Diamond’s new DA40 electric plane can be charged quickly like a Tesla – Robb Report
Diamond Aircraft’s eDA40 is the result of years of experimentation and testing of its hybrid and pure electric systems. They are now ready to move forward with an electrified version of their DA40, an already certified single-engine trainer. The particularity of the eDA40 is simple but practical: it plugs into DC fast charging systems.
The charging device is supplied by Electric Power Systems, which develops certified systems for aerospace, defense, automotive, marine, making the eDA40 the first FAA Part 23 certified electric aircraft and the European Aviation Safety Agency with such a charging option, according to the company. That doesn’t mean you can land in your nearest big-box store parking lot and plug into one of the automatic chargers. But in theory, you could.
It won’t be a long stop. Diamond, which is headquartered in Austria with outposts in Canada and China, also says the final version of the eDA40 will recharge in around 20 minutes and offer up to 90 minutes of flight time thanks to a Safran Engineus 100 air-cooled electric motor with an integrated controller. which creates a maximum of 130 kW.
Inside the eDA40 there are four seats with adjustable pilot seat backs and lumbar support, electrically adjustable rudder pedals and electric air conditioning. The all-glass cockpit uses Garmin’s G1000 NXi flight deck and offers the optional GFC700 automatic flight control system for safety and ease of flight, while the all-composite airframe acts as a roll cage in case accident.
The company has several firsts to its credit, including the world’s first aircraft with a series hybrid electric drive system, in 2011; a commercial version of the series hybrid electric drives two years later and, in 2018, the world’s first hybrid-electric multimotor.
Flight testing for eDA40 is scheduled to take place in the second quarter of 2022 with certification coming in 2024. Look for it in the sky, but don’t be shocked if it shows up in the Walmart parking lot.