On Saturday July 15th, as the grand finale to the night's gala dinner, Diamond unveiled the newest member of its exciting fleet - the D-JET personal light jet. During dinner, guests enjoyed presentations from Phil Boyer, AOPA President as well as Matt Huff, VP Business Development at Williams International and Gary Kelley, VP Marketing at Garmin. After dessert, the over 500 guests watched and applauded with excitement as Christian Dries, CEO of Diamond Aircraft, taxied the D-JET into the hangar, jumped out the aircraft door and announced "Ladies and Gentlemen, that was a small jump for mankind, but a giant leap for Diamond Aircraft and me."
The reveal of the D-JET included 2 "aircraft", S/N 001 that has now logged over 30 hours flight time, plus a fully outfitted mockup that guests could sit inside and try out the controls and the avionics. "I was just blown away by the quality and the level of finish of the mockup. The high quality materials, the incredible attention to detail and size and brilliance of the flight displays were unlike anything I've seen before" said Neil McGrath a Diamond Star owner, "the thing that struck me most is the incredible feeling of space inside the aircraft - I always had the impression that VLJ's were a bit tight, but the D-JET has the feel of a much bigger cabin-class jet. The fact that I can realistically train up from my DA40 and ultimately become a D-JET pilot, makes it a dream that could actually come true!"
Touted as creating a new market segment in personal aviation, the D-JET has been optimized for flight at lower altitudes.
"The high altitude cruise segment for a VLJ is actually a proportionally small part of the entire flight as compared to conventional jets, and to fly around at lower altitudes will greatly diminish their practical performance. With the D-JET we intentionally focused on practical performance, low cost and high comfort.
Operating at FL 250 and lower, is in our opinion, more appropriate for most private pilots. There is a world of difference between FL250 and FL410, with regard to stability and performance margins, safety, system criticality and complexity. Because of the lower required cabin pressure, we can produce a lighter airframe resulting in a higher useful load, and we don't expose our customers to the potentially critical high altitude depressurization. The D-JET is the world's first practical personal light jet - a PLJ", said Christian Dries, CEO of Diamond Aircraft.
The D-JET comes fully equipped with a 5 seat luxury leather interior and features the largest available dual Primary Flight Displays (12" PFD) and enormous centrally mounted 15" Multifunction Display (MFD), Garmin's GFC 700 fully integrated automatic flight control system, glare shield mounted autopilot controller and a center console mounted FMS controller. The system features dual AHRS, dual magnetometers, dual GPS, dual Com, dual Nav, Mode S transponder, and dual audio panels for the ultimate in convenience and redundancy.
Since the first announcement in 2003, the D-JET has grown in cabin volume, engine thrust, useful load, fuel capacity, and equipment level to its current configuration. Most features and equipment, originally extra cost options, have now been packaged into the D-JET for an all inclusive price of $1.38 million (July 2006 economics).
"We have observed that new aircraft customers typically select all available equipment, for enhanced capability, convenience and safety," said Peter Maurer, President of Diamond Aircraft Industries. "As opposed to certifying a base aircraft and following with additional equipment certifications later, we have decided to complete initial certification in what we expect to be the most desired configuration, especially by our North American customers. The published list price has been adjusted to reflect over three years worth of inflation since announcement, in addition to the inclusion of the additional equipment, increased thrust and useful load.
Comparing comfort, practical performance and capability, there is no other aircraft that matches the value of the D-JET. After we bring the fully equipped version to the market, we will also certify the lower cost, less equipped and lower weight version of the D-JET, especially for the European market".
To find out more about the D-JET, visit Diamond's booth at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh from July 24th to 30th to view and "fly" the mockup.
You can see the Prototype D-JET, S/N 001, [for one day only on Wednesday, July 26th] at AeroShell square. The aircraft is arriving at 10:00 with the Press Brief at 10:30. The D-JET will depart at 2pm, opening the day's airshow.
For further information on Diamond Aircraft Industries please visit www.diamondaircraft.com.
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Image 1 and 2:
Christian Dries taxi’s D-JET S/N 001 and addresses 500 guests at the D-JET Gala Evening / Unveiling.
Image 3 and 4:
Spacious and luxurious interior, featuring available club seating.
Garmin avionics include large dual Primary Flight Displays (12" PFD) with an enormous centrally mounted 15" Multifunction Display (MFD), Garmin's GFC 700 fully integrated autopilot, a glareshield mounted autopilot controller, and a center console mounted FMS controller. The system features dual AHRS, dual magnetometers, dual GPS, dual Com, dual Nav, Mode S transponder, and dual audio panels.
Top quality materials and craftsmanship abound