Diamond expands Austro engine range, introduces a turboprop

Diamond CEO Christian Dries made an impressive one-man show of the company’s 2013 press conference at AERO.

While he talked about the aerodynamic tweaks that are steadily improving the performance of the aircraft in production, his presentation this year was centred on Diamond’s Austro aero engine line up – which now ranges from the little 50hp AE50R through the 168hp AE300 to the AE440 V8 diesel under development.

Promising 450hp, the AE440 would appear to be the power plant the large, single-engine DA50 has been waiting for – but it’s not the only option: Diamond had on display a mock-up of the DA50 fitted with a 440shp Russian Ivchenko turboprop, projected to bestow a 200kt-plus cruise at 12,000ft.

At the other bend of the scale, the 80hp version of the compact Wankel-type rotary engine, Austro’s new AE80R, joins the growing number of Rotax 9-series rivals, many of which were on display at Friedrichshafen.

Elsewhere, development of the company’s big twin continues with the DA52–VII (‘dash seven’) which offers accommodation equivalent to a ‘mini van’, according to Christian Dries and will carry up to four adults and three children.

He was less forthcoming about the D-Jet, today very much the product what is now a separate, independently-financed company in Canada. Emerging as a far more complex aircraft than originally envisaged - when it was very much a Diamond product – Pilot would not be at all surprised to see it re-launched as a military trainer…

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