You misunderstood me Rich.Rich wrote: ↑Wed May 15, 2019 10:25 pm
Your complaint about cabin design argues for a new airframe. While I don't disagree the US is a country of fatsos this has never presented a limitation in any flight I've made.
Your airframe empty weight complaint needs more validation. How much extra weight? 500 lb, 300? The Panthera, BTW, has a shorter wing, higher wing loading and much higher stall speed. A smaller wing is a good way to save weight. Much of the weight problem in DA40s is not related to airframe structure but all the various options that have come along, giving rise to limited useful load and/or problematic CG situations. (A characteristic that our early ones do not share.) In this we agree that it should be corrected, mostly by lightening up the structure. I just think it's a bigger job than you do. (JSYK, I used to work for managers who didn't appreciate the magnitude of actually implementing their "big picture" ideas.)
Dismissing a "trainer first" characteristic is disingenuous. It seems to denigrate docile handling, robust gear, etc. as suited for toys. Many of us fly these planes all over the country. You seem to say it should be more like a Cirrus, as though that's the gold standard.
I am not bashing the DA40 and its trainer roots, just saying what I believe would help make it more successful as a touring aircraft and eat the SR22's lunch.
I would never dismiss the "trainer first" characteristics - for a first aircraft. Quite the contrary, I have loved them.
Also, I am not "complaining" about the size of the cabin (I would not have owned two if I were not happy) - it is just a fact that quite a few potential buyers in the US buyers would need it roomier.
As I have proposed in detail many times,
(see here for one example: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5843&hilit=redesign)
I believe Diamond should derive a more capable cross country aircraft from this excellent starting point. If anything, it would appeal to all of us who outgrew their DA40... and it would be a great competitor to the SR22.
And yes, absolutely I think the airframe is overweight. The steel landing gear is also very heavy and the nose gear is unnecessarily bulky causing huge drag issues and the infamous "corked nose wheel" problem.
It is very sad that as Diamond added "stuff" to the DA40, they spent so little energy on CG planning.
The 2007 DA40 XL was crippled in this respect. There was a retrofit (!) kit available with nose ballast and a field mod to relocate some avionics which had been placed unnecessarily far aft.
And no I am not a "big picture" manager. I did spend a LOT of design time, energy and money on these matters.
Redesigned the nose landing gear fork. See the thread on this.
Made design and cost calculations with a specialist company to produce a carbon fiber tailplane. Try doing the CG math on this and you'll see it removes the need for 17 lbs of ballast in the nose. This alone would give 22 to 25 lbs of weight savings.
Not only that - the lighter tailplane and nose would reduce the rotational moment during spin exit which may well be significant with regards to the certification issue that caused the restriction to aft CG in the 50 USG planes.
I absolutely believe that the DA40 is a wonderful aircraft and that it really deserves to be further developed. This is and has always been my view and I admit that I am sometimes aggressive in my stance, but it is out of frustrated love...