Diamond flies largest family member

Washington DC
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Diamond Aircraft has completed first flight of a seven-passenger Austro Engine diesel-powered twin called the DA52. It is not clear if the DA52 is the result of an internal programme previously referred to as the "future small aircraft", a 6- to 8-seat twin that was to draw on technology from Diamond's D-Jet development programme.

The DA-52 maiden flight took place on 3 April at Wiener Nuestadt in Austria with Diamond chairman Christian Dries as test pilot, along with Ingmar Mayerbuch, head of flight test in the right seat. Powered by two 180hp Austro AE300E turbo-diesel engines, the DA52 climbed to 12,000ft in less than nine minutes and cruised up to 190kt, "which was the limit of the authorized envelope, but we may see a lot more," said Dries after the flight. "This is the best prototype aircraft I have ever made a maiden flight with and the performance exceeded all my expectations."