Diamond Aircraft to develop all-electric trainer
Diamond Aircraft on October 12 announced its plan to develop an all-electric training aircraft, the eDA40, and has chosen Electric Power Systems’ EPiC battery technology and accompanying Ecosystem.
Initial flights of the eDA40 are scheduled for Q2 2022. Certification is expected in 2023.
Since 2011, Diamond has been researching and developing electric and hybrid electric platform solutions. At Paris Airshow in 2011, in co-operation with Siemens, Diamond introduced the DA36 E-Star, described then as 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 Airshow, with improved performance and increased payload. Diamond explains 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.
After extensive research and numerous flight test hours on electric and hybrid platforms, Diamond states it is positioned to offer an all-electric solution to the General Aviation market with the eDA40.
“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.”
Diamond has decided to partner with battery technology company Electric Power Systems to integrate the EPiC Ecosystem into the eDA40, 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 under 20 minutes. Batteries will be installed in a custom designed belly pod and 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, according to Diamond, is expected to reduce operating costs by up to 40 per cent compared to traditional piston aircraft.