Mark Hannant

Diamond's are forever, so they say, and with the debut of the new four-seat DA40-180 here at the Show, Diamond Aircraft is hoping to build some lifelong friendships with the aircraft dubbed the Diamond Star.

The DA40-180 joins the company's HK36T motorgliders, DAK20 Katana series of primary aircraft and the MPX special purpose surveillance aircraft. With its flip up canopy and sleek lines the DA40-180 has a very sporty look and pilots report excellent visibility. Its top speed of 147kts (268kmh), driven by a Textron Lycoming IO-360-MIA, gives it a sporty feel. It has a range of around 450nm though an optional extra 52gallon tank can add a further 200nm.The aircraft will be certified in Europe _this summer with US FAA and Canadian Transport Canada certification to follow immediately.

Speaking at the unveiling in London, Ontario, Diamond Aircraft's vice president marketing and sales, Michael Feinig says: "Testing in this programme (BETA) will continue to the first engine overhaul (2,400h) and is designed to prove aircraft reliability and service costs well before delivery of the first aircraft to customers later in the year." It will retail at around $185,000, and Feinig also announces the start of concept _work on a larger 6-place aircraft and a 4/6-seat light twin.

Source: Flight Daily News