Diamond Aircraft is aiming to be the first general aviation manufacturer to certify an aircraft under European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA)JAR 23 regulations when it completes flight tests of its DA 40-180 four-seater this year.

The more expensive JAA certification will ultimately save the company money as it has sold the aircraft to customers in several European countries, says vice-president for sales and marketing, Michael Feinig. Deliveries of the all-composite DA 40 are to begin in February. The Austrian company has 75 orders for the type.

"We see a lot of demand for a new four-seat aircraft as for the past 50 years more or less nothing has changed in general aviation," says Feinig. The DA 40's all-composite construction means it is highly resistant to corrosion and the aircraft has been crash-tested to 26g.

Three test aircraft have been flown, with the fourth to fly by the end of this month. Around 300 flight hours have been completed in the test programme.

Diamond is to dedicate one aircraft to performing up to 100 flights a day for more than 50 days, completing 5,000 take-offs and landings.

Source: Flight International