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Sat, Jul 15, 2006

ANN Exclusive: Diamond Unveils Speedier DA40XL

MORE Big News From Diamond!

ANN has just scored the first public photos of a much-upgraded variant of Diamond Aircraft's highly regarded four place DA40. The new DA40XL is a tweaked and refined DA40 with a number of aerodynamic enhancements resulting in a 158 ktas top speed and a 150 kt cruise.

The Lycoming IO-360 powered DA40XL owes some new efficiencies to a Powerflow tuned exhaust system and a new MT composite scimitar 3-blade prop. The result, says Diamond A/C President Peter Maurer, is an airplane that does a 10 gph fuel burn at 150 ktas at 6,000’ pressure altitude. The "fully-equipped" DA40XL (which incorporates a number of former options as now-standard equipment) features Garmin's new GFC700 autopilot system (which has been getting raves from those of us who have now flown it in a number of different airframes), as well as Avidyne's TAS600 Active Traffic Advisory System and a 110 pound gross weight increase.

 

The first thing that one notices when approaching the new XL is a set of rakish winglets... Diamond credits them for reduced drag, improved roll authority, improved climb and better hangar clearance (and yes... they look COOL!).

Additional attributes brought forth with this introduction are a Diamond “Premium Care” all-inclusive maintenance plan that is standard with each aircraft. This program covers all scheduled maintenance for 2 years or 250 hours... at NO additional cost. The DA40XL also features electrically adjustable pilot & copilot rudder pedals, AMSAFE inflatable restraints, an electronic carbon monoxide detector, HID Taxi and Landing lights, an improved cabin heater that boasts a 25°F increase in cabin heating air, and all other currently available DA40 options -- as now-standard equipment.

The numbers? The DA40XL has a top speed of 158 ktas, a cruise speed of 150 ktas, a takeoff distance of 1,140 ft and a SL ROC of 1,120 fpm. Useful load, with FULL fuel, is now 647 lbs.

Equipped with all the aerodynamic enhancements that have resulted in more than 10 kts of additional cruise performance over previous versions of the aircraft, the Garmin G1000/GFC700-equipped DA40XL will be available shortly (August 2006) for under $330K -- with all the goodies.

Diamond also indicates that many of the aerodynamic refinements incorporated in the DA40XL are retrofittable to previous DA40s and that they are developing a program to meet potential demand for such updates.

ANN is currently in attendance at the 2006 DiamondFest event in London, Ontario and will have additional details to offer later today on Diamond's revolutionary DJet.

Stay tuned....

FMI: www.diamondair.com

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