The DA-40 from Diamond Aircraft Industries is a great plane with a solid reputation, which is why its demand has not ceased in its 25 years of production.
10 benefits of the DA-40 aircraft are:
- Passenger Capacity
- Easy to Fly
- Great Starter Plane
- In-flight Music
After extensively researching Diamond Aircraft Industries, I have gathered enough information to determine the benefits of owning a DA-40 aircraft. My research has indicated that the DA-40 is a world-class plane, but you want to make sure that the specs and performance capabilities of this aircraft are in line with your in-flight goals.
10 Benefits of the Diamond DA-40 Aircraft
When Austrian plane manufacturer, Diamond Aircraft Industries announced the DA-40, the initial response from the aviation community was not very enthusiastic. On paper, the specs of the plane did not seem very impressive and some of the physical characteristics felt like marketing strategies - opposed to essential or useful features.
However, after test-flying the plane, you will find that virtually every pilot falls in love with this single-engine aircraft. It ticks the boxes for so many aviators and it reminds all of us to truly appreciate flying. The bottom line is that the Diamond DA-40 is a pilot’s plane that puts focus on enhancing the in-flight experience for everyone on board.
It’s remarkable to think that the Diamond DA-40, commonly referred to as the DA-40 Star, is in its 25th year of production. After Diamond launched the aircraft in 1997, it was very well-received by the aviation community. The momentum of the DA-40 since its initial release has not halted and has, if anything, only increased over the years.
As Diamond Aircraft Industries continue to release upgraded and updated versions of the DA-40 Star, this fun single-engine plane continues to prove itself worthy of its success and popularity. If you are considering buying a Diamond DA-40 for your next plane, you should consider this aircraft's top 10 benefits when making a decision.
Before we dive into the specs and performance capabilities of the Diamond DA-40, if anything should sell you on this top-notch plane, it's the impeccable safety record. This is widely considered to be one of the safest planes that money can buy - with a minimal amount of fatalities and crashes compared to other similar aircraft of this class.
There are a lot of key characteristics that I value in an airplane, but safety is always at the top of my list. Over the years, Diamond Aviation Industries has built a stellar reputation for releasing some of the safest aircraft ever designed. The Diamond DA-40 is commonly referred to as the ‘The Safest Trainer’, as crashes with this plane are extremely rare.
Since the Diamond DA-40 was introduced to the market, there have only been around 51 crashes during its 25 years of production. This is an impressive figure given that DA-40’s competition such as the Cirrus SR22 has had a crash rating that is double this. Lastly, when a DA-40 does crash, the chances of a fire are next to none, as no Diamond aircraft has ever caught fire after a crash.
2. Passenger Capacity
The passenger capacity of light, single-engine aircraft can often be inadequate for a lot of plane owners. Getting from point A to point B while you travel in the sky is only half the fun if you don’t have someone to share the experience with.
That is why Diamond Aircraft Industries designed the DA-40 with a solid seating capacity of 4, which includes 1 pilot and 3 passengers. This enables you to bring friends and family on board as you embark on your joy rides - making flying a whole lot more fun.
However, the increased passenger capacity of the DA-40 also makes this a dynamic utility aircraft. If you need to fly out clients for meetings or have an out-of-state business to take care of, the DA-40 is a fantastic aircraft to keep in your hangar.
At first, the Plexiglas canopies that the Diamond DA-40 is designed with appeared to be a clever marketing strategy to get some easy sales. However, the canopy has actually become one of the DA-40’s best features, as it greatly increases visibility when you are in the sky.
With the seating position and canopy design, anyone in the pilot's seat has a spectacular view of the skyscape. To enhance the visibility and flying experience further, Diamond built the DA-40 with the wings positioned behind the cockpit, which gives you a great view of the ground.
Whether you are operating the DA-40 or simply one of the passengers on board, the visibility that you get in this aircraft is stunning. Diamond’s design for the DA-40 truly allows you to focus on the joy of flying.
If you want to get out of your backyard and fly to other parts of the country, then buying a plane with decent range capabilities is going to be a must. The Diamond DA-40 does not have the largest tank, but for a plane of its size, the range is solid.
Diamond Aircraft Industries has listed the normal range for the DA-40 at 675 nm, which comes out to roughly 775 miles. This is solid for traveling at an optimum speed while traveling and commuting. However, the range of the Diamond DA-40 is increased significantly if you travel at fuel-efficient speeds and push the tank closer to its limits. If you want to maximize the range of the DA-40, you can expect to reach distances of up to 940 nm - equal to 1,081 miles.
