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Re: DA40NG

Post by TimS »

Minor note: Above I said the AE300 is from BMW. No idea why I said that.
The AE300 is based on the Mercedes Benz.

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Re: DA40NG

Post by H60 pilot »

The future of avgas will be a large discriminator for me. The lack of updates from the FAA on PAFI doesn't instill confidence in their test results. But Diamond could persuade this buyer a whole lot easier if they certified the AE330 for the NG. Better still, I'd like to see Diamond adopt the OM 654 as their core for Austro engines.

Re: DA40NG

Post by Boatguy54 »

Last Friday I flew the 40NG, here's my reaction:

- Tank arrangement does not facilitate visual inspection and it's not easy to "dip" the tanks to verify level.
- I could not get completely comfortable with the pedals. It was a very "glider like" seating arrangement requiring my knees way up to get my feet anywhere near comfortable on the pedals.
- Air conditioning is probably mandatory as we flew on a winter morning and it was still warm (my CFI wears a hat in the DA40's)

- Easy enough to just fill the tanks and reset the totalizer.
- Engine! Smooth, quiet, simple to control.
- Entire plane felt very tight and solid
- Light and responsive to the controls
- Great view!

I liked it! I'm thinking I'll switch to this plane for IFR instruction.
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Re: DA40NG

Post by gordsh »

I hope to fly a 40 NG soon. Apart from the factory I don't know of any place in Ontario, Canada that has one for rental or demo flights.

Re: DA40NG

Post by ZAV »

Had a chance to fly the DA40NG and thought I would share my thoughts.

External appearance:
--Looks great, of course, it was a new plane.
--Landing gear looks sturdy with a wider stance
--LED lights were cool/modern
--Upright winglets have a nice ramp appeal

Cabin and Avionics:
--The black avionics panel just looks more sleek and modern than the XLT. I don't know why the black panel makes that much of a difference but it sure does.
--Canopy closes very tightly. Not sure if this is just because it's a new plane with low use or a different design/locking mechanism/seal.
--Seats are more comfortable than XLT. Seat bottoms don't sit as low (more like bench seat instead of bucket seat) but well cushioned. Reclining back helps find a comfortable long-term position. Sit higher in the cabin. Can see over the panel more.
--Of course, the cabin layout was slightly different but very familiar compared to XLT
--G1000 NXi: Very Very responsive and fast. Same buttonology as G1000. Touchscreen would be a welcomed enhancement but the NXi a natural progression from G1000. VFR/IFR/Approach plates all load very quickly. Frequency identifiers helped quickly ID active frequency. HSI options allow for moving map/route displayed within the HSI circle. Nice to have that option turned on so the MFD can display an approach chart for example. Subtle font changes that are more modern. Menu animations more modern.
--Plane had ADSB In/Out: Traffic and weather integrated seamlessly into the NXi.

It was an IFR day so I only did one take-off, a little VFR maneuvering above the clouds, and an approach.
--As known, rotation speed was higher. We were at gross weight. Definitely had to "pull the nose up" to get off the ground. It did not float off the ground. Climb out was a comfortable 700fpm @ 90 knots (sea level density altitude) at gross weight. Continued climbing at 500fpm @ 107 knots at 5000ft. Was at 7000ft before I knew it. Leveled off and did some slow flight, stalls, maneuvering. All familiar compared to the XLT. Plane overall felt a little heavier on the controls but easy to fly. It seemed to need more rudder input at various phases compared to the Lycoming versions I've flown but nothing extreme. Stalls were the familiar non-event with plenty of notice.
--IFR approach. With the WAAS/SVT/Geo-reference approach plates, about as easy as they come. We flew RNAV in actual IMC with ILS jet traffic on our six. Flew the approach fast and was able to easily slow the plane, add landing flaps, and get the plane down.
--I only did the one landing and my mind was on landing so I'm not sure I was comparing my XLT vs NG landing experience at the time. The only thing I noticed was that the ground effect float was minimal. It stuck to the runway when the mains hit.

