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Diamond DA42

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Diamond DA42

DA42 Twin Star
Role Light twin-engined utility and trainer aircraft
National origin Austria
Manufacturer Diamond Aircraft Industries
First flight 9 December 2002
Introduction 2004
Status In production[1]
Unit cost
Variants Aeronautics Defense Dominator
DA42 Twin Star
Diamond DA42 Twin Star instrument panel showing the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit installation
Diamond DA42 Twin Star Thielert Centurion 1.7 diesel engine
Diamond DA42 Twin Star showing prominent winglets

The Diamond DA42 Twin Star is a four seat, twin engine, propeller-driven airplane manufactured by Diamond Aircraft Industries. Its airframe is made largely of composite materials.[2]


The DA42 Twin Star was certified in Europe in 2004[3] and in the United States in 2005.[4]

The airplane is made of carbon composite material.[2] It is equipped with a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit.[5]

The DA42 Twin Star was the first diesel-powered fixed-wing aircraft to make a non-stop crossing of the North Atlantic, in 12.5 hours, with an average fuel consumption of 5.74 gallons per hour (2.87 gallons per hour per engine).[6]

In June 2010 a DA42 powered by Austro AE300 engines became the first aircraft to be publicly flown on algae-derived jet fuel.[7]

By March 2012 the DA42 had become the major income driver at Diamond Aircraft. Company CEO Christian Dries indicated that the market focus of the company had been changed by the recession of 2008—2010 and that the company now derives two-thirds of its revenue from military and government contracts, primarily for manned and unmanned (Aeronautics Defense Dominator) surveillance aircraft.[8]

Also in March 2012 Diamond aircraft announced they were developing a fly-by-wire version of the DA42, with the aim of reducing the accident rate in light aircraft. The system is expected to eventually include flight envelope protection, turbulence righting and autoland capabilities. The system will also include damage-tolerant by-pass capabilities, allowing flight with jammed or missing controls.[9][10] The autonomous DA42 was flown and landed without ground support in 2015.[11][12]


The DA 42 is a composite constructed twin-engined, low-wing cantilever monoplane with a retractable tricycle landing gear and a T-tail. The enclosed cabin has four-seats with a front-hinged canopy for access to the front seats and a top-hinged door on the left-side for access to the rear-seats.


The DA42NG "New Generation" is powered by Diamond's 3rd Generation Austro Turbo Diesel Engine, the Lycoming IO-360 engine is also available as an option. The 125 kW (168 hp) Austro diesel replaces the Thielert Centurion 1.7 and 2.0 engines. It is known for its good fuel efficiency, it uses 3.2 gallons per hour while loitering at maximum endurance or 8 gallons per hour at maximum continuous power (92%). It is also available with optional "on top" exhaust mufflers that reduce noise levels to below 59 decibels at 500 feet.[13][14][15]

Thielert Aircraft Engines ended its production of the 1.7 litre Centurion engines (designated as TAE 125-01 Centurion 1.7) in favour of a new 2.0 litre. (TAE 125-02-99) engine.[16] Diamond began installing this new 2.0 L. engine in early 2007. Although engine displacement increased, it was de-rated to produce the same horsepower (135) and torque (302 ft·lbf.) as the 1.7 L. engine.[17]

In late 2007, Diamond aircraft announced it would begin building and installing its own aerodiesels, through a subsidiary, Austro Engine GmbH, and with other partners that included Mercedes Benz Technologies. The use of Thielert engines on the DA42 came into question due to Thielert filing for insolvency in April 2008.[18][19][20][21][22]

Due to the insolvency of Thielert and the decisions of the insolvency administrator, including cancelling warranty support and the prorating of time-between-overhaul for the Thielert engines that power the DA42, Diamond announced in July 2008 that production of the DA42 was suspended. At the time production was suspended the DA42 was reported to have 80 percent of the piston twin market.[1][23][24]

In March 2009 Diamond achieved EASA certification for the Austro Engine AE 300 and returned the DA42 to production as the DA42 NG. The new engine produces 20% more power, while giving better fuel economy than the Thielert engines and results in a higher gross weight and increased performance. The first Austro-powered DA42 was delivered to a customer in Sweden in April 2009, with the first US customer aircraft expected in mid-2010. The Austro-powered DA42 NG received FAA certification on 9 April 2010.[1][25][26]


DA42 outfitted for aerial survey
DA42 at the MAKS Airshow in Moscow, 2007
DA-42 MPP at the 2010 Farnborough Airshow
Production aircraft built in Austria and Canada
DA42 M
Special Mission variant built in Austria, modification from standard DA42 and new production.
DA42 L360
Lycoming IO-360 134 kW (180 hp) equipped version using 100LL fuel instead of Jet-A1. This model is intended for the North American flight training market.[27][28]
Austro Engine AE 300 127 kW (170 hp) equipped version. EASA certified March 2009; FAA certified April 2010; Transport Canada certified 16 April 2012.[1][26][28][29][30]
Diamond Airborne Sensing a wholly owned subsidiary of Diamond produces the MPP or "Multi Purpose Platform" variant which is modified to carry aerial sensing, mapping and surveillance payloads.[31] The UK Ministry of Defence specified the DA42 MPP variant for its surveillance systems project, converted by DO Systems. Two ordered in June 2008.[32]
DA42 MPP Centaur OPA
Aurora Flight Sciences developed an Optionally Piloted Aircraft (OPA) as an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform and can be operated as either unmanned or with pilots on board. One in service with the Swiss military procurement agency Armasuisse.[33]
Dominator II
Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd developed an UAV version of the DA42, designated as the Aeronautics Defense Dominator and first flown in July 2009. Has an endurance of 28 hours with a 408 kg (899 lb) payload and speed of 140-354 km/h (75-190 knots) to a maximum altitude of 9,144 m (30,000 ft).[34][35]
Improved DA42 introduced in March 2012 with new propeller and aerodynamic clean-ups to the rudder and engine cowling, resulting in greatly increased cruise speed performance.[36]


Civil operators

The DA42 is mainly operated by flight training schools, aerial surveillance and mapping operators.

Military operators

  • Swiss military procurement agency Armasuisse - 1 - Delivery in end of 2012 .[33];


 United Kingdom

Aircraft on display

Specifications (DA42 Twin Star)

Data from Type Certificate Data Sheet

General characteristics
  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 3 passengers
  • Length: 8.56 m (28 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 13.42 m (44 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 2.49 m (8 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 16.29 m2 (175.3 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,251 kg (2,758 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,700 kg (3,748 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Austro turbocharged diesel engine, 125 kW (168 hp) each


  • Maximum speed: 356 km/h (221 mph; 192 kn)
  • Range: 1,693 km (1,052 mi; 914 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 5,486 m (17,999 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 6.5 m/s (1,280 ft/min)

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


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  12. ^ Diamond DA42 Autoland on YouTube
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  39. ^ Diamond Aircraft Industries Royal Thai Air Force chooses 6 DA42 for it's (sic) training program
  40. ^ Market Expands for Light ISR Aircraft
  41. ^ Фотографии с места катастрофы самолета Diamond DA-42 в Закарпатье
  42. ^ The Register British Forces operating two modified DA42 with 39 squadron in ISTAR role.
  43. ^ Displaying Serials in range ZA
  44. ^

External links

  • Diamond Sensing
  • Diamond Aircraft
  • Austro Engines
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