Last year at Oshkosh, Diamond unveiled the DA50 SuperStar - a 350 hp, turbo-charged, 5-seat composite aircraft.
After a year of further development work, and feedback from customers, especially in the North American market,
the company today announced that the DA50 will be offered in two variants: the DA50 SuperStar, featuring a
pressurized cabin, and the DA50 Magnum, powered by a 170 hp, Austro Engine AE 300 powerplant.
"When we started taking position reservations for the DA50 we got clear feedback that customers loved the idea of a truly high-performance, modern, five-seat aircraft - and many asked us to take this concept one step further by adding light pressurization to comfortably take full advantage of the aircraft's 25,000 feet ceiling and turbo power," explained Heike Larson, VP Sales and Marketing of Diamond Aircraft. "Other pilots are telling us they are tired of paying 500 dollars and more per fill-up, yet they don't want to sacrifice the features, comfort and space."
Considering this feedback coupled with the significant decline in high performance single sales from Q1 2007 to Q1 2008, and ever increasing fuel prices, Diamond has decided to leapfrog the well-saturated single-engine highperformance market and go directly to the development of a lightly pressurized high-performance DA50 to offer a greater boost in utility, comfort and performance than what is currently offered. The company expects that a significant number of current high performance single pilots, would trade up for the additional benefits of pressurization and a fifth seat. With the incorporation of pressurization into the initial development program, certification is now planned for late 2010.
At the opposite spectrum, Diamond has introduced the DA50 Magnum, powered by the jet-fuel burning Austro Engine AE300 170 hp turbo-diesel engine. It offers an extremely roomy interior just like the proof of concept DA50, and is designed to offer very low fuel burn, great range, a comfortable cruise environment, reasonable cruise speeds and simple operation for "green-thinking" pilots, as well as for operating environments where AVGAS availability and cost are a limiting factor. Certification is planned for late 2009.
Pricing for both models will be announced at a future date.
North American customers who have placed DA50 SuperStar position reservation agreements with Diamond will have the future option of keeping their deposit on the now pressurized SuperStar, or moving it to the DA50 Magnum.
More detailed specifications on both models will be released after comprehensive flight evaluations. To receive more information when it becomes available, prospects should contact their regional Diamond distributor, or complete a web request form on Diamond's web site to be added to the DA50 interest list. DA50 position holders will receive the updates automatically.
- The DA50 SuperStar and DA50 Magnum: one great airframe - two personalities