“We are constantly developing new products,” said Christian Dries, CEO of Austria’s Diamond Aircraft (Chalet A07), known for its all-carbon-fiber piston and turboprop aircraft spanning military, utility and civilian applications. His statement is illustrated by the five Diamonds on display—four making their regional debuts—at the Dubai Airshow 2017: the Dart 450; DA50; DA62; DA62 MPP (multi-purpose platform); and DA42-6.
The Dart (Diamond Aircraft Reconnaissance Trainer) 450, introduced this year and making its regional debut, is “our highest priority at the moment,” said Dries. The single-engine turboprop is designed for reconnaissance, surveillance and trainer roles. It has 8.5 hours of endurance and a 1,300 nm range and deploys a retractable camera pod from its belly in the recon role.
The DA50, also new this year and making its regional debut, is Diamond’s top-of-the-line general aviation piston single. The five-seater shown here is powered by a 260-hp Safran/SMA SR305-260E diesel engine, and will be offered as a 230-hp four-seat (trainer) and a seven-seater that will be available with engine options including a GE turboprop.
The twin-engine diesel DA62 has become one of Diamond’s most successful platforms, Dries said, and is finding demand for its special-mission version, the DA62 MPP, both also making their first showings in the region at Al Maktoum International Airport. The sensor-packed MPP is designed for surveillance and reconnaissance missions, and its carbon-fiber airframe along with a special exhaust system that mixes hot and cold air and reduces the aircraft’s infrared signature, making it virtually undetectable by radar, Dries said.
Expect more new products from Diamond soon. In its chalet, Dries excitedly showed off a handful of projects, completed and in development, including its DA42 Terrastar, whose gamma ray detector, Tesla coil and other sensors can detect mines, water, ore and minerals to a depth of 300 meters below land or sea; a helicopter; lightweight photovoltaic cell panels; and the recent successful test of a Martin-Baker ejection seat system in a Dart 450. “This is how you destroy 500,000 Euros in five seconds,” Dries said.