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Tue, Feb 01, 2022

Diamond DART Changes Engines

GE's Fancy H75 Replaced by PT6 to Meet Project Deadlines, as EASA Certification Expected Next Year

Diamond Aircraft's DART program has seen a few changes, replacing its powerplant with a PT6A-25C turboprop engine sourced from Pratt & Whitney Canada.

The change removes the original engine for the program, General Electric's 550hp H75-A turboprop. The move to the venerable PT6 is said to be necessary to meet program deadlines, as the GE product is yet to be fully certified and ready for widespread use With the DART expected to be EASA certified by the end of 2023, Diamond decided to move forward with a turnkey solution while it can. 

“After careful consideration, we came to the conclusion that an adjustment of the DART program was necessary in order to move forward with the aircraft certification process,” says Liqun Zhang, CEO of Diamond Aircraft Austria. “In order to meet our target timeline and as the window of opportunity on the market as well as with interested customers is limited, we decided - in close consultation with our R&D department - to pursue our DART program with the proven and certified 750 SHP PT6A-25C turboprop engine from Pratt & Whitney Canada.” 

The DART will be an all composite aerobatic turboprop trainer in tandem seat configuration, offering an advanced pilot training platform for those who want a high performance, highly maneuverable aircraft. Aerobatic, turboprop aircraft are somewhat rare in the market, and Zhang said Diamond sees the niche as the last missing piece of their pilot training puzzle. 

“With bringing the DART-750 to the market, Diamond Aircraft will be the only manufacturer that is covering the complete range of basic flight training. The aircraft is already considered for many programs all over the world. We are seeing a huge potential for the aircraft in the government training market. The unmatched price-performance ratio will make the DART the perfect choice for future basic training of pilots.”

The legendary, bulletproof PT6 is a good choice for an off-the-shelf solution to small, turnkey turboprop needs. Pratt & Whitney Canada already acts as the beating hard of 130 different applications throughout the industry, racking up more than 425 million flight hours. The selection opens up the wide range of expertise, maintenance, and logistics benefits that come with an engine with more than 50,000 built over the last half century. 

FMI: www.diamondaircraft.com

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