Peter Mauer, president of Diamond Aircraft’s North American division, last month said components of the single-engine Diamond D-Jet were taking shape in anticipation of an October first flight. At press time, the fuselage, wing spars and skins, and vertical fin and horizontal tail for the first nonconforming prototype were complete at Diamond’s Wiener Neustadt, Austria headquarters.
These subassemblies will soon be shipped to Diamond’s facilities in London, Ontario, where the very light jet prototype–and subsequent flight-test articles–will be assembled and flight tested. Mauer said production D-Jets most likely will be assembled in North America, with several places in Canada and the U.S. on the short list. He told AIN that full-rate production of the Williams FJ33-powered jet single could be as high as 200 aircraft per year.
According to Mauer, the company will announce an avionics selection soon, with the Honeywell Apex and Garmin G1000 systems known to be in the running. While the competing FJ33-powered jet single from Excel Jet (the Sport-Jet) is said to have a ballistic recovery system, the D-Jet doesn’t.
Mauer said this is not for lack of interest, but instead for lack of an available system. “We would be interested in BRS or something similar if something becomes available. Right now, we’re not aware of anything that could be deployed at a VLJ’s high cruise speed,” he said.
Diamond said it has firm orders for 123 of the “under $1 million” very light jets, which is expected to receive FAA certification in the second half of 2007. The company plans to unveil a D-Jet mockup later this fall.