PAS 2023 – Diamonds are For Ever

David Oliver

Once again the Chinese owned, Austrian-based aircraft manufacturer, Diamond Aircraft brought a new, or revised, aircraft to Le Bourget

The Dart-750 turboprop-powered aerobatic trainer is the latest variant of Diamond’s plane that begun in 2016 with the Ukrainian Ivchenko Progress powered Dart-450, and which was followed by the Dart-550 powered by the 550 shp General Electric H75-100 in 2018. Powered by the ubiquitous 750 shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25C turboprop, development of the Dart-750 began in January 2022 making its first flight on 12 June 2023 when it flew for 30 minutes from the company’s airfield in Wiener Neustadt.

The aircraft was one of the two Dart prototypes modified to take the new engine that involved a longer nose section of the composite airframe, which according to the company did not effects the centre of gravity, and a modified tail fin and rudder. The PT6A drives a five-blade composite propeller and gives the aircraft a top speed of 265 knots. The fully composite airframe is stressed for +6/-4g loads and the aircraft has a maximum dive speed of M 0.6. Its large fuel tank has a capacity of 625-litre enabling the Dart-750 to fly up to 810 nm/1,500 km. The 2.87 metres wide landing gear and low stall speed enable the aircraft to land in 400 metres on unpaved surfaces.

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The aircraft on display was equipped with Garmin G3000 avionics and 14-in displays, and the spacious is fitted with optional Martin-Baker Mk.16 ejection seats.

Certification is planned to be achieved by the end of next year and the Alsim FNPT II simulator is being offered by Diamond as part of a training system package.

Also on display at Le Bourget was the latest version of Diamond’s twin diesel-engined DA-62 Multi-Purpose Platform (MMP) named the Vanguard. Designed for environmental surveillance, the Vanguard is powered by two AE330 turbocharged diesel engines produced by the Diamond-owned Austro Engine company that runs on jet-A fuel.

It was equipped with the Overreach Imaging TK-8 five-band wide area sensor and a Trakka Systems TC-300. It also had a Smith Myers Artemis communications sensor.

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The latest customer for the DA-62 MMP is 2Excel, a UK specialist air service company that plans to use two of its three aircraft equipped with the Trakka TC-375 sensor being delivered, for monitoring illegal immigrants attempting to cross the English Channel.

Photos By D. Oliver