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Diamond DA20

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,


Flying Colors Precision Flight Team (DA20-A1-K100 Katana)
Role Flight training and personal use aircraft
Manufacturer Diamond Aircraft
Introduction 1992
Produced 1992-present
Unit cost $174,495 (base price)[1]
Developed from Diamond DV20
Variants Diamond DA40

1999 model DA20-C1 Eclipse
1999 model DA20-C1 Eclipse

DA20-A1 Katana
DA20-A1 Katana

DA20-C1 Eclipse instrument panel
DA20-C1 Eclipse instrument panel

Diamond DA20 with Diamond Engines Wankel
Diamond DA20 with Diamond Engines Wankel

The Diamond DA20 is a two-seat tricycle gear general aviation aircraft designed for flight training. In addition to its role as a civil and military training aircraft, it is also used for personal flying by pilot-owners.


The first DA20 was the Rotax 912 powered A1 Katana produced in Canada in 1994. It was the first Diamond aircraft available for sale in North America.

Production of the Continental IO-240-B3B powered C1 Evolution and Eclipse models began in 1998, also in Canada.

Production of the A1 Katana is complete but the DA20-C1 is still being constructed in 2007.


The DA20-A1 and C1 are both certificated under CAR 523 in Canada and under FAR 23 in the USA.

In 2004, Diamond received Chinese certification for the DA20. Both models also hold JAA certification, too.

Although the DA20 is available with instrumentation and avionics suitable for flight under instrument flight rules (IFR), its plastic airframe lacks lightning protection and thus does not qualify for IFR certification.

The DA20 is certified in the utility category, and it is permissible to intentionally spin it with flaps in the full up position.


The DA20 is intended for a similar role as the Cessna 150, but there are many differences between the two aircraft. The DA20 has a higher cruise speed and rate of climb, control sticks (as opposed to yokes), composite construction, a canopy, low wings, a single fuel tank, a T-tail, and a castering nosewheel. Performance is significantly increased by the liberal use of composites and tapered wingtips which reduces drag.

In November 2008 the company announced that it would be offering an Aspen Avionics glass cockpit primary flight display as an option on the DA20. Diamond indicated the Aspen PFD was easy to incorporate into the existing instrument panel design because it mounts in a standard round instrument hole.

All models have composite airframes constructed of glass- and carbon-fiber reinforced plastic.

Crew accommodation

The DA20 is equipped with a bubble canopy. Small windows on either side of the canopy can be opened on the ground and in flight to provide cockpit ventilation. This canopy design, however, lets in an above-average amount of sunlight into the cockpit, increasing the cockpit's initial temperature.

The DA20's seats are recumbent and are not adjustable, instead the rudder pedals are adjustable fore and aft to accommodate pilots of different height. The fixed seats provide better occupant crash protection.

The seats in the C1 variant have a less obtuse angle, but, like the A1, are not adjustable. Both models are available with cloth or leather seat coverings.


Because the nose wheel of the DA20 is not linked to the rudder pedals, turns while taxiing must be made with differential braking, with rudder steering becoming more effective as airspeed increases.

The DA-20 possesses a higher glide ratio than many of its competitors. The glide ratio of the DA20-C1 is 11:1 and the DA20-A1 is 14:1. For comparison, the Cessna 150, another two-seat trainer, has a glide ratio of 7:1. The DA20's high glide ratio can pose a challenge for students if a no-flap landing is necessary. This can be greatly lessened with a moderate forward slip.

The higher glide ratio is a significant advantage in the event of an engine failure as it allows the aircraft to reach a greater number of potential landing areas from the same altitude.


DV20 A-1 "Katana"
A development of the HK36R motorglider, powered by a 80 hp (60 kW) Rotax 912 and certified in 1993
DA20 A-1 "Katana"
Developed from the DV20. Powered by a 80 hp (60 kW) Rotax 912 and introduced in 1995
DA20-100 "Katana 100"
Factory refurbished and re-engined Katana for the European market. Powered by a 100 hp (75 kW) Rotax 912S. Introduced in 1999.
DA20 C-1 "Katana" and "Katana Eclipse"
Name used in marketing and some 1998 year model planes. The name "Katana" was actually painted on some planes. Powered by a 125 hp (93 kW) Continental IO-240 engine. In order to accommodate the extra 70 pounds of the IO-240, the Katana's battery was moved behind the baggage bay, to help move the empty cg aft, and the wing sweep has been changed from 1 degree aft to just 0.5 degrees back to shift the center of lift forward. Previous Katanas had simple hinged flaps — but at the higher maximum weight, more sophisticated slotted flaps were necessary to bring the stall speed to the JAR-VLA-specified 45 knots
DA20 C-1 "Evolution"
Stripped down C-1, intended for flight schools as a trainer. No rear windows. Powered by a 125 hp (93 kW) Continental IO-240-B engine
DA20 C-1 "Eclipse"
Better equipped C-1 for private use, with rear windows for better visibility. Powered by a 125 hp (93 kW) Continental IO-240-B engine Entered production in 1999.
DA20 C-1 "Falcon"
Military trainer version. Powered by a 125 hp (93 kW) Continental IO-240-B engine. Instruments moved in front of the right seat, where the student sits. This puts the stick in the students right hand and throttle in the left, similar to fighter aircraft. Also equipped with a smaller fuel tank. Some Embry-Riddle Falcons have been sold to private owners and flight schools after being fitted with standard instrument panels and fuel tanks.



Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University provided the Academy Flight Screening (AFS) program for the United States Air Force Academy in DA20-C1 "Falcons" which were specially ordered with slightly smaller fuel tanks to save weight and primary flight instruments on the right side of the aircraft. Embry-Riddle operated a fleet of DA20s at the Academy. The AFS program was discontinued in 2007.

Doss Aviation, after being awarded a contract for US Air Force Introductory Flight Screening (IFS) in Pueblo, CO, has ordered 42+ DA20s. This program provides screening for all US Air Force pilot candidates, Combat Systems Officer (CSO) candidates, and Weapons System Officer (WSO) candidates before their follow-on training, including Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Laughlin AFB, Vance AFB, NAS Whiting Field and Columbus AFB, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) at Sheppard AFB, Undergrate CSO/WSO Training (formerly UNT - now at Randolph AFB and Pensacola, FL). IFS is also taking over the Academy's AFS program in the next few years so that all Air Force pilots attend the same training.

Type Clubs

The Diamond family of aircraft is supported by two active aircraft type clubs, The Diamond Aviators Association and the Diamond Aircraft Owners Free Forum.

Specifications (DA20-C1)

Data from DA20 webpage

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Length: 7.16 m (23 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.87 m (35 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 2.18 m (7 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 11.61 m² (125 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 529 kg (1,166 lb)
  • Useful load: 271 kg in the USA and Canada; 221 kg elsewhere (597 lb / 487 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 800 kg in the USA and Canada; 750 kg elsewhere (1,764 lb / 1,653 lb)
  • Powerplant:Continental IO-240-B Fixed pitch Hoffman, Sesenich, 93 kW (125 hp)


External links

See also

Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.

Published in July 2009.

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