Diamond Aircraft has announced a competition for the design of its next DA50 prototype, with the first prize a sightseeing flight for two in one of the firm’s aircraft.
No, you do not get to decide on wing geometry or fuselage structure. And the engine – the 300hp CD-300 Jet-A1 supplied by Continental Aerospace Technologies – has already been successfully flight-tested in the 5-7 seater back in March.
Instead, Diamond is hoping for some creative input into the design of the prototype’s exterior paint scheme.
As well as the sightseeing flight for the winner and partner, the competition offers the runner-up a 1:32 model of a DA50 featuring their own design.
The third placegetter will receive a “high quality Diamond goodie bag”. Diamond is keeping the contents of the goodie bag close to its chest, but will have no excuses for skimping – it has plenty to choose from in its online Pilot Shop!
Diamond boasts that the DA50 offers the largest cabin size in a single-engine piston plane. The new development program with the CD-300 engine was unveiled at AERO Friedrichshafen 2017 and the company has flagged three variants with different seating and engine configurations.
The revamp was spurred by a change of ownership with the acquisition of the firm, still Austria-based, by Wanfeng Aviation Industry in December 2017. The firm offers a range of single and twin engine piston-driven general aviation aircraft.
The engine used in the prototype DA50 is in keeping with Diamond’s commitment to the use of jet-fuel piston engines, which it says offer better fuel economy, lower emissions and lower cost.
Diamond Aircraft said previously ground tests of the DA50 equipped with the 300hp CD-300 Jet-A1 engine began on March 15 2019. Then, on March 22 2019 the aircraft took off for its successful first flight. However, that aircraft did not have a retractable gear.
The company is aiming for certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) of the five-seat DA50 with retractable gear fitted with CD-300 engine in the northern summer of 2020.
Entries to the competition to design the DA50 prototype’s exterior paintwork will close on August 14 2019, before an evaluation period ending on September 1 and a decision later that month.
More information about the competition can be found on the Diamond Aircraft website.
VIDEO: A 2017 video that looks at the making of a Diamond Aircraft DA50 prototype from the manufacturer’s YouTube channel.