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Diamond DA42 Twin Star

Twin-Engine Light Utility Aircraft

Diamond DA42 Twin Star

Twin-Engine Light Utility Aircraft


Hundreds of the Austrian-originated Diamond DA42 twins have been produced since service introduction in 2004.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Austria
YEAR: 2004
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Diamond Aircraft Industries - Austria
OPERATORS: Argentina; Ghana; Jamaica; Niger; Russia; Switzerland; Thailand; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Kingdom; Venezuela

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Diamond DA42 Twin Star model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 28.05 feet (8.55 meters)
WIDTH: 44.03 feet (13.42 meters)
HEIGHT: 8.20 feet (2.5 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 2,756 pounds (1,250 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 3,748 pounds (1,700 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Austro turbocharged diesel engines developing 168 horsepower each and driving three-bladed propeller units.
SPEED (MAX): 221 miles-per-hour (355 kilometers-per-hour; 192 knots)
RANGE: 1,056 miles (1,700 kilometers; 918 nautical miles)
CEILING: 18,045 feet (5,500 meters; 3.42 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 1,280 feet-per-minute (390 meters-per-minute)



Series Model Variants
• DA42 - Base Production Model
• DA42-VI - Improved DA42 production model of 2012; additional streamlining for increased operating speeds.
• DA42M - Special mission platform
• DA42 L360 - Fitted with Lycoming IO-360 engine of 180 horsepower; flight training variant.
• DA42NG - Fitted with Austro Engine AE300 series engine of 170 horsepower; model of 2009.
• DA42MPP - Multi-Purpose Platform variant; manned or unmanned.
• Dominator II - UAV variant of the DA42 modified by Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd of Israel; first flown in 2009.
• Dominator XP - Unmanned over-land / maritime ISR patroller drone.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Diamond DA42 Twin Star Twin-Engine Light Utility Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 8/24/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The DA42 "Twin Star" is a lightweight, twin-engined utility-minded VIP passenger hauler and flight trainer aircraft designed, developed and produced by Diamond Aircraft Industries of Austria. A first-flight in prototype form was recorded on December 9th, 2002 and the design entered formal service operations during 2004. It remains in production (since 2002) with over 600 units completed. The DA42 became the company's first entry into the multi-engine aircraft market and succeeded the single-engined DA40 model of 1997. European certification followed in April of 2004 and U.S. certification was granted in 2005.

The aircraft utilizes a robust, easy-to-maintain carbon composite airframe as well as sleek aerodynamics throughout for both a weight-savings measure and to promote air flow efficiency - resulting in higher performance for a product of this class. The nose section is flat and wide and the overall fuselage shaping incorporates noticeable tapering aft of the cabin section. The tail unit showcases extensions from the vertical rudder at both its ventral and dorsal lines offering greater surface area without much added drag. The tail unit is capped by split horizontal planes in a proven Multhopp T-style arrangement. The wing mainplanes are set low against the sides of the fuselage and have upturned "winglets" at their tips (another fuel efficiency measure). Each engine nacelle is tightly cowled, streamlined, and integrated into the lines of each wing mainplane. A typical tricycle wheeled undercarriage is utilized for ground-running (nose leg and two main legs, all retractable).

Its Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) is 4,407lb while the Maximum Zero Fuel Weight (MZFW) is listed at 4,045lb. Standard empty weight is 3,109lb. Dimensions include a running length of 28.1 feet, a wingspan of 44.6 feet, and a height of 8.2 feet.

The cockpit takes a panoramic approach when providing the pilot and occupants with the best possible vision. Window spaces are large and elegantly curved for maximum viewing over the nose and wings of the airframe. Entry-exit into the aircraft is accomplished by a forward-hinged swinging canopy door and upward-opening large rear access panels. The cabin contains folding seats and luggage storage. There is additional storage to be found at the nose section as well. Cabin finishes can be customized to suit the customer and his/her clientele. The cockpit carries a Garmin G1000 series avionics fit with 3-axis GFC7000 Automated Flight Control System. There is seating for four (2x2) including the pilot (three passengers can be carried). In many respects, the DA42 is a "luxury car for the sky".

Initial models were powered by Thielert TAE 125-01 "Centurion" diesel-fueled engines but financial issues with the engine-maker forced Diamond to select the Austro AR300 line for 2009 (DA42 production was actually suspended back in July 2008 because of the Thielert issue). As such, power to newer models is from 2 x Austro AE300 turbocharged jet-fueled piston engines driving three-bladed MT hydraulic constant speed, low noise propeller units in conventional puller fashion. A single throttle control lever operates power to both engine fits for added operator simplicity. Each unit is also digitally controlled with single-switch feathering as needed (FADEC arrangement). Fuel capacity reaches 79.4 USG. Performance specs include a maximum speed of 221 miles per hour, a range out to 1,052 miles, and a service ceiling up to 18,000 feet. Rate-of-climb is reported at 1,280 feet-per-minute.

Optional components and systems for the DA42 include an electric air conditioner, ice protection system, and double bubble canopy. The cockpit can be expanded through various additions all its own including the Avidyne TAS 605 traffic advisory system, the Garmin GDL69A satlink-XM weather and radio fit, and the Garmin Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT) Unit.

While the DA42 series has found its way into many flight training schools and special service divisions, it has also found favor with a select few military operators worldwide. This includes the Argentine Army, the Ghana Air Force, the Jamaican Defence Force, the Niger Air Force, Russian Federal Security Services, the Swiss military, the Royal Thai Air Force, the Turkmen Air Force, Ukrainian Border Guard Services, the British Royal Air Force, and the Venezuelan Air Force as of this writing (2018).

There are few variants in the DA42 line beyond the original DA42. The DA42M is marked as a "special mission" platform while the DA42NG fits the AE 300 series engine of 170 horsepower (each unit). The DA42 L360 flies with Lycoming IO-360 engines of 180 horsepower each and these are fueled by 100LL fuel instead of the typical Jet-A1. The DA42MPP is a multi-purpose design outfitted with surveillance and mapping equipment for the special services and military sectors. The DA42 MPP "Centaur OPA" is the DA42 modified by Aurora Flight Sciences to operate either manned or unmanned. The DA-42-VI is an improved form of the DA42 and brought online in March of 2012. Much care has been taken to streamline the original offering to help increase cruising speeds and performance.

The Aeronautics Defense "Dominator" is an offshoot of the DA42 and is a modified military and special services Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) platform developed by Israeli industry. This entry is detailed elsewhere on this site.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (221mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Diamond DA42 Twin Star's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.