Diamond Aircraft is exhibiting a mockup of a DA50 single with a 450-shp Motor Sich-Ivchenko AI450S turboprop engine this week at Aero Friedrichshafen 2013 in Germany. This engine would improve the performance of the seven-seat airplane, which was announced in 2006 with a 275-hp diesel engine as the DA50 SuperStar. Since then the SuperStar’s development stalled and it has yet to be certified, even though this milestone was originally planned for mid-2010.
Diamond is testing the market for a short takeoff and landing variant of the DA50 with larger tires, and targeting a takeoff distance of 700 feet. Potential customers are located mainly in Russia and Africa, CEO Christian Dries told AIN. Another possibility would be using conventional tires but increasing cruise speed to 220 or 230 knots, he added.
The Russo-Ukrainian turboprop was chosen for the DA50 Turbine because of its lower price and longer maintenance intervals. In addition, it can operate in a wide range of temperatures, between -55 degrees C and 60 degrees C. The aircraft’s forward fuselage would have to be lengthened to accommodate the exhaust pipe and to maintain the same center of gravity, since the turboprop engine is lighter than the piston powerplant.