DA62 sanity check on interior/radar

Any DA62 related topics

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MackAttack
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DA62 sanity check on interior/radar

Post by MackAttack »

While in OSH with Premier, I met with Jerry Sun from Diamond/Canada who told me that (a) the Diamond Divine interior (with available contrast stitching) is not yet available in North America (certification issues??) and (b) the aircraft were still shipping with the GWX70 radar not the 75, until certification is complete (probably first half of 2023). I’d much prefer a GWX75 radar as (1) it has 16 colors, (2) is fully digital, uses less power and is less prone to issues and (3) can be software-upgradeable to the GWX8000, which is basically a one-button-push radar that is highly reviewed.

However, when I inquired if they could deliver my aircraft “radar-ready,” Diamond wasn’t sure they could do that and get it registered. They seemed reasonably confident that I could upgrade later if I wanted to, but that would be a hardware swap (expensive) vs a software upgrade (still expensive, but less so). I really don’t want to pay all that $$ for the same radar I have in my 2016 Piper turboprop. At piston altitudes, ground clutter suppression is an issue and the digital radars do a better job of separation in that respect. Anyone successful at getting a radar-ready plane? Or am I just being fed a line so they can use up their stock of outmoded radars?

And is it really the case that owners in North America can’t get contrast stitching in their 1.4 mm Diamond twins?? I found that very surprising given the website.

Would appreciate a sanity check on these issues; either by responsive posts or PMs. Thanks in advance!
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Re: DA62 sanity check on interior/radar

Post by Boatguy »

Diamond's Canada always blames "certification" and Transport Canada for delays. It has been over three years since they certified NXi "Phase II", and based on your comments, it will be four years before they get to "Phase III', which supports the GWXnn, and a whole bunch of G1000NXi features that will have been in Cirrus for six years. Garmin will cycle through two generations of radar while Diamond is working on "certification" as I think the current Garmin radar is the GWX800, not GWX75.

WRT to interiors, exterior custom colors, etc., they are clueless. To my knowledge people are happy to get a plane at all. I have a friend who took delivery of an SR22T last year with the Greek flag stitched into his seat shoulders; that's not happening with Diamond. All the little customizations that are standard from Cirrus (stitching, exterior colors, custom N-numbers, etc. etc.) are simply not a Diamond reality. Get your plane and then go to a third party to dress it up.

I took delivery of my DA40NG, and then went to the FAA to get the N-number I wanted. Diamond Canada refuses to tell me anything about my DA62 order, and Lifestyle has only rumors.

Venting aside, what did Premier say after the meeting? They are your advocate. Both Travis and Jeff have made a big point of their emphasis on customer service and satisfaction, and to their credit, other buyers have indicated that Premier did a number of things to smooth out the "Diamond experience". I would lean on them as I don't think you'll get anything from Diamond directly.

Please keep us posted.
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Re: DA62 sanity check on interior/radar

Post by MackAttack »

Thanks; I’m familiar with the Phase 3 saga. And it was Premier who has been working with me on these issues (including working on the radar issue), so I do believe that they have been an advocate and I have been happy with them so far. They’ve steered me towards various less expensive spec options on the theory that I can get certain items cheaper from third party vendors, for example, which was very helpful.

Honestly, I don’t know if there are the same level of third party interior option support on a Diamond that there is on a Cirrus, for example (and that is mostly for older generation aircraft). In any case, contrast stitching is not as important as world peace of course, but I just wanted to be sure that the stories that I am hearing on these issues are consistent with what others have heard and seen on their aircraft. I would not be happy at all if it turns out that several 62 owners have taken delivery of a 62 with the Divine seats and/or contrast stitching!

Garmin’s standard, current radar is the GWX75. They will also sell you a GWX 8000 as an upgrade to the 75. Some vendors (e.g., TBM) have the 8000 standard. Others, including Piper I believe, have the 75 standard. The hardware is identical but the software is different. This stuff is important because I use my radar a lot in my SETP, it’s an expensive option in the Diamond twins and the 70 (which uses different hardware from the 75/80) is less effective down low.

And all the Diamond people have been very nice; they invited me to the London airshow in September and if present travel plans move around, I may wind up going. So these discussions have been positive, professional and friendly. I just want to be sure that I’m getting accurate information.

Thanks!
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Re: DA62 sanity check on interior/radar

Post by Boatguy »

MackAttack wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 4:15 am And all the Diamond people have been very nice; they invited me to the London airshow in September and if present travel plans move around, I may wind up going. So these discussions have been positive, professional and friendly. I just want to be sure that I’m getting accurate information.
This is the conundrum. The Diamond people are all very nice and seem sincere. We really want to believe and trust them. It's just that for at least the last four years, it all breaks down in execution.

