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What comes after a DA40?

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:31 am
by Antoine
Dear all
Much like a kid who realizes they have grown up, I have repeatedly felt that my beloved DA40 no longer was the aircraft I needed.
My mission requirements call for 700-800 NM flights with one "no fuel available" stopover, in European weather. De-cing is a must and so is the ability to climb over weather and descend as late as possible.

I have taken a hard look at what Diamond had to offer and made offers on DA42's.
In retrospect, I am glad that my offers were unsuccessful.
The Malibu was ruled out because I generally dont like metal airplanes.
The Aerostar Tommy pointed us to is beyond "reasonable" in Europe due to operating costs.
Cirrus is an emotional "no go" for me - too heavy, too much of an autopilot aircraft.

I then discovered and started studying a plane that seemed too good to be true.
I met people, found out about real world issues and solutions, and pulled the trigger last week.
About the same time, I got an unsolicited offer to sell my DA40. Everything comes together nicely.
Very soon I will be flying in an Extra EA-400.
Only thirty were made, and they are not without quirks, but I immediately felt a lot of sympathy for the concept.
It is an all carbon fiber, pressurized, FIKI aircraft. It has a decent cabin and good fuel efficiency considering its roominess: I expect my typical cruise settings to be 190 KTAS on 15 GPH LOP at FL 240, but unlike a turboprop, the piston engine allows me to fly at any altitude depending upon winds aloft.
The water-cooled engine, pressurized cabin and very high Vne allow steep descents, adding to mission efficiency.
The aircraft is healthy, but it will undergo a radical refurbishing project (new prop, engine, avionics) and I am very excited about that.
Capture d’écran 2015-11-20 à 23.07.53.png
I look forward to your comments

Re: What comes after a DA40?

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:45 pm
by waynemcc999
Antoine, very very cool and clearly fits your mission well. But, please, remain active on the DA40 forum!!
Many thanks for all your informative postings.
Fly safely,
Wayne

Re: What comes after a DA40?

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:14 pm
by JimP
Antoine, it looks like a great choice. I considered it myself but I was concerned about maintaining it here in Minnesota with so few in the market. I have to admit, I am I bit jealous of you for going for it. I am 40 minutes by air from the Cirrus factory so I have gone with a SR22. However, I think the EA-400 is by far the coolest looking piston single out there. Good luck with it and I hope to see pictures of your new panel!
Jim

Re: What comes after a DA40?

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:06 pm
by Jean
Nice move Antoine ! Is it the one advertised on controller in Antwerpen ?

Re: What comes after a DA40?

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:15 pm
by Kai
Congratulations, Antoine! This is an awesome step forward to the A320 we all deserve. I always fancied the EA-400. Make sure to post a lot of pics and reports on how it flies. We are all curious.

Re: What comes after a DA40?

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:29 am
by Antoine
Hello to you all.
Thanks for your positive comments. Jean: yes it is this one.
Wayne, I promise to stick around, Jim: I think your decision was wise - I am lucky to have an ex-factory specialist within range and most of the EA-400 population is in Germany.
Kai - I am glad that you want me to post progress here. Wilco!

Re: What comes after a DA40?

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:12 am
by Tommy
Congratulations Antoine. You've been looking for quite a while I know.
That Extra looks like a very interesting aircraft. It definitely looks like it meets your needs.
Yes, stay in touch, if for nothing else the friendship factor.

Re: What comes after a DA40?

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:29 pm
by Antoine
You guys put a big smile on my face. I sometimes felt funny about considering my forum buddies as "friends" but I sincerely believe that there is a logical explanation to that. We all share a common passion and - unfortunately - common problems at some point or the other. These are good ingredients for a healthy friendship and I am honored that you ask me to stay around. I will. And guess what - here my first request for help:
I am in the process of redesigning a "steam gauge" instrument panel. My avionics shop is proposing a G500, and I'd love some advice. Is THIS the solution or should I rather use 2 smaller PFDs (Aspen) sparing panel real estate for a pair of iPads to display Synthetic Vision, Maps, Charts, Checklists and the like?
As you know, it is illegal to fly using SynVis as the primary "instrument".
So why have this displayed on a certified (=$ 15'000) display?
What else will the G500 bring (my avionics shop says it will display and manage the RDR2000 weather radar, but what else?)

Re: What comes after a DA40?

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:17 pm
by Colin
I have heard way too many horror stories about Aspen products to every put a dollar in their pocket. I really love the idea, I was a huge fan as soon as they announced, but every single place I've read about them in the real world I see stories of dead-on-arrival units and installation woes and lack of factory support.

So I would put in a G500, but the truth is if you are comfortable flying an approach in solid IMC with the steam gauges I would just put in the latest Garmin touch GPS system instead. The GTN 750 I think is the latest.

(I'd support making an EA-400 forum just for Antoine to tell us about his experiences. My plane was originally 181EB and the EB was for Errol Bader. Errol was the salesman for US Aero out of Colorado. As the Puckett brothers wound down their retail operation Errol went off and found other things in aviation to do. One was trying to scout the location for a US factory of the EA-400. So I got to sit in one of the models he had on tour. It's a perfect plane for your mission. It's an updated, composite P210.)

Re: What comes after a DA40?

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:24 am
by Gasser
Congrats and cool plane. I love my Cirrus but it's nothing like what you just bought. Be safe, train hard and post often. Let's see pics of your progress.