By Karen Di Piazza
On March 13, Canada-based Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc. reported it switched the D-Jet’s Williams FJ33-4A-15 turbofan engine for the new, higher-thrust FJ33-4A-19.
Heike Larson, Diamond’s vice president of sales and marking, said that although the FJ33-19 will have a 1,900-pound nominal thrust versus the current 1,564, that feature won’t be available right away.
“Diamond will offer an upgrade path option for the higher thrust,” she said. “The D-Jet will be delivered meeting existing or exceeding current specifications. We haven’t released pricing for the upgrade path.”
Heike said it’s possible that the D-Jet’s nautical-mile range would increase with the 1,900-lb upgrade. However, she said the company isn’t releasing new nautical-mile specifications at this time.
Peter Maurer, president of Diamond Aircraft, said the FJ33-19 is the perfect match for the D-Jet and that initial deliveries of the aircraft would now be in the second quarter of 2009. The engine swap on the five-place D-Jet pushes aircraft deliveries back a year.
“We’re confident this is the right choice and in the interest of all D-Jet customers, as it ensures one configuration and maximum resale value for all delivered aircraft,” Maurer said.
According to Diamond, the larger Williams engine provides technological advances that result in better bleed air handling and improved fuel consumption.
“The FJ33-19 is the very latest in turbofan engine technology, offering unique features never before available on a smaller turbofan engine,” said Matt Huff, vice president of business development at Williams International. “Every D-Jet customer will benefit from technological advances, such as the built-in pre-cooler and new compressor technology.”
Maurer said Diamond would deliver the FJ33-19-equipped aircraft to current position holders at the contracted price, but the company will announce a price increase for future orders soon.
As of March 24, Diamond said it had more than 300 firm orders for the D-Jet. The aircraft was priced at $1.38 million based on 2006’s list price. The jet’s maiden flight was in April 2006; it will be certified with a maximum flight ceiling of 25,000 feet.
For more information, visit [http://www.diamondaircraft.com].