More robust, Diamond or Cessna?

Any DA40 related topics

Moderators: Rick, Lance Murray

User avatar
tomb
2 Diamonds Member
2 Diamonds Member
FIRST NAME: tomb
Aircraft: OTHER
Registration: N289HF
Airport: TE01

Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:01 am
Been thanked: 1 time

More robust, Diamond or Cessna?

Post by tomb »

Between the DA-40 and a Cessna 172/182, which would you consider better able to operate under normal conditions for a longer service life with less maintenance? I realize it's difficult to not consider the fact they are different aircraft but in terms of a long service life at a lower cost, which do you believe would best accomplish this mission?

Thanks,

Tom
User avatar
Gary
5 Diamonds Member
5 Diamonds Member
FIRST NAME: Gary
Aircraft: DA40
Registration: N286DS
Airport: KSAW

Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:09 am
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 9 times

Re: More robust, Diamond or Cessna?

Post by Gary »

The Cessna's have a much longer track record and any A&P can work on them. If maintenance is the primary issue I would go with Cessna.
User avatar
Kai
5 Diamonds Member
5 Diamonds Member
FIRST NAME: Kai
Aircraft: DA40F
Registration: XXXX
Airport: VTCY

Posts: 1352
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:14 pm
Has thanked: 123 times
Been thanked: 94 times

Re: More robust, Diamond or Cessna?

Post by Kai »

For a Cessna it is always easier to get spare parts and, of course, cheaper. Really, if you are looking at a cheaper and hassle-free plane: Cessna. If you want a modern, sexy, slick and even safe plane with low wing configuration, faster cruise and lower fuel flows and greatest views from the cockpit: Diamond.

Maybe you can specify "normal circumstances"... I guess this refers to an owner-operated plane?
DA40F - N405FP/HS-KAI (sold)
User avatar
Gary
5 Diamonds Member
5 Diamonds Member
FIRST NAME: Gary
Aircraft: DA40
Registration: N286DS
Airport: KSAW

Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:09 am
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 9 times

Re: More robust, Diamond or Cessna?

Post by Gary »

My DA40 is at the Diamond Service Center Midwest Avtech in Peru Illinois for the 1000 hour inspection and RSB for the firewall seal. I was emailed the final cost a few days ago and it is not pretty. I hope it is a mistake. If the preliminary cost is accurate, it would be a strong argument not to get a Diamond. More details later when I get the itemized bill. It might be the shop more than the airplane. We will see.
User avatar
tomb
2 Diamonds Member
2 Diamonds Member
FIRST NAME: tomb
Aircraft: OTHER
Registration: N289HF
Airport: TE01

Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:01 am
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: More robust, Diamond or Cessna? Your forever airplane!

Post by tomb »

I should have been a little more mission specific with my question. Although I hesitate to call this a retirement aircraft, if you were going to buy your last, keep forever, fly all over the USA to just see what is over the horizon airplane, would it be a Cessna or Diamond? You have plenty of time to get wherever you want to go, but continuing upkeep costs will be important. You want your heirs to have to sell the plane after the services are over. If you ding something in Blowfly, Idaho you would like to be able to get fixed and be on your way.

Kathy and I have owned several aircraft over the years including a DA-40 and liked every one of them. Some were like owning a racehorse, very exciting but very expensive as well. Probably not the best forever airplane to own. What would be your "forever" airplane?

Any thoughts.

Tom
User avatar
Gary
5 Diamonds Member
5 Diamonds Member
FIRST NAME: Gary
Aircraft: DA40
Registration: N286DS
Airport: KSAW

Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:09 am
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 9 times

Re: More robust, Diamond or Cessna?

Post by Gary »

It depends on how much you are willing to spend on maintenance. The Cessna's, have a well established track record going back decades, the DA40 for only about 10 years. What if your DA40 gets that nasty wing root corrosion? It is possible that all DA40s will get it eventually. There will probably be other issues previously undiscovered down the road. This is a risk of a relatively new composite design. If you can afford the higher maintenance and unexpected maintenance issues the DA40 is a much more fun airplane. I will probably keep mine until I can no longer fly assuming I will still be able to afford it after I retire. Another factor to consider is fuel efficiency where the DA40 excels. If fuel costs rise to $8/gal or even higher the savings in fuel may be able to offset higher maintenance costs.
User avatar
Steve
5 Diamonds Member
5 Diamonds Member
FIRST NAME: Steve
Aircraft: DA40
Registration: N432SC
Airport: 1T7

Posts: 1380
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:23 am
Has thanked: 42 times
Been thanked: 232 times

Re: More robust, Diamond or Cessna? Your forever airplane!

