty tight clearance on the headphone band.
Reviewing my musings above, I can see we're in the same quandry. If I had the cash, I'd buy both, because I see them as having slightly different missions. If I wanted to go with my wife and take the dogs somewhere, I'd use the DA40. If I wanted to take another couple or carry some camping gear, the 182 wins due to it's higher payload and the ability to trade off some fuel and still have a decent range of action. Unfortunately, we don't have that kind of money, but we are very seriously in the market for an airplane to put on lease-back, looking at about a year out (there's Diamond dealer in my part of the midwest that will recognize my name if he reads these posts - like I said four years ago, we're on a five year plan).
So, I, for one, don't have an answer for you. I've told both manufacturers at OSH that they're toe-to-toe as far as this consumer is concerned. I have no influence on the manufacturers as an individual, but it would be great, in my opinion, if one or the other would come up with a knock-out punch. In the meantime, I suggest you consider range, payload (and if you have small children, remember the number of bodies may not change, but the weight you carry will), and the overall mission of the airplane. And don't forget, there may be times that whatever you buy, you may not have the right aircraft anyway - I fully envision times when I'm going to rent a Cherokee Six/Saratoga even when we own an aircraft - just like we rent a van to haul bulky stuff around.
One last point to consider - the DA40 might be a bit unusual to a lot of FBO's if you need work away from home base. Having said that, though, it'll be the engine that will most likely need loving care, and they're ubiquitous enough that it shouldn't matter. Again, I know you have tough decision, ''cause that's where we're at. In our case, it may just rest on who can deliver an airplane and financing first.
Thank you for your input. What do you think about resale value of the airplanes. I would think Cessna would have a better resale, because of the larger demographic of pilots who would fly it. What do you think? Also, the FBO's we would fly to as I said before are both Diamond dealers. Is that something I should take into consideration?
Personally, and I'm no expert, I think that the resale value will hold up for both. Both aircraft have good reputations, and the owners/potential buyers are loyal to both.
As for the FBO's? OK, you'll get good local support. But then any reputable FBO will take care of you, regardless of manufacturer. The FBO that I consider my home base provides great service for both manufacturers'A/C and has both on lease-back.
I'm afraid this one may come down to intangibles, at least for me. I can say that both Diamond and Cessna have been more than hospitable to me at both their factories (I got a tour at London, ON, while enroute to Montreal with my family - A Cherokee Six looks very, very odd on that ramp; the Cessna tour came about when I helped a non-current pilot take delivery of his new 172) and at OSH. So, I'm still stuck.
Oh, more on the composite vs. aluminum debate: composites don't corrode, but no one is quite sure how they'll hold up over the years (although I'm pretty comfortable) - aluminum does corrode, but the technology is known, and the aviation community is used to dealing with those issues...
So, no easy answers...
I think the following holds true for any airplane buy:
1) Uphold the mission
2) Buy that which satisfies your mission 80-90% of the times.
3) Rent for the remaining times
4) You will never miss what you never bought (ofcourse unless your runner up was way different in its mission)
5) It will all work out in the end and you will be happy with your buy (too much money involved not to be happy)
Enjoy your new airplane!
Well, what did you buy and how is it going? Now, 2 years later, the choice would seem clearer. The Cessnas 182 uses 13.5 gph, the DA-40 uses 9.5, both 140 KT. Diamonds are holding their value and used aircraft are selling well.Cessnas are sitting on the used plane market as buyers either wait for the NGP, or a precipitous drop in price by the seller, or buy a plastic plane with a leap ahead in aircraft design over what amounts to basically a beefed-up and repeatedly modified and tweaked 1935 Taylor design. The stable uninspiring but solid ride of the Skylane is satisfactory until one has experienced the joy of flying the Diamond Star. Then the Cessna is a 'Grandma's plane' *yawn*.
Personally, I have flown the Cessna and a DA20 but not a DA40. The 182 is the best all around airplane to own IMO. It has the payload, range, and engine to get you out of problems is you find yourself in a short strip. Both are excellent airplanes but most shops know the cessna and they have a history which most owners and insurance agencys know.
I don't know if this has to do with the amount sold, but a Cessna 182 from 2004 is generally about 1/4 of what it would cost brand new.
Diamond DA40s are EXTREMELY hard to find on the used market (must be a good plane).
Cirrus SR22s (the best selling new plane for the past 7+ years) are one of the easiest airplanes to find on the used market.
So I hope you bought the right plane for you!
Although I don't fly yet I agree with the comments that both Cessna and Diamond are great aircraft. One thing I did notice tho, is that the diamond, if it really matters, has much better fuel consumtion and is a good bit faster, at least according to the Cessna and Diamond websites.
Whatever you buy I'm sure will be pleasing to you. You done your homework.
I'm looking into DA-40 XLS or SR-20. So this is probably slightly off topic, but I'm very curious to hear what people think now of DA-40. Since the time this thread was started DA-40 has become quite different. It was good then, now it is simply awesome. I flew one from 2004 and then I few one from 2010. Quite an impressive difference - DA 40 XLS is a really nice airplane.
I'm a student pilot and want a modern airplane which will take me to different destinations with some load and to the next level.
Any comments about DA-40 these days? What do you all think? Compared to Cessna 182, how does it fair?
The problem with the 182 it has put on weight- about 300 to 400 lbs with its age. The R182 was about 1800 lbs with retract, and was a great airplane. The 182T runs close to 2100. It is a good airplane; but, its aerodynamics is from the 1950. The D40 that I flew was limited to 2500 RPM and its performance compared better with the 172RG. I understand on new ones the RPM is not limited. With light turbluences, the D40 had a roll/yaw cycle that made the people in the back sick. One could hold rudder to calm it some. I like the potential of the D40 but, don't know if stability has been corrected. Previous comments about planning the landing a way ahead of time was right on.
the best article i read comparing the DA-40 and the SR20 was by Philip Greenspun's. He owned both airplanes and put hundred of hours on both. he has an indepth reviews of both airplanes and he also has an article comparing both.
do a search on the internet entering his name and you'll find his aviation website.
i wish i can find such reviews on other make and models, his reviews are objective and from an ownership point of view.
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