Another great behind the scenes factory tour

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DiamondRob
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Another great behind the scenes factory tour

Post by DiamondRob »

Apologies if this is a repost - I hadn't seen it before, until this evening.
Its another Diamond factory tour video. Different people/ author/ footage/ dialogue... seems to be only a few months old.

I really enjoy these behind the scenes videos. My only complaint is that it's not a much longer video! :D
I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope you guys do too!
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Boatguy
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Re: Another great behind the scenes factory tour

Post by Boatguy »

The process of building a Diamond is almost exactly the same as building a custom sailboat, with two exceptions.

1) The engine is the first thing installed into a new boat, and the boat is essentially built around the engine.

2) The resin used to hold together the fiberglass or carbon fiber adds no strength, just weight. The construction goal is to minimize the amount of resin to minimize weight. The vacuum bagging technique used by Diamond has been used in boats for 40yrs and for custom boats was replaced by more effective techniques such as SCRIMP about 20yrs ago.

You can see in the video that they use rollers to saturate the mat with resin, ensuring there are no voids, then use vacuum bagging to remove excess resin. With SCRIMP, the mat is laid up and covered with plumbing which delivers resin in a continuous flow, spaced about 1' apart. A vacuum is applied at the "top" of the piece, and the supply of resin is turned on. The vacuum pulls the resin through the material, saturating it with the minimum amount of necessary resin. It is an art to properly distribute the plumbing and time the flows so that there are no voids. The result is less resin and less weight. I suspect that Diamond cannot adopt more efficient methods like SCRIMP due to certification.

Here is an article from 2000. https://www.boats.com/how-to/scrimp-system/

In both cases, after the hull is laid up, the halves are glued together (deck and hull for a boat, two halves of fuselage for a plane), then other structures are added within the hull (e.g., AP servo attachment points, 26G shock absorbtion) and then wiring harnesses are installed, etc.
Screenshot 2022-11-22 at 8.47.15 PM.jpg
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Colin
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Re: Another great behind the scenes factory tour

Post by Colin »

Russ,

I am not positive, but I think the guys working on Dark Aero (search for the YouTube channel) are using that method.
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Re: Another great behind the scenes factory tour

Post by DiamondRob »

Boatguy wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:53 am The process of building a Diamond is almost exactly the same as building a custom sailboat, with two exceptions.

1) The engine is the first thing installed into a new boat, and the boat is essentially built around the engine.
Thats really interesting. It'd be nice if Diamond released their own video next year, on more behind the scenes stuff. I really enjoy it.
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Re: Another great behind the scenes factory tour

Post by Boatguy »

DiamondRob wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:54 pm It'd be nice if Diamond released their own video next year, on more behind the scenes stuff. I really enjoy it.
Agreed. More "behind the scenes" from Diamond would be great!
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Re: Another great behind the scenes factory tour

Post by CFIDave »

I've had the opportunity to take the Diamond factory tours in both Austria and Canada, and always found them very worthwhile and informative.

More recently this year I've had a chance to take Epic Aircraft's factory tour in Bend, Oregon (KBDN) -- where they make E1000 single-engine turboprops that use hundreds of carbon fiber parts -- not that different from a DA62 twin. The construction and assembly processes at Epic vs. Diamond appear to be almost identical: both use vacuum bagging of molded parts before baking, with the parts sized, drilled, and then glued together like a large Revel plastic model airplane.

But there's one major difference: Diamond starts with carbon fiber (or fiberglass) cloth and applies epoxy resin using Diamond's own custom-designed laminating machines. While Diamond now has application of resin down to a science, when they started producing the first DA20s in the Diamond Canada factory in the 1990s, the first 5 or 6 planes were too heavy (too much resin applied to their fiberglass) to be flown or sold to customers. So those DA20s ended up as "plane on a stick" outdoor static displays located around London, Ontario and Wiener Neustadt, Austria. (Some of these DA20s are still displayed outdoors -- naming their locations makes for a good Diamond trivia question...)

In contrast, Epic Aircraft only uses "prepreg" (i.e., pre-impregnated) carbon fiber sheets with the epoxy resin already infused into the cloth by an outside supplier. Epic has to store these carbon fiber sheets in a refrigerator with a limited shelf life before use. Epic is producing about one new aircraft every 3 weeks, whereas Diamond is a higher-volume composite aircraft manufacturer -- so production volumes, and Diamond also using considerable fiberglass cloth, may have something to do with the difference.

Maybe I need to make a trip to Duluth, MN to see how Cirrus does it. ;)
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Re: Another great behind the scenes factory tour

Post by DiamondRob »

CFIDave wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:33 pm Diamond factory tours
DA20s ended up as "plane on a stick"
Epic Aircraft only uses "prepreg" (i.e., pre-impregnated) carbon fiber sheets
Really interesting! Id seen a photo of one of the plane-on-a-sticks, background story is interesting, thanks for sharing.

Im up north seeing a friend at the moment and was going to swing by gemstone aviation tomorrow norming, just to go look at and hopefully sit in a Diamond aircraft. Not that I can afford to buy (or fly) anything at the moment, I cant even make the trip to Gemstone - on account of not being able to afford the extra fuel to drive home the longer route via Gemstone! I dont mind being the poorest member on this forum for the time being, as I have no doubt whatsoever that I'll one day be able to buy my dream diamond aircraft :D It just wont be tomorrow :mrgreen:
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