7 March 2023
Diamond Aircraft has a launch customer for its all-electric version of the DA40 – and it’s no other than Lufthansa Aviation Training.
The pair have signed a Letter of Intent to jointly explore and develop opportunities for a more sustainable flight training. The cooperation includes testing of the all-electric eDA40 in a training environment, and the intention to buy an eDA40 to supplement the current DA40 NG fleet.
Lufthansa Group says it has a goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050 and cutting its net carbon emissions in half by 2030 compared to 2019 by continuously implementing a wide range of innovative measures.
“We have enjoyed a long and trusting partnership with Diamond Aircraft,” said Matthias Spohr, CEO Lufthansa Aviation Training.
“Diamond Aircraft’s fuel-efficient DA40 and DA42 models are already operating very successfully at our flight schools in Rostock, Germany and Grenchen, Switzerland.
“We are now jointly opening a groundbreaking chapter in the topic of sustainability. The testing of the all-electric eDA40 is an important step towards future pilot training in an even more environmentally friendly manner.”
The eDA40 will be tested at LAT’s Switzerland base in Grenchen from the end of this year and into 2024. Results will help to further develop the e-aircraft for flight training and to explore options for a suitable operation of a mixed training fleet consisting of the eDA40 and the conventional AUSTRO jet-fuel powered DA40 NG.
“We are excited and honored to announce renowned Lufthansa Aviation Training as our launch customer for our all-electric eDA40 and as a strong partner for an important and trendsetting collaboration for a better tomorrow,” said Liqun (Frank) Zhang, CEO Diamond Aircraft Austria.
Diamond Aircraft announced the eDA40 in October 2021 in response to the growing demands for all-electric training aircraft solutions and in line with its sustainability approach.
The eDA40, a derivative of the existing and certified DA40 platform, will be the first EASA/FAA Part 23 certified electric airplane with DC fast charging, capable of turning around a depleted aircraft in under 20 minutes.
The aircraft will feature the latest Garmin G1000 NXi glass cockpit with several avionics add-ons, Safran’s ENGINeUSTM 100 electric smart motor and Electric Power Systems’ EPiC battery technology.
Total flight time is expected to be up to 90 minutes as the battery technology evolve. The eDA40 is said to reduce operating costs by up to 40% compared to traditional piston aircraft.