Would you buy another DA XX?

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waynemcc999
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Re: Would you buy another DA XX?

Post by waynemcc999 »

I agree with much of the sentiment on this thread. Post-sales support particularly for avionics upgrades would be very nice.

On the other hand, a lot has to do with luck of the model draw. I have a 2008 DA40 (G1000, WAAS, GFC500), fly a good bit (~400 hours/year), and a good deal of IFR (~half the flights)... and my thoughts on avionics would be:

-- I'd love and might even pay (say <20 AMU) for NXi or TXi to get higher screen resolution, more brilliant displays, and maybe even touch.

-- I would most definitely pay for FlightStream 510 compatibility.

-- All the other G1000 enhancements we don't have (visual approaches, ad hoc holds, a few I've forgotten) are for me nice-to-haves... and I'd take them if they came for free or <1 AMU... but I agree with iIya/Haykinson that most of these little avionics enhancements are already provided (or will be) very nicely in ForeFlight, and furthermore the rapid enhancement pace of the tablet EFBs will never be matched by the panel avionics suppliers.

So, my answer to the original question is... yes, I would purchase another Diamond.
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dant
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Re: Would you buy another DA XX?

Post by dant »

I'm still new so I'm not sure if my answer to the original question really applies as I'm less than 6 months in to ownership.

That being said, the only software/hardware upgrade I'd really care about would be an emergency autoland if I lose consciousness. Not super excited about my wife and son sitting in a plane with no pilot until it runs out of gas. However, I consider this a super unlikely scenario and prefer a stable airframe that behaves itself. I believe I am more likely to make a mistake than I am to lose consciousness for the first time in my life.

More syncing between foreflight and the deck would be nice but shrug.

I'm worried about G1000 replacement parts over time.

I worry about da40 specific replacement parts. During training da40s would go down for weeks on end waiting for parts - or so I was told.

I worry about mechanic expertise if the planes slow their climb in popularity.

The flight school I learned at just pulled their da40s off the line - they claim too much maintenance to keep them in the air for students. "Great personal planes but can't hold up in a flight school environment". I've actually been meaning to post on here to see if anyone on here who is involved with da40s in a school environment has any insight in to this. I don't really understand why a da40 would fare worse than a c172 in a students' hands.
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Soareyes
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Re: Would you buy another DA XX?

Post by Soareyes »

I've bought four new Diamonds (3 DA40s and most recently a new 42) over the years so yes, I would buy another. But...

The SR22 I sold last year was the best of the bunch for flying cross-country.

In terms of user interface and operating logic, going from the Cirrus Perspective version of the G1000 to the newer NXi in the DA42 has been a step down for the most part.

An old technology engine in the Cirrus but one that is very well understood. In six years we just had to replace the starter on the Continental. In the first year with Austros we've replaced both the oil pumps, both the turbochargers and some little electronic bits. Thankfully we didn't have to do the fuel pump gears.

The DA40's were the most fun to fly. I think the DA40 will go down in history as the GA plane with all around best ever combination of fun, utility, economy and safety.

Except maybe for flying long distances over cold water I would prefer a parachute. I would have a raft in the plane either way. There have been four parachute pulls over the ocean that I can think of, all were rescued within hours. I personally have witnessed a VMC rollover in a twin that made it all the way back to the field only to screw the landing. Autoland and a second engine would be best of all.

Before I bought the DA42 I had a text conversation with a Diamond salesman and the CEO of Diamond. I cheekily made some suggestions on how they could sell more planes, you know; a parachute, Autoland, software. Their answer, "Our order book is full for the next year."

Years ago I was talking with someone who used to work in management at Diamond back in the Dries era. He said their attitude was "We don't care what the customers say they want, we will sell them what they need." A cultural thing perhaps.

When it comes to modern, factory production small aircraft, Cirrus and Diamond are the two at the top of the list. It is like discussing which flavor of ice cream is best. They're all good.
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Colin
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Re: Would you buy another DA XX?

Post by Colin »

I saw the immediate aftermath of a VMC rollover of a King Air on takeoff out of LGB. I thought about it a lot when I was training. I don't think I would upgrade to a bigger twin, I am aware of how docile a twin the DA42 is. The fatality rate on PT-6s is higher in twins than singles.
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Paul
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Re: Would you buy another DA XX?

Post by Paul »

I agree with you Colin. I own a PT6 single now and would not go to a twin unless it was a twin turbine.

As far the OP’s question, yes I would. I’m actively looking for a DA40 now. I sold mine in 2012 and went to a SR22T and then a Meridian and now an M600 but my kids want to learn how to fly and I’d like something fun for more local flights. By far the biggest drawback to a Diamond is factory support. Otherwise Diamond planes are about as close to perfect as you can get for the missions they are designed to accomplish.
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rwtucker
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Re: Would you buy another DA XX?

