Shining Diamonds

By David Oliver

The Diamond Aircraft Group was attending Farnborough for the first time since its was acquired by China’s Wanfeng Aviation at the beginning of the year and just two months after its maiden flight, Diamond Aircraft’s new variant of its Diamond Aircraft Reconnaissance Trainer (DART) series tandem-seat turboprop aerobatic trainer, the DART-550 made its public debut at the air show.

Powered by a General Electric GE H75-100 turboprop engine with 550hp featuring electronic engine and propeller control (EEPC) system, a five blade, full feather and full reverse MT propeller the DART-550 features Martin Baker MK16 ejection seats and Garmin G3000 integrated avionics systems.

The GE-powered DART-550 is and option to the Ivchenko-Progress/Motor Sich AI-450S turboprop-powered DART-450 that was first introduced to the public at the 2016 Farnborough Air Show.

Also on display was the DA62 MPP special mission aircraft the first of which has been delivered to DEA Specialised Airborne Operations based at Gamston Airport, a UK provider of airborne sensing solutions including ISR, Aerial Survey and Flight Calibration with a fleet of Diamond DA42 MPP aircraft.

DEA’s new DA62 MPP features two in-house designed components, the lightweight NEPTUN maritime search radar and the commercial KOPERNIKUS satellite communication system, the Wescam MX15 EO/IR sensor and an airborne AIS receiver. Equipped with twin turbocharged single lever FADEC controlled Austro Engine AE330 powerplants, the fully composite DA62 MPP burns globally available jet fuel and allows 10 hour non-stop missions with a total fuel consumption of only 7.4 US Gal/hr (28 lt/hr) at loiter speed. A specialized on top exhaust system that blends fresh air with engine exhaust and utilizes the cowling to provide shielding of exhaust noise, assures ultra low noise and IR signatures.

 The first Diamond DA 62MPP has been delivered to the UK company DEA Specialised Airborne Operations

While Diamond Aircraft offers a complete line-up of type-specific flight training simulators, the Belgium company Euramec exhibited its Diamond DA42NG flight training device (FTD) at Farnborough which it has sold to a Belgian flight school and in partnership with the Chinese company Wright Brothers, to the Civil Aviation Flight University of China.

The Euramec DA42NG FTD features replica flight controls and cockpit panel with its simulated Garmin G1000 or Pro Line 21 avionics system with a single or triple channel projection visual system which produces up to 240 degree horizontal field-of-view.