To meet the increasing demand for a premium high performance single engine piston light aircraft, the DA50 prototype was unveiled in December 2006 at a Diamond Aircraft Christmas party.
The first DA50, called SuperStar, was powered by an Avgas Teledyne Continental TSIOF-550-J twin-turbo powerplant producing 350 hp and the design goal was to have one of the largest cabins in its class with versatile large loading capacity. On 4 April 2007 the DA50 SuperStar made its first test flight at Wiener Neustadt East Airport (LOAN). The aircraft made its public world debut at the AERO Friedrichshafen show in April 2007 and was presented for the first time in North America at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh in the same year.
On 14 May 2008, a version called Magnum, giving the first hints of the impressive ramp presence we so much love today, powered by the proprietary Austro Engine 168 hp jet-fuel AE300 made its maiden flight. Since the company did not want to be dependent on Avgas and wanted to pursue its economical and sustainable jet fuel strategy.
However, despite the positive reception, the DA50 project was put on hold in 2009 due to the economic crisis which hit the aviation market hard. Just like everyone else in the industry, Diamond had to re-evaluate its current projects and decided to focus on the multi engine training market with developing the DA62, based on the DA50. It turned out to be a smart choice as both projects benefitted from another. The DA62 could be developed quickly because it was possible to use the DA50’s fuselage, wing and cabin concept. While later, once a suitable jet fuel engine was found, the perfected innovative systems and luxurious finishing of the DA62 could be easily integrated in the DA50.
Years later Diamond evaluated a new version with turboprop. On 19 January 2015, the DA50-JP7 powered by an Ivchenko-Progress Motor Sich AI-450S turboprop engine made its maiden flight. The idea was an extremely robust cargo aircraft for operations in rough terrains, able to land on very short runways. Especially at low altitudes, the power of the DA50-JP7 was remarkable and its innovative flap system, in combination with the turboprop engine, delivered the calculated take-off performance. Due to global circumstances the project with this engine could not be continued. Nevertheless, the design of the reinforcements for robustness as well as the advanced flap system were another important step in the evolution of today’s DA50 RG.
The company further assessed several engine options to find the perfect match for the DA50, such as the 260 hp SR-305-260E jet-fuel engine from SAFRAN/SMA which was flown for the first time in March 2017. Named DA50-V it made its first public debut at 2017’s AERO Friedrichshafen.
After the ownership change in December 2017, Diamond Aircraft re-evaluated the DA50 project including a value-added package. The new owners of Diamond Aircraft have come to the conclusion to change its engine concept and found a partner for it in Continental. And so, the DA50 RG was born; with retractable gear and powered by the 300 hp Continental CD-300 jet-fuel engine. This prototype was first flown on 28 October 2019 and EASA certification of the DA50 RG announced on 9 September 2020.
The DA50 RG launch was a worldwide success with an order book which is fully booked by the end of 2025 and deliveries in Europe ongoing. The aircraft obtained FAA certification on the 25th of July 2023 in occasion of the 50th EAA AirVenture anniversary and the first US delivery was performed on the same day.
Accolades for the DA50
- German Design Award 2023 category Excellent Product Design in Aviation, Maritime and Railway
- fliegermagazin Award 2022 category Best Diesel Aircraft
- aerokurier Innovation Award 2022 category Best Piston Aircraft
- aerokurier Innovation Award 2021 category Best Aircraft
- iF Design Award 2021 category Product
- fliegermagazin Award 2021 category Best New Aircraft
- aerokurier Innovation Award 2020 category Best New Aircraft for the DA50 RG
- Nominee fliegermagazin Award 2018 Aircraft
- 1st Place aerokurier Single Engine Aircraft 2007 for the DA50 SuperStar