Diamond Aircraft Announces All-Electric Trainer
Diamond Aircraft is developing an all-electric training aircraft, the eDA40, and has chosen Electric Power Systems’ EPiC battery technology and accompanying Ecosystem.
Since 2011 Diamond Aircraft has been researching and developing electric and hybrid electric platform solutions. At Paris Airshow in 2011, in co-operation with Siemens, the Austrian manufacturer introduced the DA36 E-Star, the world’s first aircraft 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 Air Show, 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 aircraft with lower fuel consumption (higher efficiency) and decreased noise pollution.
After extensive research and numerous flight-test hours on electric and hybrid platforms, Diamond Aircraft says it is “now positioned to offer an all-electric solution to the General Aviation market – the eDA40.”
The company has partnered with battery technology company Electric Power Systems (www.epsenergy.com), integrating the company’s EPiC Ecosystem into the eDA40, which is a derivative of the existing and certified DA40 platform.
The Electric Power Systems Battery Module will be equipped with a DC fast-charging system, capable of turning around a depleted aircraft in less than 20 minutes. Batteries will be installed in a custom-designed belly pod situated between the engine and the forward bulkhead.
The aircraft will feature the latest Garmin G1000 NXi glass cockpit and will have several avionics add-ons available. Total flight time is expected to be up to 90 minutes as the battery technologies evolve. The eDA40 is expected to reduce operating costs by up to 40 percent 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.”
“We are excited to announce our new partnership with Electric Power Systems,” said Scott McFadzean, chief executive officer of Diamond Aircraft Industries Canada. “The eDA40 with its proven airframe, the quick recharge capability and the low operating cost will be an excellent aircraft for the flight training market and solidifies Diamond’s position as a global leader in General Aviation.”
“We are thrilled to team with Diamond on this important project for the aviation industry,” said Nathan Millecam, Chief Executive Officer of Electric Power Systems. “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. Combining EPS’ battery and electric propulsion know-how with a globally recognised leader in advanced general aviation design and manufacturing enables the eDA40 to be one of the most notable Electric Aircraft projects in the world.”
The eDA40 is targeted at flight training customers looking for an excellent electric circuit trainer based on the industry’s leading training aircraft, the DA40. It is the perfect complement to an existing Diamond fleet to keep standardisation high. Initial flights of the eDA40 are scheduled for Q2 2022. Certification is expected in 2023.