The Diamond DA42 Twin Star is a four seat, twin engine, propeller-driven airplane developed manufactured by Austrian company Diamond Aircraft Industries. It was Diamond’s first twin engine design, as well as the first new European twin-engine aircraft in its category to be developed in over 25 years. During 2004, the DA42 became the first diesel-powered fixed-wing aircraft to perform a non-stop crossing of the North Atlantic.
The Diamond DA42 Twin Star is twin-engined low-wing cantilever monoplane, commonly used as a general aviation aircraft for touring and training purposes. It is equipped with a retractable tricycle landing gear arrangement and uses a T-tail. The DA42 incorporates a combination of advanced features within the company’s first twin-engine design. The airframe is composed from composite materials, making extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced polymers throughout its structure; this construction provides the aircraft with a suitable passive safety level to conform with the established European Aviation Safety Agency(EASA) Part 21 rules, as well as relatively efficient aerodynamics and essentially unlimited airframe life. The carbon-fiber main wing spars possesses exceptional crashworthiness.
The DA42 typically accommodates four people, these being a pair of pilots sat in side-by-side seating along with two passengers seated behind each of the pilots.All of the seats have been designed for crashworthiness and are complete with automotive-style three-point seat belts; while the seats themselves are fixed in position, the position of the rudder-pedals is adjustable. The front pair of seats are accessed via a front-hinged canopy while a top-hinged door located on the left side provides access to the rear seats. The interior of the cabin is relatively spacious, an additional third row of seating can be installed so that a maximum of seven people can be accommodated; the seats can also be folded to allow for the carriage of bulky items. The pilots are housed under a sizable canopy which provides generous external visibility, save for the use of a large fixed sunscreen. Additionally, separate baggage compartments, which are accessible via external hatches, are contained within internal space in the aircraft’s nose.
Both the avionics and principal flight controls of the DA42 have been designed to be user-friendly and to reduce pilot workload. A Garmin G1000 glass cockpit serves as the centrepiece of the aircraft’s integrated digital avionics, using a pair of large flat-panel monitors in place of conventional instrumentation and gauges; immediately above these monitors is a horizontal row of standby instruments present as a fail-safe. The monitors display various information on the aircraft, along with navigational data and flight information; both screens can show identical basic information or be configured to flight data on the left monitor and navigation on the right. According to Flight International, the displays are easy to read while features such as the moving map display were considered to be “useful”. The DA42 is also outfitted with a sophisticated three-axis Garmin-built GFC 700 autopilot and GWX 70 weather radar.