Post by rwtucker »

I had a bit of an epiphany about a year ago when I was contemplating buying a second single engine 4-place aircraft to leave at Falcon Field when I was in Phoenix. I spent several hours looking at what was available on the used market, mostly at the dozen or so makes and models I have flown and am familiar with. At some point it hit me that few aircraft possess the engineering, fit, and finish of my DA40. I was having trouble picturing myself stepping down to the aluminum skins with rivet stress dimples, and parts and pieces that kind of fit together, but never perfectly. I like the design engineering, and fit and finish of the C350 and flew the 400 before Cessna purchased it, but I could not find a suitable 350 on the market and the 400 maintenance was above my plan.

The end of the story is that I walked away with a new appreciation for the quality and safety of our Diamonds.
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VickersPilot
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Re: Would you buy another DA XX?

Post by VickersPilot »

rwtucker wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:55 pm I had a bit of an epiphany about a year ago when I was contemplating buying a second single engine 4-place aircraft to leave at Falcon Field when I was in Phoenix. I spent several hours looking at what was available on the used market, mostly at the dozen or so makes and models I have flown and am familiar with. At some point it hit me that few aircraft possess the engineering, fit, and finish of my DA40. I was having trouble picturing myself stepping down to the aluminum skins with rivet stress dimples, and parts and pieces that kind of fit together, but never perfectly. I like the design engineering, and fit and finish of the C350 and flew the 400 before Cessna purchased it, but I could not find a suitable 350 on the market and the 400 maintenance was above my plan.

The end of the story is that I walked away with a new appreciation for the quality and safety of our Diamonds.
Agree, Diamond make a flawless airframe and offer superior composite construction to Cirrus. Cirrus for example is primarily GFRP vs Diamond CFRP (DA50/DA62). Cirrus’ control surfaces are all aluminum (and corroded even hangered) vs composite with Diamond. The use of composite is simply more than extensive in Diamonds throughout the airframe - it’s just their culture. Other manufactures aren’t even worth comparing - listen to the exit interview with the old Piper CEO, he more or less stated a new generation of composite aircraft will be required going forward.
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ememic99
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Re: Would you buy another DA XX?

Post by ememic99 »

It's nice that we're all so enthusiastic about our aircrafts but we could also talk a bit about reality, lack of post-sales support, non-existent customer relationship, lagging in avionics support and upgrades (you are stuck with whatever you bought practically without ability to upgrade any piece of avionics), missing to inform the community about engine problems (does anybody remember sudden engine stoppage that luckily ended with dead stick landing which Diamond took for analysis and never got back with result? or the other one that ended with ditching near Corsica, crew luckily saved by coast guard?), several recent MSBs related to engines etc.

I understand that talking about problems jeopardises second hand market because it decreases desirability of one's aircraft should one wished to sell it but the problems themselves (like avionics dead ends) jeopardise it even more, because in few years legacy G1000 equipped aircrafts without upgrade path will be unsellable. And same future waits at-the-moment-new aircrafts with current G1000 NXi in 10-15 years if DAI doesn't change their approach (just think about lagging in NXi phase I to phase II to phase III development and upgrading). Of course, if you treat your aircraft as a pet rather than the asset, then nothing of this is important.
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Re: Would you buy another DA XX?

Post by krellis »

Having owned three Diamonds (one DA20-A1 and two DA40-180's), I would have to say no. Loved the airplanes, did not like the lack of support and the attitude of the folks in charge.

I talked with Peter Maurer (former President of Diamond Canada) and Christian Dries (former owner of Diamond Aircraft). Mr. Maurer made it clear years ago that the expectation of long term support was unreasonable. Mr. Dries told me the North American avgas airplane market was dead to him.

I know they are both gone from Diamond now, but I doubt the new Chinese owners are any more customer focused than the previous President and Owner. It's hard to change a corporate culture that seems so ingrained.
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Steve
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Re: Would you buy another DA XX?

Post by Steve »

It is still amazing to me that my 20 year old aircraft is upgradeable to almost any avionics configuration I would desire, while newer, more capably equipped airframes are not. I have done some minor panel upgrades (built-in CO detector, bluetooth audio panel, electronic AI), but it still has discrete avionics, and a single non-WAAS GPS. Sure, it is a bit slower than the newer ones (but even that would be correctable with new gear legs and a Powerflow exhaust). At the risk of appearing happy while others suffer misfortune, maybe I should look at the insured value of my aircraft with an eye toward increasing it...
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