Diamond Aircraft has revealed it is developing an all-electric version of its popular four-seater, the DA40.
The Diamond eDA40 will be aimed at flight schools with full Part 23 type certification scheduled for 2023. First flight of the eDA40 is expected in Q2 2022.
Diamond is partnering with US company Electric Power Systems to integrate its EPiC Ecosystem into the eDA40.
The Electric Power Systems’ Battery Module will be equipped with a DC fast charging system, capable of turning around a depleted aircraft in under 20 minutes. Batteries will be installed in a custom designed belly pod and between the engine and the forward bulkhead.
Otherwise the aircraft is similar to the existing DA40, with a Garmin G1000 NXi glass cockpit and several avionics add-ons available.
Total flight time is expected to be up to 90 minutes as battery technologies evolve. The eDA40 is expected to reduce operating costs by up to 40% compared to traditional piston aircraft.
“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,” said Liqun (Frank) Zhang, CEO of Diamond Aircraft Austria.
“Making flying as eco-friendly as possible has always been at the core of Diamond Aircraft with our fuel-efficient jet fuel powered aircraft producing less CO2 and noise emissions compared to conventional piston aircraft engines.
“Therefore, we are more than proud to underline this commitment with the all-electric eDA40, a sustainable solution for the General Aviation of tomorrow.”
Diamond Aircraft has been researching and developing electric and hybrid electric platform solutions since 2011. At that year’s Paris Airshow, Diamond Aircraft introduced the DA36 E-Star with a serial hybrid electric drive system based on the HK36 motor glider.
Two years later, the DA36 E-Star 2, was presented at the Paris Airshow, with improved performance and increased payload.
Further research of electric and hybrid solutions led to additional collaboration with Siemens and the introduction of the next milestone, called ‘HEMEP’ – the world’s first hybrid-electric multi engine with lower fuel consumption (higher efficiency) and decreased noise pollution.
Nathan Millecam, CEO of Electric Power Systems, said, “Training aircraft set the stage for demonstrating that electric aircraft can meet the demands of high-paced, high-volume operations at a reduced cost basis.”
Electric Power Systems has battery systems powering customer flight demonstrator vehicles such as the NASA X-57 and Bell Nexus. Investors in the company include Boeing and Safran.