Initial observations, the good stuff:
- Starting is a dream compared to the DA40. Flip a couple of switches and turn the key. The engines start quickly and purr quietly. Very little cabin noise and virtually no vibration, as you'd expect from a Mercedes engine.
- As pretty much everybody who has ever flown both models has observed, the DA42NG is heavy when compared with the DA40, so roll rates are slower and stick forces are much greater. The DA42 feels much more stable overall (good) but not nearly as nimble (sigh).
- I can't imagine that there is an easier piston twin to fly. The various fuel pump switches are the only things that required much thought when coming from the DA40. FADEC is a dream compared to throttle/mixture/prop levers.
- The copilot side (Beringer STC) brakes were inop upon delivery, although the pilot side were working fine. The plane went through an annual inspection immediately before delivery, so I'm guessing the lines which run from the copilot to pilot side were simply not bled properly and they didn't catch it before the ferry pilot picked it up. No leaks detected, so hopefully it's a one-time thing.
- I had no idea that the G1000 had ESP enabled. Since I didn't have any prior experience with ESP, the CFI and I were caught by surprise when I tried to do steep turns and felt the stick actively fighting me, trying to return the plane to 30 degrees of bank. It took a bit to figure out what was going on. Next time I'll be disabling ESP prior to flights where we'll be practicing maneuvers. (It's also possible to disable it with the A/P disconnect switch as well).
- Fitting through a 45' hangar door is very tricky without a winch or powered towbar (both are on order but haven't arrived yet). It doesn't help that it has to go over the tracks for the hangar doors. Did I already mention how heavy this plane is? Pushing it back in without banging the wing tips is tough even with two of us. I've installed some guide rails on the floor to keep the wheels centered; so far so good, but I'm looking forward to getting the Sidewinder.
- The CG envelope is a bit of a challenge, especially when the TKS tank is full of fluid (which it is, since it was delivered that way). Two adults in front with no passengers and full fuel pretty much guarantees you'll be forward of CG limits without a decent amount of weight in the rear baggage area. I wish the TKS tank were in the back. The prior owner had a tail weight kit added. I have the weights in a bag in the "trunk" since I'm not sure what else to do with them yet. My W&B spreadsheet says that is sufficient to pull the CG back into the envelope.
Finally, for anybody looking to purchase a used DA42 or DA62, I'd highly recommend having Dave Seastead from Premier (TX) do the pre-buy inspection, even if you have to fly him out to the plane. He was great to work with and did a very thorough job.