Diamond Aircraft has delivered eight piston-engined aircraft to the Australian International Aviation College (AIAC). The shipment of two DA42-VI twins and six examples of the DA40 NG single – making its Australian debut – joins the New South Wales-based training academy's fleet of older generation DA20-C1s and DA40 CS's.
Driven by Jet A-1-fuelled AE300 powerplants – developed by Diamond’s sister company Austro Engine – “the units will provide integrated flight training from ab-initio through to commercial pilot and advanced multi-engined [ratings],” says Diamond.
Kevin McMurtrie, AAIC’S chief flying instructor, says the new additions are expected to burn up to 50% less fuel than its current Avgas-powered fleet.
Diamond will be hoping to register an improved sales performance in 2016 after an unremarkable 2015. For the 12 months ended 31 December, the Austrian airframer delivered 144 propeller-driven aircraft – down from 202 the previous year.
The DA40 was the worst performer of the four-strong line-up, with just 75 units shipped, compared with the 136 delivered in 2014.
Meanwhile, Diamond will soon deliver the first of 10 DA42-VIs to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for its multi-engine pilot training course, with orders anticipated to conclude by the end of September.
The flight instruction industry accounts for a significant share of Diamond's global inventory. Of the 1,900 DA40s in service worldwide, 90% are used for training, while around 60% of the 850 DA42s in operation are deployed in a training role, the company says.