The DA42 Twin Star is a twin engined light utility and trainer aircraft manufactured by Diamond Aircraft Industries. The aircraft is operated by air forces, flight training schools and aerial surveillance and mapping operators.
The DA42 Twin Star made its first flight in December 2002. It received the EASA IFR certification in May 2004. DA42 is the first diesel-powered aircraft to perform the non-stop crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) placed an order for six DA42 aircraft in October 2008, for delivery by mid 2009. The aircraft are used to provide sophisticated training for pilots of the RTAF.
The DA42 aircraft are also used by other military operators, including the Ghana Air Force, Niger Air Force, Swiss Army and Ukraine Border Guard Service.
DA42 variants and design
The DA42 aircraft are produced in different variants according to the requirements of the customers. The DA42 MPP (Multi Purpose Platform) is a multirole aircraft equipped with a high-tech camera system and latest tracking and sensor technology.
Dominator II is an unmanned aerial vehicle variant based on the DA42 aircraft. It was developed by Israel-based Aeronautics Defence Systems. The DA42 NG (New Generation) variant is equipped with more powerful AE 300 engines. The DA42-VI is an improved variant fitted with new propellers, wing fairings and aerodynamic clean-ups.
The DA42 is a twin-engined light aircraft incorporating semi-monocoque fuselage. The structure of the aircraft is made of ultra-light, high-strength composite materials. The low wing cantilever design integrates outboard aerofoils with trim tabs, an inboard split flap and an outboard plain flap. The tail section incorporates a T-tail, elevators and rudder with trim tabs.
The DA42 aircraft has a length of 8.5m, height of 2.4m and wing span of 13.5m. The wing area of the aircraft is 16.29m². The aircraft can carry four passengers. It has an empty weight of 1,410kg and maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 1,900kg. The DA42 can carry a payload of 490kg.
Twin Star cockpit and avionics
The cockpit of DA42 aircraft houses two crew members. The fully integrated glass cockpit is equipped with a Garmin G1000 avionics system. The avionics suite integrates two large-format 10in colour TFT displays and KAP140 or GFC700 Automatic Flight Control System. The screens present the information of traffic, weather and terrain shading. The modular system with open architecture allows the integration of additional mission avionics.
The cockpit is also equipped with Garmin GDC74 Integrated Digital Air Data Computer, Garmin Integrated Mode S Transponder, GPS, communication and navigation systems, solid-state Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS), dual flight controls and airframe / engine interface unit.
Cabin, engines and landing gear of the utility / trainer aircraft
The rear section of the aircraft is provided with spacious split fold-down seats for two passengers. The folding rear seats and four-way baggage area allow the carriage of different payloads with ease. The aircraft also features a large rear door for loading / unloading of bulk cargo.
DA42 NG is powered by two Austro Engine AE 300 Turbocharged common-rail injected diesel engines driving two MT three-blade constant speed propellers. Each engine delivers a power of 168hp.
The aircraft is also offered with other engine configurations. The DA42 TDI model is fitted with TAE Centurion 2.0 Turbo Diesel engines, while DA42 L360 comes with Lycoming I0-360 engines.
The DA42 aircraft is equipped with a hydraulically retractable landing gear. Each landing gear unit is fitted with a single tyre. The robust landing gear offers reliability and low maintenance for the users.
Diamond DA42 Twin Star performance
The DA42 aircraft can fly at a maximum altitude of 18,000ft. It can climb at a rate of 5.0m/s. The aircraft has a maximum cruise speed of 365km/h. The stall speed of the aircraft is 124km/h. The DA42 aircraft has a standard range of 1,470km. It can reach a distance of 2,245km with long rang tank.
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