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DART-550 proves its capabilities during first customer demonstration flights

With a globally aging fleet of military training aircraft and the rising demand for pilot training, the DART-550, Diamond Aircraft’s new turboprop trainer, aims to be on the sweet spot of modern training requirements.

Diamond Aircraft, for the first time ever, has invited an exclusive group of potential customers to fly the DART-550 trainer aircraft in order to experience and prove its capabilities and potentials for pilot training purpose. Despite the ongoing and intensive certification program, the aircraft had been blocked for two consecutive weeks to facilitate potential customer demonstrations that took place in Wiener Neustadt, the headquarters of Diamond Aircraft. Diamond Aircraft’s Chief Test Pilot Sören Pedersen took the potential clients on multiple waives including aerobatics, low level maneuvering, low speed maneuvers, circuit patterns as well as customer specific requests.

Among the potential customers were high ranked delegations from the Paraguay Air Force (PAF) and further undisclosed participants like an Air Force from Europe and European Service Providers. We are proud to have hosted the Paraguay Air Force as the very first international Air Force to test the new DART-550.

The feedback received from the professional test pilots is very positive in all aspects and confirms Diamond Aircraft’s plan to provide the military training market with a state-of-the-art basic trainer at an unmatched price tag. The demonstration proved that the DART-550 outreaches basic training requirements of modern training environment in all aspects. Especially when it comes to formation training, the DART-550 outperforms certain competitors due to great visibility combined with simple and precise engine controls. The 550 SHP flat-rated engine provides the full range of power up to around 18,000 ft, which results in a very competitive performance envelope.

Capitán PAM Hernán Dioverti, Chief test Pilot of Fuerza Aérea Paraguaya said that he is “very impressed by the aircraft DART-550, an excellent trainer that combines great aerodynamics with the latest in avionics technology and a powerful engine with very low cost of operation and maintenance. An ideal airplane for the different phases of military flight training.

Markus Fischer, Director Special Mission Aircraft, Diamond Aircraft Austria: “We are glad that we have got the opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the DART-550 to potential clients for the very first time and even more about the positive feedback from the professional pilots. The DART-550 is a full composite turboprop trainer in tandem seat configuration, equipped with a state-of-the-art avionic suite (Garmin G3000 touch control), Martin-Baker MK16 ejection seats and an ECU controlled General Electric H75-A turboprop engine. With the experience made it is also a confirmation of our strategy as well as a motivation for the team to keep on the hard work in order to introduce the aircraft to the market on time.”

Learn more about the demo pilots' feedback on the DART-550.

Mario Spiegel, Sales Manager DART, Diamond Aircraft Austria, states: “For us it was a very interesting and productive demo campaign as we received, for the first time ever, an objective feedback from professional active Air Force pilots and instructors regarding the suitability of our DART-550 for the modern military flight training environment. The response received is honestly exceeding our expectations and makes us very much looking forward to introduce this innovative and cost efficient trainer to the market. The multi role capability of the DART-550, which allows integration of equipment such as EO/IR sensors as well as radars, sets the DART even more apart from its competitors.”

“Garmin is thrilled to be selected as the avionics provider for the DART-550, which includes our G3000 integrated flight deck and autopilot,” said Carl Wolf, vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “The G3000 gives these operators a state-of-the-art, touch-controlled flight deck experience with vibrant, high-resolution displays, alongside feature-rich capabilities such as synthetic vision, weather, charts, TAWS alerting and more. As Diamond Aircraft enters this new market, we are proud to partner with them and bring the G3000 to this innovative turboprop trainer.”
The DART-550 is currently undergoing EASA certification and the Type Certificate is on track to be received by Q1/2021.

Summing up, the DART-550 is going to introduce a serious competition in the military flight training market. Especially due to its state-of-the-art composite design with excellent aerodynamic characteristics in combination with the single-lever controlled and cost-efficient GE engine and the sophisticated Garmin G3000 glass cockpit it will be a strong competitor on the basic trainer market. Compared to other basic trainers with side-by-side seating configuration, the DART-550 wins over with its excellent surround view canopy which plays an important role when it comes to formation training. The low acquisition and operating cost will certainly gain strong attention in the market.

Further customer demonstrations are scheduled for the second half of 2019.

DART-550 configuration

  • General Electric H75-A – 550 SHP flat-rated, ECU controlled turboprop engine
  • Garmin G3000 glass cockpit with touch-controlled flight deck and fully integrated 3-axis autopilot
  • Martin-Baker MK16 ejection seats

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