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The Diamond DA42 Twin Star is a four seater with twin diesels and a composite airframe.
The DA42 engines are based on Daimler Mercedes TDI automotive engines. They're modified with propeller reduction drives and redundant hardware specific to aeronautical use. They can operate on diesel fuel, but Thielert elected to license the engines for jet fuel only. In the United States, Jet-A or Jet-A1 is used.
A large number of DA42s are used in flight training where they are about 30% to 40% more fuel efficient than the Lycoming powered Piper PA-44 Seminole with comparable cruise speeds and payloads.
In late 2007, Diamond aircraft announced it would begin building and installing its own diesel, through a subsidiary, Austro Engine GmbH, and with other partners that included Mercedes Benz Technologies.
The future use of Thielert engines on the DA42 came into question due to Thielert filing for insolvency in April 2008.
Production of the DA42 was halted in 2008 due to a lack of engines. In March 2009 Diamond achieved EASA certification for the Austro Engine AE 300 and returned the DA42 to production as the DA42 NG. The new engine produces 20% more power, while giving better fuel economy, gross weight and overall performance than was possible with the Thielert engines.
Production aircraft built in Austria and Canada
Special Mission variant built in Austria, modification from standard DA42 and new production.
Lycoming IO-360 equipped version that will use 100LL fuel instead of Jet-A. Customer deliveries are forecast for early 2009 with an initial price of USD$599,500. This model is intended for the North American flight training market.
Austro Engine AE 300 equipped version. EASA certified March 2009; FAA certified April 2010.
UK Ministry of Defence specified DA42 MPP variant for surveillance systems project, converted by DO Systems. Two ordered in June 2008.
Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd developed UAV version of the DA42, designated as the Aeronautics Defense Dominator and first flown in July 2009. Has an endurance of 28 hours with a payload and speed of 75-190 knots (140-354 km/h) to a maximum altitude of.