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Fri, Sep 22, 2023

KLM Flight Academy Acquires 14 Diamond Aircraft

New Trainers Greener and Safer than Legacy Models

Citing parent entity Air France-KLM Group’s commitment to greener flight training, KLM Flight Academy—the Dutch flying school and wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM)—is replacing its extant training fleet with no fewer than one-dozen single-engine Diamond DA40 NG and two additional twin-engine Diamond DA42-VI aircraft.

The firm order calls for the first deliveries of the antecedent aircraft to be made in 2024’s first quarter. Moreover, the acquisition will increase KLM’s fleet of Diamond training aircraft to a total 18 airplanes comprising six DA42-VI and 12 DA40 NG models.

KLM Flight Academy managing director Auke Dros stated: "With the replacement of the aging fleet with twelve DA40 NG and an additional two DA42-VI aircraft, KLM Flight Academy is ready for the flight training requirements of today and tomorrow. The aircraft are quieter, more fuel-efficient, and have the latest developments in technology. This means that we can now offer our students even better flight training. The academy also has great interest in purchasing Diamond Aircraft eDA40’s, once certified, to contribute for a better aviation of tomorrow.”

Diamond Aircraft Austria sales director Jane Wang set forth: “We are proud that Diamond’s Austro Engine jet-fuel powered DA40 NG and DA42-VI are the first choice single- and multi-engine trainer aircraft for KLM Flight Academy. The aircraft are the ideal flight training solution for professional flight training organizations looking for safe, state-of-the art, fuel-efficient, and maintenance-friendly aircraft, and who want to take care of the environment with the best options available on the market today.”

Diamond Aircraft’s DA40 NG (Next Generation) is a four-seat low-wing fully-cantilever-winged monoplane constructed primarily of composite materials. The aircraft is simple and robust, and features a fixed tricycle undercarriage and T-tail empennage. The DA40 NG is powered by an liquid-cooled, Austro Engine AE 300 168-horsepower turbo-diesel powerplant capable of running on Jet-A fuel. Mated to the DA40 NG’s stock, three-blade MT propeller, subject mill compels the aircraft to maximum speed of 172-knots. The engine’s TBO interval is 1,800-hours.

DA40 NG pilots can expect docile stall characteristics from the machine, for which Diamond’s literature lists a Vso stall-speed of 49-knots and a Vs stall-speed of 53-knots.

The DA40 NG’s 2,888-pound maximum gross weight includes the aircraft’s 1,938-pound empty weight, a 950-pound useful load, and a 677-pound payload.

Fueled to its 41-gallon (275-pounds) capacity, the DA40 NG manages a 984-nautical-mile range.

The aircraft features Garmin’s G1000 NXi glass cockpit.

Currently, the worldwide fleet of DA40 variants numbers north of 2,500 aircraft.

The four-seat, twin-engine DA42-VI is the most recent iteration of Diamond’s DA42 family of twin-piston-engine aircraft.  The model features an all-composite airframe and Garmin’s G1000 NXi avionics suite with 3-axis Automatic Flight Control System and optional electrically-powered air conditioning. The DA42-VI is powered by a pair of the selfsame Austro Engine AE3t00 jet-fuel-burning piston engines by which the DA40 NG is motivated. The two aircraft share, also, the same MT 3-blade, constant-speed propeller.

The DA42-VI’s performance is excellent—for a light piston-twin airplane, anyway. At its 4,407-pound Maximum Gross Takeoff Weight (MGTOW) the aircraft retains a 1,298-pound useful load which includes 76.4-gallons (519.52-pounds) of Jet-A. So loaded and fueled, the DA42-VI’s advertised range is 1,273-nautical-miles at its economy (sixty-percent-power) cruise speed of 152-knots. The airplane’s maximum speed is 188-knots; its dual and single-engine service-ceilings are FL180 and 16,000-feet respectively. At the low-end of its performance envelope, the DA42-VI acquits itself admirably with a Vso stall-speed of docile 62-knots. Vmc—a critical metric denoting the minimum speed at which the DA42-VI remains controllable with its critical-engine inoperative—is a reasonable 71-knots.

With north of 1,100 specimens delivered since its 2004 introduction, the DA42, in all its variants, has outsold all other certified piston twins combined. The machine, by dint of its performance, utility, and ability to transition between twin and single-engine flight without excessive shock-cooling of the throttled-back engine, has proved a safe, robust, and reliable multi-engine training platform.

FMI: www.diamondaircraft.com

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