Diamond’s D-Jet is not dead – but the mothballed single-engine jet may re-emerge as a twin.
That was the message at NBAA from the Canadian-Austrian airframer, which was back at NBAA after a long absence to unveil its range-topping DA62 piston twin, its first model targeted at the corporate market.
Peter Maurer, president of the London, Ontario-based manufacturer, says: “We have never given up on the programme. We still have the same commitment and vision for the jet family that we did in the beginning and are continue to look for suitable partners to see it all the way through.”
The D-Jet was programme was suspended in 2013 after it failed to secure the necessary funding to complete development. Nearly $200 million had been sunk into the project since its genesis in 2005 and three D-Jet prototypes had amassed over 700 flying hours when it was shelved.
Maurer admits that in the current economic climate it is proving tough to find a funding partner with a similar outlook to Diamond, and he is keen not to relinquish control of the project. “There are plenty of people who are interested in the programme, but this takes a huge investment as well as a long-term vision,” he says.
Attempts to secure funding two years ago to relaunch the D-Jet from an Emirati investor and the government of Ontario fell through.
“These are very different times. When the D-Jet made its first flight in 2007, the market was receptive to single-engined jets. Perhaps a twin is more applicable in the current climate,” he says.
Source: Flight Daily News