Diamond Aircraft announced in June that the company is going to bring it’s Diamond DA50 RG to market. The company expects European certification in early 2021 and FAA certification toward the end of 2021.
This is not the first iteration of the Diamond DA50, but it is the first with retractable gear. Diamond is known for it’s use of Jet A burning piston engines and you can’t beat the efficiency. The technology in the Continental CD-300 Jet A piston engine is new, but it has been in development for a long time. Diamond advertises 180 knots on only 9 GPH, which is just about as efficient as you can get with a single engine piston.
The addition of the retractable gear from previous iterations of the Diamond DA50 RG is a nice touch. Diamond already had the RG technology from the DA42 Twin Star as well as the more powerful cross country machine, the DA62. Equipping the single engine Diamond DA50 RG with retractable gear just makes sense. It definitely puts the airplane in a class of it’s own.
Diamond’s website shows a nice roomy cabin in the DA50 RG with plenty of space to spread out, plus plenty of baggage. The fuel tanks only hold 50 gallons of Jet A (which still gives a 4 hour + range with an hour reserve at 9 GPH), so the payload, even with full fuel, is an eye popping 897 lbs, though Diamond’s site does not mention if that includes TKS, air conditioning, and oxygen. If it does, then compare that to a fully fueled Cirrus SR22T (which would give an equal speed) at 537 lbs and the Diamond DA50 RG has an argument.
As with all new airplanes these days, the Diamond DA50 RG has the Garmin G1000 NXi complete with keypad and the GFC 700 autopilot with yaw damper. The interior has a 3 person bench seat for the back seat, which, at least to the naked eye, appears that it might actually fit 3 adults, albeit small ones. Diamond’s signature stick in the middle of the seat is still present for the front seats, but the right seat stick in the Diamond DA50 RG is removable for passenger comfort, a nice touch.
The single engine piston market is a hard one to break in to since Cirrus has such a leg up on the competition. However, with a Jet A burning engine, a higher payload, and a roomier cabin, the Diamond DA50 RG might actually be able to make an impact. Look for this bird at Sun N Fun and Osh Kosh in 2021.