DA50 Magnum’s First Test Flight
The airplane industry is abuzz with news of the first successful flight of the DA50 Magnum. This small aircraft took off on 14 May 2008 with Christian Dries as the pilot in command and Soeren Pedersen as chief test pilot. Dries is CEO and owner of the prestigious Diamond Aircraft Industries. The Austrian-based manufacturer specializes in the production of aircraft and motor gliders.
The first test flight of the new four-seat DA50 Magnum took off from Diamond’s plant in Weiner Neustadt in Austria. One of the many beneficial features of the aircraft is that it is incredibly light, with a 3,263 lb. gross-weight. However, the main reason for people sitting up and taking notice is the fact that it is equipped with the AE 300 Jet A1 Piston diesel engine – a noteworthy system that features a Single Lever Control System. The engine was designed and manufactured by Austro Engine. Also based in Weiner Neustadt, Austro has been hard at work developing a series of jet-fuel and rotary piston engines. The DA50 Magnum is the first aircraft to be powered by an engine manufactured by the new company. The four-cylinder, 170-hp engine burns jet A1 fuel making it very economical. The same engine will be fitted in Diamond’s DA42 TDi Twin Star and DA40 TDi Diamond Star at a later stage. Both of these airplanes are currently fitted with Theilert Centurion diesel-cycle piston engines, but the manufacturer of these engines has gone bankrupt and so Diamond Aircraft Industries has needed to source a different engine to ensure that deliveries can still be made on time.
How did the new product test? Dries noted that he was impressed at how the aircraft was capable of flying at impressive speeds whilst managing to maintain a low level of fuel consumption. He was also impressed by its handling characteristics. The fact that the aircraft had a somewhat wide body meant that it could enjoy spacious interiors, helping it to set a new milestones in comfort, economy and luxury in the general aviation sector. The DA50 Magnum was devolved within just nine months for pilots who fly long distances but do not have payload restrictions. Likely the aircraft will be a massive hit with its target market as it makes provision for every need that might arise for such a pilot.