Diamond announces an electric DA40

Any DA40 related topics

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haykinson
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Diamond announces an electric DA40

Post by haykinson »



https://www.diamondaircraft.com/en/flig ... -aircraft/

Summary: 90 minute flight time, 205Wh/kg energy density, 20 minute recharge time. Test flights in 2022, certification 2023. Unclear if quoted times are achievable at launch.

Sounds like they feel confident enough in their tech to start moving from prototypes to sellable units. It's anyone's guess whether flight schools will go for this, but if operating costs are reasonable then I can imagine these airplanes starting to enter the training market. Maintenance costs for a fleet of electric airplanes have got to be far lower than any other kind of an airplane of that class.
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Re: Diamond announces an electric DA40

Post by nathanda40 »

haykinson wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:57 pm


https://www.diamondaircraft.com/en/flig ... -aircraft/

Summary: 90 minute flight time, 205Wh/kg energy density, 20 minute recharge time. Test flights in 2022, certification 2023. Unclear if quoted times are achievable at launch.

Sounds like they feel confident enough in their tech to start moving from prototypes to sellable units. It's anyone's guess whether flight schools will go for this, but if operating costs are reasonable then I can imagine these airplanes starting to enter the training market. Maintenance costs for a fleet of electric airplanes have got to be far lower than any other kind of an airplane of that class.
It's a cool concept but I feel like 90 minutes of flight time is far off from a production model. Maybe that's with VFR reserve? I think if it can reasonably stay in the air for 2 hours then it would work great for flight schools with that kind of recharge time, but 90 minutes is kind of scary IMO.
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Re: Diamond announces an electric DA40

Post by haykinson »

nathanda40 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:04 pm
...90 minutes is kind of scary IMO.
I think there's a lot of primary training that stays in the pattern. If a flight school has a fleet of 10 airplanes, and 4 of them are electric trainers that rarely leave the pattern or go beyond a 10-min-away training area, you can probably take care of a lot of students learning how to take off, fly a pattern, and land. If you extend this to basic maneuvers, you can probably cover the first 20+ hours of a primary student's time. For a high volume flight school this is probably a non-trivial amount of time & money.

There are already some competitors in this area — Pipistrel for example has two trainers with similar endurance on the market, and at least one local flight school had bought one. I have no idea if they find it practical or not, and here Diamond is clearly appealing to people with existing & significant investments in Diamond trainers, rather than to any private pilots or tiny flight schools.
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Re: Diamond announces an electric DA40

Post by astaib »

Why a 4 seater for training?
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Re: Diamond announces an electric DA40

Post by nathanda40 »

haykinson wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:55 pm
nathanda40 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:04 pm
...90 minutes is kind of scary IMO.
I think there's a lot of primary training that stays in the pattern. If a flight school has a fleet of 10 airplanes, and 4 of them are electric trainers that rarely leave the pattern or go beyond a 10-min-away training area, you can probably take care of a lot of students learning how to take off, fly a pattern, and land. If you extend this to basic maneuvers, you can probably cover the first 20+ hours of a primary student's time. For a high volume flight school this is probably a non-trivial amount of time & money.

There are already some competitors in this area — Pipistrel for example has two trainers with similar endurance on the market, and at least one local flight school had bought one. I have no idea if they find it practical or not, and here Diamond is clearly appealing to people with existing & significant investments in Diamond trainers, rather than to any private pilots or tiny flight schools.
First off - hello neighbor 8-)

But without a doubt, I think there is a market for it at those giant schools who do a lot of pattern work and basic training. I'm just thinking about the 90-minutes in terms of experience I have had with other big batteries. Their endurance wanes over time and as that creeps down then you start to not have a ton of options if, say, somebody has an incident at your intended landing airport and now you have to go somewhere else. Electric is obviously the way forward and where we will be in 20 years, so cool to see it starting to happen but I would imagine that needs to be at least two hours before individuals are going to be interested.
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Re: Diamond announces an electric DA40

Post by TimS »

Pipistel is selling a fair amount of the Electro's and that has a one hour flight time.
I think 90 minutes opens up even more, and the twenty minute recharge time is even better.

The question will be costs, the battery replacement costs for Pipistrel are actually a couple bucks per hour hire than the costs of the Rotax in the same model plane.

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Re: Diamond announces an electric DA40

Post by pietromarx »

nathanda40 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:20 pm
haykinson wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:55 pm
nathanda40 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:04 pm
...90 minutes is kind of scary IMO.
I think there's a lot of primary training that stays in the pattern. If a flight school has a fleet of 10 airplanes, and 4 of them are electric trainers that rarely leave the pattern or go beyond a 10-min-away training area, you can probably take care of a lot of students learning how to take off, fly a pattern, and land. If you extend this to basic maneuvers, you can probably cover the first 20+ hours of a primary student's time. For a high volume flight school this is probably a non-trivial amount of time & money.

There are already some competitors in this area — Pipistrel for example has two trainers with similar endurance on the market, and at least one local flight school had bought one. I have no idea if they find it practical or not, and here Diamond is clearly appealing to people with existing & significant investments in Diamond trainers, rather than to any private pilots or tiny flight schools.
First off - hello neighbor 8-)

But without a doubt, I think there is a market for it at those giant schools who do a lot of pattern work and basic training. I'm just thinking about the 90-minutes in terms of experience I have had with other big batteries. Their endurance wanes over time and as that creeps down then you start to not have a ton of options if, say, somebody has an incident at your intended landing airport and now you have to go somewhere else. Electric is obviously the way forward and where we will be in 20 years, so cool to see it starting to happen but I would imagine that needs to be at least two hours before individuals are going to be interested.
Hello neighbors, new and old (Ilya!) -

This is very impressive engineering and enough for students to do enough pattern enough to want a restroom break, get in some instrument training, etc.

Add in another hour of flight time and you'll get me to buy one for my use cases.


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Re: Diamond announces an electric DA40

Post by chili4way »

astaib wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:10 pm
Why a 4 seater for training?
Probably the best Diamond airframe for engine+battery weight and minimal engineering+certification work.
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Re: Diamond announces an electric DA40

Post by Colin »

Eventually I will no longer be able to do the hard IFR, multi-engine flying I am enjoying. I would like to say that I'll be able to switch to a Super Cub and do tailwheel, low and slow sort of stuff, but I have gotten *very* used to the composite cockpit safety bubble around me. And I like the single lever control and do not wish to return to my time of managing a large-bore, tractor engine on front of the plane.

An electric plane with a two hour flight time would be perfect for my KFHR - KBFI airport runs. And it would sit quietly, happily, on a battery minder when I was away from the island, too. I could see flying that for a long, long time, eventually VFR only.
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Re: Diamond announces an electric DA40

Post by Karl »

astaib wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:10 pm
Why a 4 seater for training?
You can train in a 4 seater but you can't carry 4 ppl in a 2 seat training aircraft.

No point for Diamond to build 2 types when 1 will do both missions.

Big flight academies often carry a student in the back seat (we do), time in the air is a great learning experience and a free flying lesson even if you are only watching and listening.
We also often carry a CAA examiner in the back seat as he checks out the flight instructor.
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