Powered by a Ukrainian turboprop, the Austrian-originated Diamond Dart 450 intends to make a splash in the military basic trainer market before the end of the decade.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from official Diamond Aircraft marketing materials.
Before airmen can graduate to flying jet-powered aircraft types, they must complete time in basic trainers. As such, there remains a lucrative market for such aircraft and many concerns are always vying for the top spot in various air services (as well as flight schools and private buyers) around the world. For Austrian-based Diamond Aircraft, years of design and development work have yielded a viable entry into the field in the DART 450 (DART = "Diamond Aircraft Reconnaissance Trainer").
The DART 450 is of conventional arrangement as military basic trainers go. The engine is seated at front with the cockpit over midships and a single-vertical tail fin in play. The wing mainplanes are set slightly ahead of midships and are of straight configuration with clipped tips. The crew is seated in tandem under a lightly-framed canopy allowing for excellent vision around the aircraft. Both positions are provided an ejection seat. The engine, of Ukrainian origin, drives a five- bladed propeller unit at the nose. The undercarriage wheeled and wholly retractable. Construction of the aircraft is largely composite.
As finalized, the DART 450 exhibits a length of 35.2 feet, a wingspan of 38.5 feet and a height of 11 feet. Empty weight is 2,935lb with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 5,070lb. Power is from an Ivchenki-Progress Motor Sich AI-450S turboprop engine pushing the aircraft to speeds of 265 miles per hour (288mph maximum), a service ceiling up to 23,000 feet and a rate-of-climb nearing 3,000 feet-per-minute. Endurance is over eight hours.
The DART 450 held its first-flight on May 17th, 2016 and will be a featured exhibit at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The product is targeting both military and civilian markets.
May 2018 - It was announced that Diamond Aircraft has now flown the DART 550 version of its new aircraft. This model is powered by a single General Electric H75-100 turboprop engine of 550 horsepower.
May 2018 - The Diamond Dart 550 aerobatic trainer variant achieved a first-flight.
July 2018 - The Dart DA42MPP, DA42-VI, and Dart 550 were all debuted publicly for the first time at Farnborough 2018.
June 2019 - The Diamond Dart 550 was showcased at Paris Air Show 2019.
[ 1 Units ] : Diamond Aircraft (Diamond Group) - Austria / Canada; Wanfeng Aviation - China
Austria (possible); Ukraine (possible)
- Close-Air Support (CAS)
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
- Basic Training
35.27 ft (10.75 m)
38.55 ft (11.75 m)
11.09 ft (3.38 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Diamond DART 450 production model)
2,932 lb (1,330 kg)
5,071 lb (2,300 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Diamond DART 450 production model)
1 x Motor Sich (Ivchenko-Progress) AI-450S turboprop engine developing 450 to 495 horsepower and driving a five-bladed propeller at the nose.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Diamond DART 450 production model)
289 mph (465 kph; 251 kts)
22,999 feet (7,010 m; 4.36 miles)
3,000 ft/min (914 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Diamond DART 450 production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Diamond DART 450 production model)
DART 450 - Base Series Designation
DART 550 - Variant fitting General Electric H75-100 turboprop engine of 550 horsepower; Garmin G3000 avionics; MB Mk.16 ejection seats; first-flown in May 2018.
TA-20 - Military basic trainer form, carrying local avionics, being offered to the Chinese Air Force.
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