Diamond Aircraft is celebrating the 20th anniversary of their DA40 four-seater, marking the occasion with the delivery of the 400th Austrian-built airframe.
Innovative for its day, the DA40 prototype first flew in 1999, with certification for the avgas Lycoming-engined DA40-180 coming at the end of 2000. Production started at Diamond Aircraft's plant in Canada initially.
The maiden flight of the jet-fuel powered DA40 TDI took place in Austria in 2001, with certification completed the following year. This marked a huge milestone for Diamond and general aviation world-wide. It was the world’s first serial single-engine aircraft powered by efficient common-rail diesel technology.
In 2009, the company began testing the DA40 with a jet-fuel 168-hp Austro Engine (a sister company of Diamond). The resulting aircraft, the DA40NG was certified in 2010.
Today, the Chinese-owned Diamond Aircraft offers the DA40 in two versions: the DA40 NG with 168hp Austro Engine Jet-A1 engine and the DA40 XLT with a 180-hp Lycoming avgas engine.
In 2013-16, the DA40 was the second most delivered four-seat single in the world, behind the Cessna C172, a position it maintained until the resurgent Piper Archer moved back into that slot. Since 2013, Diamond has delivered an average of 78 airframes per year, but in 2018 slipped into fourth place behind the Cirrus SR20 when only 45 aircraft were sold for the year.