Is Everything Going Electric?
The eDA40 is the latest offering from Diamond Aircraft to meet the growing demand to reduce carbon emissions and our need for fossil fuels. Bringing this aircraft to market was no small feat and required countless flight test hours.
Diamond made this an extension of the already successful and certified platform of DA40 training planes. The next step was making this aircraft electric, making an already less noisy plane nearly quiet. Couple that with zero emissions, and you have an environmentally responsible airplane.
So, where is Diamond Aircraft located? As stated on the Diamond Aircraft website:
Diamond Aircraft, headquartered in Austria with facilities in Canada and China, is among the leading aircraft manufacturer in General Aviation. Founded in 1981, Diamond has pioneered many aviation firsts and achieved numerous milestones and industry expert accolades.
So how long a flight duration can one expect from the eDA40? The current estimate is around 90 minutes on one full battery. The company seems to be echoing a lot of what the industry is now. Battery technology is continuously innovating and improving, and you can only expect to see this duration climb.
Speaking of battery technology, Diamond has opted to partner up with Electric Power Systems and their particular technology called EPIC.
In their own words, Electric Power Systems offers:
High power and energy in a compact, lightweight package. Our EPIC systems are modular, scalable, and application-agnostic. The EPiC battery family provides energy, power, and ultra power modules to meet any application need.
The EPIC system will be equipped with a DC fast charging system. Why is this so appealing? This feature makes for getting the aircraft back in the air after a quick 20-minute recharge.
Batteries will be installed in a custom-designed belly pod (pictured above) between the engine and the forward bulkhead for proper weight distribution. Given this aircraft is designed on an electric platform, Diamond expects a 40% reduction in flight hour costs.
Not to be forgotten is the Safran Electrical & Power supplied ENGINeUS (above) smart electric motor. The eDA40 motor delivers 130 kW maximum power at take-off. An optimized air-cooling system provides thermal management.
Coming standard with the eDA40 model will be the Garmin Flight Deck G1000NXi (pictured above). The G1000NXi integrates most avionics while utilizing high-resolution glass displays. You can expect faster processing, smooth flight control, and Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI) mapping to be offered by this system.
Liqun (Frank) Zhang, CEO of Diamond Aircraft Austria, stated that “the eDA40 will be the first EASA/FAA Part 23 certified electric airplane with DC fast charging and specifically tailored to the flight training market.” Initial flights of the eDA40 are scheduled for Q4 2022. Certification is expected end of 2023/the beginning of 2024. From here, it's “skies the limits”!