Diamond Aircraft is beginning flight tests on a new twin diesel-powered airplane that will incorporate one of the largest cabins in the product line. A prototype DA52, powered by two Austro Engine 180-hp turbo-diesel engines, AE300E, completed its first flight with Diamond Chairman Christian Dries and head of flight test Ingmar Mayerbuch at the controls, the company said April 3.
The aircraft took off from Wiener Neustadt, Austria, with a gross weight of 1,780 kg. Takeoff roll was less than 300 meters (934 ft.) without flaps and 5 kt. headwind, and the aircraft reached 12,000 ft. in less than nine min. During the hour-long flight, the aircraft reached a cruise speed of 190 kt. (true airspeed), which is the limit of the authorized envelope. But Diamond says, “we may see a lot more.”
The company is calling the DA52 the “flagship of Diamond,” designed to carry up to seven people.