A Single-Engine Jet from Diamond

Diamond jumps into the ultra light jet fray with the D-Jet with its entry, a turbofan single. Price tag? Less than a million bucks.

0503SingleEngineF

0503SingleEngineF

In January Ontario-based Diamond Aircraft announced ambitious plans to enter the now-crowded personal jet market with its own single-engine turbofan, currently called the D-Jet. Diamond expects to make the first flight of the jet by 2004 and to start delivering it by 2006. The announcement is particularly ambitious since the most complex aircraft that the company is currently working on is the 135-hp (per side) Twin Star.

Diamond's D-Jet differs from the other proposed personal jets, the Eclipse 500, the Cessna Mustang and the Adam 700, in that it is the only one with a single turbofan engine. Proposed single-engine turbofans have generated a lot of interest in the past-remember the VisionAire Vantage-but have remained merely paper airplanes. Diamond has not yet chosen the powerplant, but it announced that it would be "selected on the basis of proven technology and demonstrated reliability." Based on preliminary information, the engine will be in the 1,200- to 1,500-pound-thrust range.

Diamond has, however, released other performance specifications for the jet. It projects that the five-place airplane, which the company expects to sell for under $1 million, will cruise at 315 knots, with a modest fuel consumption of 34 gallons per hour. The D-Jet will have an 8,000-foot cabin at 25,000 feet and reach cruising altitude in about eight minutes.