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.
November 2020 - The Belgian Air Force is evaluating the Dart 550 basic trainer for possible purchase.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Developed ability to be used as a dedicated trainer for student pilots (typically under the supervision of an instructor).
Used in the aerial training role to cover basics of flight, general handling, take-off/landing actions, and related.
35.3 ft (10.75 m)
38.5 ft (11.75 m)
11.1 ft (3.38 m)
2,932 lb (1,330 kg)
5,071 lb (2,300 kg)
+2,138 lb (+970 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Diamond DART 450 production variant)
1 x Motor Sich (Ivchenko-Progress) AI-450S turboprop engine developing 450 to 495 horsepower and driving a five-bladed propeller at the nose.
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.
Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
The overall rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry.
Rating is out of a possible 100 points.
Relative Maximum Speed
This entry's maximum listed speed (289mph).
Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
Max Altitude Visualization
Aviation Era Span
Showcasing era cross-over of this aircraft design.
Unit Production (1)
This entry's total production compared against the most-produced military and civilian aircraft types in history (Ilyushin IL-2 and Cessna 172, respectively).
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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