Post by Steve »

tomb wrote:I should have been a little more mission specific with my question. Although I hesitate to call this a retirement aircraft, if you were going to buy your last, keep forever, fly all over the USA to just see what is over the horizon airplane, would it be a Cessna or Diamond? You have plenty of time to get wherever you want to go, but continuing upkeep costs will be important. You want your heirs to have to sell the plane after the services are over. If you ding something in Blowfly, Idaho you would like to be able to get fixed and be on your way.

Kathy and I have owned several aircraft over the years including a DA-40 and liked every one of them. Some were like owning a racehorse, very exciting but very expensive as well. Probably not the best forever airplane to own. What would be your "forever" airplane?

Any thoughts.

Tom
Tom: My Star is my last, keep forever aircraft. I have owned it just shy of ten years, so far. Maintenance costs for my hangared airframe are quite reasonable, but I do owner-assisted annuals and maintenance. So far, other than the infrequent Service Bulletin, maintenance effort has been like the Maytag repairman. I have replaced a starter, added a CO monitor and HID landing lights. This fall I will install a 406 MHz ELT. That's it.

If you have the wrong kind of breakdown in the boonies (which can happen) you might be AOG longer with the Star, no question. But, if you are retired, schedule will be less of an issue.

I hope to pass my Star on to my son(s), so that they can continue to enjoy it long after I lose my medical.

Steve
User avatar
tomb
2 Diamonds Member
2 Diamonds Member
FIRST NAME: tomb
Aircraft: OTHER
Registration: N289HF
Airport: TE01

Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:01 am
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: More robust, Diamond or Cessna?

Post by tomb »

Well put Steve and that is the type of input I was hoping for. Any other thoughts from anyone?

P.S. My sincere apologies to all the fine folks in Blowfly, Idaho. I know yours is a great town and I am sure I mixed it up with a much less desirable place in which to experience a breakdown.

Tom
User avatar
jd4727
2 Diamonds Member
2 Diamonds Member
FIRST NAME: john
Aircraft: DA40
Registration: N727MZ
Airport: KBOI

Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:35 am
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: More robust, Diamond or Cessna?

Post by jd4727 »

Ok Tom....I just have to defend Blowfly, Idaho... my DA-40 is based in Boise, Idaho. It has broken down in Legrande, Oregon which I would imagine is about he same size as Blowfly and Hailey, Idaho... which is a little larger than Blowfly with lots of corporate iron on the tarmac.

I have never had any problem finding a technician who would take on broke stuff in the smaller parts of the Western US.... with all the Cirrus and Cessna/Columbia's out there now composite doesn't seem to scare folks off...parts are a bigger issue. I would suggest carrying a spare innertube for your DA-40 at all times... I do. Seems the innertubes on the tires for these planes are not something stocked in smaller towns. My plane spent two days waiting for one in Legrande a couple of years ago. I went home via rental car.

For this part of the world my forever plane would be that C-182, more specifically a turbo C-182... parts are easier to source/plentiful, the manufacturer seems to be easier to work with, dealers are plentiful and the plane accomplishes multiple missions, particularly if you want to land on something other than pavement regularly... which clearly is not everyone's goal.

I tend to agree with one poster on the cost of the 1,000 hour inspection and the rudder cable replacement interval which I am still smarting from...other than that my maintenance has been similiar to what I would guess one would expect from a C-172 or C-182. I suspect many of us over the years will be finding out what the long term cost implications of maintaining composite versus metal planes will be. If the aircraft is well designed and well assembled I can't really imagine that AD issues and such should be much different than a well designed and well assembled metal airplane. Many Cessna's have had AD's and recurring inspections to deal with over the years and labor is about the same cost whether it's composite or metal they are wrenching on.

Time will tell.... I do know this.... my DA-40 is prettier and funner to fly than a C-182... of course that's a totally objective opinion right?
User avatar
Robin
4 Diamonds Member
4 Diamonds Member
FIRST NAME: Robin
Aircraft: DA40
Registration: VH-JRZ
Airport: YMPC POINT COOK, MELBOURNE

Posts: 456
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:28 am
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 11 times

Re: More robust, Diamond or Cessna?

Post by Robin »

Hello

Interesting discussion. I have been having some thoughts along the Cessna 182 T line as well. I have now had 2 frustrating maintenance issues that seem to have taken a long time to resolve. Fuel tank probe and the rear door hinges. This is in a new aircraft with 105.6 hours on the engine. To me this is very disappointing.

I also had prop damage, it took 5 weeks to get a new prop to Australia.

If I had a Cessna 182, with the enormous fleet of Cessnas down under, I suspect that any similiar issues would be resolved a lot faster. I could have gotten a prop probably within a couple of days.

Having said that I get 135 to 140K TAS at 36 litres/hour, whereas my mate with his C 182T does 145K TAS at 50 litres an hour. However fuel is relatively cheap here.

I am hoping that my future Diamond DA 40 experiences are more fulfilling rather than frustrating.

Cheers

Robin
Robin
DA-40XLS 40.1078
VH-JRZ, Australia
Post Reply