One word: SMOOTH. I've heard other's descriptions but experiencing it in person is something else when my only comparisons are gasoline piston planes.
--Starting was amazing. No three handed throttle, mixture, key dance. Complete equivalent to an automobile start. Turn the key and move on.
--I took a video of the interior of the plane at idle while sitting in the left seat and showed my family. They asked why the propeller was turning if the engine was off. Of course, the engine wasn't off. It was just that quiet.
--FADEC power control is simple. I'm used to the propeller and mixture controls but it was nice not having to worry about them.
--No cockpit vibration. I'll repeat. No vibration. Seem trivial, but the difference was noticeable. Even more noticeable when I got back in the Lycoming DA40 and flew home.


Great plane. Fun to fly. Familiar but different. I have read some interesting opinions on this forum about the DA40NG. The posts in this topic definitely gave me a negative pre-flight opinion of it. I thought we might not even get off the ground at max weight with this crappy engine and heavy plane.

Luckily, I had the chance to fly it. It flew quite well and more importantly it was a lot of fun flying it. I can't say I would get rid of a nicely equipped XLT for the NG. My opinion might change if Diamond Canada shows any progression the Lycoming DA4t, but at this point it would be almost impossible not to fly home an NG and leave the current version of the Lycoming DA40 in Canada.
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Re: DA40NG

Post by AndrewM »


My thoughts going into flying the NG were very much the same as yours... there seems so much negativity I thought it was going to be a piece of S*&!. I was really impressed, and your notes pretty much echo mine.
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Re: DA40NG

Post by Keith M »

Eight years ago, Diamond flew a DA40 NG demonstrator around Europe, trying to generate sales, and I was invited for a test flight. My first impression was, as others have said, that the engine was much smoother than the Thielert (Centurion) that I was used to. It was explained to me that this was due to a new 4-point engine mount, needed to support its extra weight. Its extra power compensated for that, so the experience of flying it was similar to my DA40 TDI. However, my concern then, as now, is that with an 11% higher stall speed, what would happen if everything went pear shaped, given that the energy to dissipate on landing increases as the square of velocity.
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Re: DA40NG

Post by Antoine »

Since I am one of the "negativity transmitters", let me clarify what I mean:
I fully agree that the Austro is a very smooth running engine ( I experienced that in a DA42-NG) and that the improvements to the "NG" aircraft are nice - even if they are mainly superficial.

My ONLY issue relates to what Keith said above: this aircraft is nice but NOT as nice as the one it is derived from.
Any modern car has an engine that is smoother than the IO-360, so one could sit on the ground enjoying a smooth engine.

This is about flying, safety, crash behavior.

And none of the posts above have addressed the sad reality: the biggest and most significant difference between the "old style" DA40-180 and the "New Generation" is that one does NOT spin when you stall it.
And to me this is the most significant crtiterion. Otherwise I would have bought a de-iced SR22 instead of my beloved DA40 (two of them). I don't want to waste everybody's time with my stories, but yes, I HAVE done stupid mistakes as a low time pilot and yes, the DA40-180 has saved my life.
If we are willing to accept that the hallmark safety features of the DA40-180 are sacrificed, why not go Cirrus?
A used SR22 with de-icing and parachute is a very tempting alternative.
Despite being long gone from the DA40 pilot group, I feel a lot of emotional connection to this aircraft that gave me 1000 hours of pure flying joy.
I strongly believe the DA40-180 is the plane a first time owner should pick for their first few hundred hours, engine vibration inclusive. btw - try an MT prop and dynamic balancing...
If DAI would make a factual analysis and give the CDI-155 engine the attention it now deserves I would certainly recommend this variant as the "even better" alternative. Best of both worlds...
But that's just me and I have respect for others' opinion.
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Re: DA40NG

Post by CFIDave »

Over the past 6 months I've had the experience of flight instructing and providing transition training in the DA40 NG (after having owned and instructed in the DA40-180 for years), and the NG doesn't have any bad habits -- it flies like a DA40!

I like to perform the same "parachute mode" demo in a DA40 NG (as I do in all Diamonds, including twins): I put the plane into a power-off stall (with the throttle back to idle) and hold the stick all the way back. With the stall horn blaring and the plane buffeting, the DA40 will descend in a wings-level attitude under complete control without any falling leaf, wing drop, or propensity to enter a spin. All you have to do to break the stall is pitch down -- adding power is not required.

I wish every person who criticizes the NG had the opportunity to fly one. I now prefer it to the Lycoming DA40.
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Re: DA40NG

Post by Thomas »

CFI Dave, what is the sinkrate in "parachute mode" and what is the apprx GPS GND speed.
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