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Diamond starts flight testing DA50

Austria-based Diamond Aircraft began flight testing the DA50 Magnum earlier this week, introducing a piston engine developed by a spin-off company.

The “4+1”-seat, all-composite light aircraft achieved first flight on 14 May. Chrisian Dries, Diamond chief executive and owner, flew in command, assisted by chief test pilot Soeren Pedersen.

The DA50 is powered by the AE 300 Jet A1 piston engine, which includes a single lever control system. The new powerplant was designed by Austro Engine, a spin-off of Diamond Aircraft that is building piston and turboprop engines for light and unmanned aicraft.

At maximum takeoff weight of 1,480kg (3,263lb), the aircraft can seat a pilot, co-pilot and up to three passengers on a rear bench seat.

Diamond is offering to convert all of its diesel-powered aircraft, including 500 DA42s and 360 DA40s in service, to new Austro engines following certification after September. Diamond’s original supplier, Thielert Aircraft Engines, has filed for insolvency.

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