With AIN Media Group's Aviation International News and its predecessor Aviation Convention News celebrating the company's 50th year of continuous publication this year, AIN’s editorial staff is going back through the archives each month to bring readers some interesting events that were covered over the past half-century.
REWIND (JANUARY 2003): Diamond Aircraft, which manufactures composite single- and twin-engine piston aircraft, has announced it will build a single-engine jet. The five-place all-composite D-jet is projected to sell for “well under $1 million,” and have an mtow of 4,700 pounds. The jet single is expected to be able to operate from 2,000-foot runways and reach its max cruising altitude in eight minutes (an average of 3,125 fpm).
FAST-FORWARD: Diamond was one of the airframers that sought to fulfill the prophecy of “skies darkened by clouds of light jets.” While it successfully produced and flew a prototype, the cash-starved program was repeatedly interrupted by funding difficulties. In 2016, the manufacturer was acquired by China’s Wanfeng Aviation, which considered restarting the D-jet but the aircraft has since faded away.