Diamond Aircraft surprised showgoers at Aero Friedrichshafen in Germany by unveiling three versions of the new DA50 high-performance single, all of them powered by diesel engines.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was that the new flagship singles won’t be powered by engines sourced from Diamond’s own Austro Engines subsidiary, but rather by French producer Safran SMA. Versions will also be offered with a Lycoming gasoline engine and a Ukrainian-made turboprop.
The Austrian company says it will produce the four-place DA50-IV, five-place DA50-V and seven-place DA50-VII with 230, 260 and 360 horsepower Safran SMA diesels. The -VII will also be available with a 375 horsepower Lycoming engine or an Ivchenko Progress/Motor Sich AI-450S turboprop.
The DA50-V first flew in March and was on display at Aero last week in a striking gold paint scheme. Certification of the model, said Diamond CEO Christian Dries, is targeted for next year.
According to Diamond, the SMA engines have “linear fuel burn” characteristics that provide a fuel flow of about 4.6 gallons per 100 hp of output. Diamond claims the DA50 will represent the most modern and efficient single with the widest body and highest payload in the high-performance piston class.
Dries also announced at an Aero press conference its “Rotary Trainer Concept” helicopter, called the Dart 280. It will be powered by a non-disclosed turbine engine of 280 hp, he said, which will spin a three-blade main rotor and an electrically driven fenestron tail rotor. MTOW is targeted at 2,990 pounds and a payload of 1,200 pounds, according to Dries. Another helicopter in the planning stage, the Dart 450, will be all-carbon-made tandem trainer with the sidestick and ejection seats.
Dries also said a customizable version of the DA42-VI called “Customized” now offers buyers of the four-place diesel twin sophisticated interiors and exteriors available in “almost all imaginable” colors.
According to Dries, a tilt-wing aircraft idea announced last year has been abandoned, but a quadcopter is still likely to be developed.