The DA40 TDI, the first series production aircraft in General Aviation with a diesel engine, received IFR (instrument flight) certification per JAA – JAR 23 on June 18, 2003 from Austro Control, the Austrian Airworthiness Authority.
New Ease of Flying
As far as General Aviation in Europe is concerned, the future belongs to Jet A1 and diesel engines. Astronomical avgas prices and limited availability in many European countries prompted Diamond Aircraft Industries to consider new powering concepts. Within a year, Diamond engineers succeeded in building the world’s first series production aircraft in this class with a diesel engine, based on the innovative Centurion 1.7, a light turbo diesel engine manufactured by the Thielert Aircraft Engine Company in Germany, and the improved DA40 Diamond Star, modified for the purpose. This aircraft was officially authorized for N-VFR in November 2002.
Excellent aerodynamics in combination with the latest power technology permits short and long-distance travel, thus achieving a significantly greater range of the aircraft with no increase in tank size and hence preservation of load capacity. Impressive advantages:
• The excellent aerodynamics of the DA40 make it possible to fly with only 40% power (10.3 L/h) at 100 knots travel speed. In traditional aircraft, this speed is only reached at about 65% power setting, but with substantially higher fuel consumption.
• Single-lever engine control, which reduces the pilot’s work load. The engine control (FADEC) handles fuel injection as well as propeller adjustment.
• Far less fuel consumption (17 instead of 35 liters per hour for the DA40 TDI)
• TBR (time between replacement) 2,400 hours with a pro rata guarantee (engine is not overhauled but is replaced by a brand new engine. The costs for engine replacement are nearly the same as for a general overhaul, with the advantage of shorter downtime.
• Use of a less expensive fuel (either automotive diesel fuel or jet fuel)
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