Austrian airframer Diamond Aircraft says market acceptance of its DA62 piston-twin has been “extremely positive”, and its production target of one aircraft per week should be reached by mid-year.
The diesel-fuelled type entered service in late 2015 as Diamond’s top-end product.
“We have delivered 11 aircraft so far and production is sold out for the rest of the year," says Diamond chief executive Christian Dries. "Based on our sales book, we should be manufacturing one aircraft a week in Weiner Neustadt [near Vienna] by mid-year, rising to 60 aircraft a year in 2017,” he continues.
Diamond produces two versions of the DA62. Models destined for the European market seat five, and have a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 1,999kg (4,440lb); just under the 2,000kg threshold for Eurocontrol air traffic control user fees.
The US variant, sold and supported through Diamond’s Canadian distributor, seats up to seven, and has a MTOW of 2,300kg.
“We expect the US market to account for over 50% of the DA62 sales eventually,” says Dries. “This is our largest market and the aircraft has [widespread] appeal across the private, corporate and commercial sectors here.”
Meanwhile, flight testing of Diamond’s first turbine aircraft, the DA50-JP7, is continuing in Weiner Neustadt, with over 100h notched up so far on the first prototype. Three aircraft will take part in the flight test campaign, says Dries. The final product, scheduled for certification in around 24 months, will feature changes including a modified wing and fuel system.
Priced at under €1million ($1.1 million), the DA50 will be available in two configurations: a high-performance standard model, targeted at private owners; and a utility version called the Tundra. This model will be equipped with big wheels and rugged landing gear, giving it the ability to operate from uneven strips and rough terrain. “It will be a workhorse for operators in the world’s remotest regions,” says Dries.
The 1,200nm (2,220km)-range aircraft is powered by a 465hp (347kW) AI-450S turbine engine built by Ukraine's Motor Sich, in collaboration with Ivchenko-Progress. It has an empty weight of 1,150kg, a MTOW of less than 2,000kg and a projected top speed of more than 200kt (370km/h).