I have it on good authority that Phase III supports GWX75. If they deliver your plane with Phase III, it should have GWX75. However, there is a transition problem wherein somebody will receive the last Phase II plane with GWX70, and the next plane, perhaps as little as a few days later (as was the case with my 40NG), will have Phase III and GWX75.

This creates a sort of Sophie's Choice problem, do you want your plane earlier, with Phase II and GWX70, or later with Phase III and GWX75? And just when is "earlier" versus "later"? To put a sharper point on that, could you refuse to take delivery of a Phase II plane with GWX70?

I have an email from Lifestyle that says I'll get Phase III with GWX75. But it also says my plane would be delivered this month! ;) Is it OK to be both late and without the features promised? It seems like one or the other is sufficient buyer abuse, and the combination borders on fraud (legally defined as material deception to enter into a contract).

Since your plane is undoubtedly going to be delivered long after the date promised in your contract, I think you have to rely upon Premier to work with Diamond to deliver a plane that is late, but appropriately configured.

Owners who have recently taken delivery can better answer your question regarding what they wanted, and what they got. FWIW, I've never heard of anyone getting the Divine interior, or anything other than one of the basic color schemes.
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Re: DA62 sanity check on interior/radar

Post by MackAttack »

Thanks for the feedback and I will continue to work on it. If I KNEW FOR A FACT that waiting a month would solve the radar problem, I would do that … but of course, as you know, when it comes to certification issues, it doesn’t quite work like that. If I got the plane tomorrow, I would fly it happily with the GWX70. I’m not buying this plane for the radar, I’m buying it to fly it and radar is a safety feature. I will definitely keep you posted. I have proposed a slight change to the standard orange over anthracite paint scheme and am expecting to hear back next week on whether that will be an up charge (and as noted in another thread, that’s a completely different question as to whether they will do the agreed-upon scheme in the end).

Any other thoughts are welcome!
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Re: DA62 sanity check on interior/radar

Post by chili4way »

Article about Garmin's GWX 8000 StormOptix Weather Radar in the July edition of Avionics News.
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/59 ... .php#/p/54
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Re: DA62 sanity check on interior/radar

Post by RookieFlyer »

MackAttack wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 11:51 pm Or am I just being fed a line so they can use up their stock of outmoded radars?
Of this I have no doubt. I was told as much back in Nov 2019 after querying a DA42-IV quote which had included a GWX70 already flagged on Garmin's website as 'obsolete'.

I think the reality is Diamond is undercapitalized and appears to live hand-to-mouth with regard to cash-flow. One gets the distinct impression there is little to no fat for re-investing into private pilot customer relations or developing a cohesive brand loyalty with that sector. The major distributors such as Premier and Lifestyle are no doubt are attempting to bridge that gap as best they can, but at the end of the day it must be hard for them as it will be for the Diamond employees who want the company to do better for their customers.

Perhaps Wanfeng lacks the capital to invest in their Diamond business, or maybe they just don't care or value the private pilot as any sort of business priority. Having dealt with Chinese companies, I generally find them lacking 'warmth' when it comes to building relationships of trust. More often than not their bottom line is the abacus first and what you can do for them. Efforts to build relationships western-style are often met with an impatience I think can border on pathological indifference.
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Re: DA62 sanity check on interior/radar

Post by mfdutra »

Garmin hasn't manufactured the GWX70 for a long time, and I seriously doubt Diamond would just toss their inventory to deliver airplanes with the 75. They will delivery the 70s all the way to their very last one, then switch.

I think this certification thing is all BS. Nobody takes several years to certify a piece of software.

The big question here is how many GWX70s they still have in stock.
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Re: DA62 sanity check on interior/radar

Post by CFIDave »

As noted earlier, installation of the GWX 75 (or GWX 8000) will absolutely *require* G1000 NXi Phase III software in the DA62. Unfortunately NXi Phase II hardware and software that's currently certified and being delivered in new DA62s *only* works with the older GWX 70. So Diamond is forced to continue delivering planes with the GWX 70 until they finally get NXi Phase III software certified.

Presumably Diamond was able to stockpile out-of-production GWX 70s from Garmin so as not to hold up deliveries.

FWIW, while the GWX 70 lacks the additional color shading and wider scan of the GWX 75, it's proven to be more than adequate in my DA62. Ground clutter suppression isn't needed -- I simply set the range to about 60 miles and adjust the tilt until seeing ground echos display only at the far edge of the range. Anything else that displays is then likely to be precipitation.
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Re: DA62 sanity check on interior/radar

Post by MackAttack »

Thanks; that’s consistent with what I do in my Piper M600 using the GWX70. I would just prefer to get a newer and better radar. If I can confirm that you can add a radar to a 62 without radar, I may wind up not getting radar now and saving the many $$$ to spend it instead on upgrading to the newer radar when I am able to get the Phase 3 upgrade. Stay tuned.
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