Diamond D-Jet Flying Again
September 8, 2011 – Diamond has resumed developmental test flying of its single-engine D-Jet. The program had been put on hold earlier this year while Diamond sought additional funding. The Canadian government turned down a plea for additional backing, but an unnamed source invested a reported $25 million to get the program rolling again. Diamond has built three prototypes of the small jet, but none conform exactly to the expected production configuration. D-Jet No. 3 is the most advanced and was first to return to flight testing.
The D-Jet has a Williams FJ33 engine centrally located in the aft fuselage. Intake air is fed to the engine through ducts in each wing root. Among the issues Diamond is working on is how to protect the Y-shaped induction ducts from icing. The company must also complete low-speed flying qualities testing. It is likely that a stick-pusher stall barrier system will be used to satisfy the one-turn spin certification requirement imposed on all single-engine airplanes.
The resumed test flying of the prototypes will lay the necessary groundwork for final design of the production-conforming D-Jet, but no timetable for first flight of that airplane, or for certification and entry into service, have been announced.
Diamond expects to certify the D-Jet to a ceiling of 25,000 feet, which will simplify several structural and system requirements. Preliminary projections call for a maximum cruise speed of 315 knots. The expected maximum still air range is 1,340 nautical miles with the airspeed slowed to the long-range cruise of 240 knots.