With that said, traveling out of state with a DA-40 is very realistic and straightforward. With just 2-3 fuel stops during your trip, the Diamond DA-40 can take you across the entire country, which makes it perfect for travel and utility flying.
Aviation is an expensive hobby to get into and there are so many additional costs that people need to consider before they buy a plane. With that said, the price tag attached to most single-engine aircraft is already more than what a lot of aspiring pilots can afford, which is why finding the right budget plane is crucial.
The Diamond DA-40 is by no means a cheap plane, but it is by no means the most expensive option on the market. This single-engine aircraft has a market value of $494,000 - putting it in the mid-range price category. With the current price of fuel and the DA-40’s reasonable maintenance requirements, this amounts to roughly $66,600 in variable costs - or $200 per hour of flight time.
If you are on a budget and do not want to opt for a brand new Diamond DA-40, you will be delighted to know that you can save yourself a considerable amount of money by buying this aircraft used. The DA-40 has been around since 1997 and there are plenty of options on the market for used models. Given that the specs of the DA-40 have been pretty stellar since day 1, there is really no shame in buying an older model.
Although the price of a used Diamond DA-40 can vary quite a bit, there are some solid options on the market selling for as little as $229,000 to $350,000. This is usually the price point that you will find for models made during the 2000s - with options from the late 90s potentially being even cheaper.
Diamond designed the DA-40 with an advanced G1000 NXi flight deck. The avionics of this aircraft is on point and pilots can choose visual approaches that provide vertical guidance based on a 3-degree glideslope.
Much like with all Garmin avionics, the G1000 NXi flight deck is state-of-the-art and makes flying incredibly intuitive. This increases the aircraft's performance and makes operating the DA-40 very user-friendly.
With that said, given how long the Diamond DA-40 has been in production, you will find older models may have previous-generation avionics built-in. Luckily, Garmin and Diamond have made upgrading the flight deck very easy and you can equip an older DA-40 with the latest tech if you felt inclined to do so. Upgrading to a newer Garmin flight deck costs around $29,000 depending on the avionics that you opt for, but this will ultimately increase the flight experience and the resale value of the aircraft.
Not every light, single-engine aircraft is equipped with an autopilot, which can make or break some people's decisions when considering plane options. The Diamond DA-40 was designed with a world-class GFC 700 Automatic Flight Control System, which makes flying this aircraft even more pleasant.
As soon as you feel like you get tired of operating the controls, just switch on the autopilot and let your DA-40 do all the work for you. With Garmin tech behind the GFC 700 Automatic Flight Control System, you can rest assured that you are in good hands.
8. Easy to Fly
Regardless of your piloting experience, having a plane in the hangar that is easy to fly makes aviation so much more enjoyable. The Diamond DA-40 is widely praised for its user-friendly controls, which make every aspect of flying straightforward and intuitive.
With advanced Garmin avionics combined with the feel of the stick, you can focus on the joy of flying instead of constantly having to think about the technical aspects of operating the aircraft.
The ability to engage the autopilot whenever you feel like you need a break takes away the pressure of needing to be tirelessly focused on controls. I also really enjoyed that the DA-40 is incredibly easy to land - with many pilots describing it as the most intuitive lander ever built.
9. Great Starter Plane
If you are new to flying and feel intimidated about choosing your first plane, you are not alone, as we have all been there. With so many options on the market, finding the right aircraft that suits your needs and flying style can be quite challenging.
When it comes to starter planes, I always like to prioritize aircraft that have intuitive controls, user-friendly avionics, and great safety ratings - with the Diamond DA-40 ticking every box. All intro pilots should put the DA-40 at the top of their lists as a primary contender, as there are few planes out there that are as easy and fun to fly.
10. In-Flight Music
If you are still not sold on the Diamond DA-40, the fantastic stereo system allows you to have in-flight music whenever you are in the sky.
The freedom to turn on your favorite music as you pilot the Diamond DA-40 goes a long way in enhancing your flying experience and it is just another feature that reaffirms this aircraft as a certified pilot’s plane. This should by no means be a key selling point for the Diamond DA-40, but it is a nice cherry on top to seal the deal for anyone who is on the fence.
About THE AUTHOR
After spending years watching every video I could find about flying, I finally scratched the itch and got my pilots license. Now I fly every chance I get, and share the information I learn, here.Read More About Joe Haygood