Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fourth Time’s A Charm

In its fourth iteration, Diamond’s DA42-VI is a far better twin

Price is always a subjective judgment, but if quality construction and high-tech materials mean anything (they do), the DA42-VI deserves to dominate the twin-engine market. (Diamond had cornered 80% of twin sales before Thielert's bankruptcy.)

The fixed-wing Twin Star (sorry, Eurocopter) manifests quality control far beyond its price. The carbon-fiber construction is impeccable with all surfaces polished to a smooth, low drag finish. The DA42-VIs switches and controls operate with the glycerin smoothness of a well-oiled Glock, no less than you'd expect from an Austrian product. The airplane fits together with a precision that's almost uncanny, and workmanship is excellent.

Putting aside for the moment the debate as to whether twins are any safer than singles (statistics don't suggest they are), at least, a twin with one engine caged offers a proficient pilot the possibility of flying to a landing site more distant than whatever happens to be directly beneath him. One advantage of redundant power is undeniable. If one engine fails, you can always start the other one.

At the end of any flight evaluation, those of us lucky enough to write pilot reports on new aircraft have to ask if we'd buy the airplane in question and add it to the two dozen or so others we keep in our huge, blimp-sized dream hangar. I would.

Diamond's Eastern Dominion

John Armstrong is the president and flying experience counselor of Dominion Aircraft, the Diamond regional distributor center for the mid-Atlantic region. Armstrong is one of those folks who helps dispel the sometimes myth of the dis­in­terested aircraft salesman. Granted movie star looks, a dynamic person­ality and a knowledge of his products that far transcends brochures, Armstrong has a strong commitment to customer service. He understands his market and his customers intensely, and he's usually one step ahead of them on any question of factory support.

America's first DA42-VI owner, Dave Passmore, says, "John is one of the good guys."

For more information on the Diamond Experience, contact John Armstrong at (406)-FLY1NOW or visit

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