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Diamond DA-40 with G-1000 pirep



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 17th 04, 01:42 AM
C J Campbell
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Default Diamond DA-40 with G-1000 pirep

I got a demo flight in a Diamond DA-40 equipped with the Garmin G-1000 glass
cockpit this morning. We departed IFR from Tacoma Narrows and flew west for
some maneuvers. This plane was the second one out of the factory with the
G-1000. I had a difficult time maintaining my altitude; the altitude and
airspeed tapes just didn't seem to be in the right place for my scan. A
little practice would be necessary to get proficient. I also had a hard time
with the 'ball.' It is a little trapezoid on the display and I don't think
it is prominent enough. Again, just something to get used to, but my trouble
with controlling the plane gave me a nice case of the leans the whole time I
climbed up through the layer. I was deliberately avoiding using the backup
gauges, even though they are nicely placed at the top center of the panel.

The panel was fairly easy to learn. The menus and knobs are classic Garmin.
Anyone familiar with the 430 or 530 would feel right at home with it. I did
have trouble finding volume control knobs at first. The audio outputs are
wired to provide power for Sennheiser ANR headsets, but I understand you can
get an adapter for other brands. Although it was very bright and sunny above
the cloud layer the panel was bright and easy to read. The panel is a little
dimmer when the engine is not running.

With the avionics master off you still have the full panel and your COM 1
radio, so these are on even during engine start. There was no apparent lag
between a change in attitude of the airplane and the display. Engine
instruments are displayed on the right panel along with a high quality
moving map. Other aircraft were displayed as diamonds on the right panel. If
you lose the left panel then the right panel automatically displays your
attitude instruments. If you lose the right panel the then the left panel
automatically displays your engine instruments. If you lose your alternator
the panels can be put into 'essential bus' mode, which gives them 45 minutes
of life. If you lose that, then you have a lithium battery that gives you an
hour and a half for your backup electric attitude indicator and a single
cockpit light. The instructor in me says BWAHAHAHA! I can have fun with
this! Partial panel half a dozen different ways! You can even give the
instructor a panel and turn off the panel for the student. All the circuit
breakers can be pulled and they are all over on the instructor's side. Take
away his moving map if you think he is too dependent on it. Lots of fun
stuff. Unfortunately the magnetic compass is over on the instructor's side,
too.

Visibility out of the cockpit was very good. The pilots sit forward of the
wing and the cowling is very low. You can see both above and below you.
Getting in and out of the cockpit is like climbing in and out of a Grumman,
but easier because of abundant handholds that were actually built for the
purpose (what a concept). The DA-40 is not a rare airplane, but for those
who have not flown it I would compare handling to a Cessna 172, but
performance close to a 182. Steep turns were easy, though I tended to pull
up on the nose a little too much because the sight picture over the cowling
was so different. Stalls were also easy. The buffet is very distinct and
impossible to ignore, which is a good thing because the pilot might not know
otherwise that the airplane is stalled. You still have complete aileron
control, but you have a rate of descent of about 650 fpm. There is no
distinct break or bobbing. It just stops flying and descends straight down
out of the sky in whatever attitude you stalled. I think it would be very
difficult to get one of these things to enter a spin; perhaps a skid with
bottom rudder with a high angle of attack. I am told that it takes a lot of
rudder to kick it into a spin, but the only way you can spin one legally is
to get one of the factory reps to demonstrate it before they put the
certification sticker in it (while it is still legally an experimental).

All right, back to IFR. Setting up the ILS was simple. The Garmin loaded the
localizer frequency into Nav1 and set the HSI to the inbound course. Hmph.
You would have thought that it would have put the SEA frequency and radial
for the missed approach in, too, and maybe warmed the latte in your cup
holder. :-) I had better luck maintaining the localizer and glideslope than
I had maintaining control when departing, but I would still need a lot of
practice. The glideslope consisted of a single blue arrow on the altitude
tape. I had expected a line across the screen or something, but in the end
it was not that difficult to use. The G-1000 knows your wind and everything
so the holding racetrack depicted on your moving map adjusts itself
accordingly.

Landing is a little flatter than a Cessna 172 and about five knots faster.
The small flaps were surprisingly effective. The transponder, which
automatically sets itself to ALT when your airspeed reaches 30 knots, shut
itself off as we taxied off the runway. You can set your transponder code,
radios, flight plans, and just about everything else from either the right
or left panel. Again, shutting off the avionics master does not shut down
the panel; the GPS, Com 1, and attitude and engine display continue to
function until the master switch is turned off. Shutting down the system and
restarting it in flight requires 30 seconds for the GPS to locate itself;
everything else starts working instantaneously -- take that, Avidyne!

My first impression is that this airplane is almost too easy to fly to be a
good pilot trainer. Although the seats are not adjustable, I found them
comfortable and I think it would be good for long cross country flights.
Objects in the back seat are hard to reach from the front seats. I think
this plane would be a superb IFR trainer because it can do nearly anything
that would ever be required in an IFR environment. It has plenty of backup
for any instrument failures and lots of opportunity for training scenarios.
:-)

The airplane I flew was loaded and costs $259,000 as equipped, including the
KLN-140 autopilot with altitude hold. DA-40s with the G-1000 package start
at about $229,000. The only options this plane did not have were the three
bladed prop, the Stormscope, and the Garmin WX system which is not available
until next month (a $6,900 upgrade). Also, the G-1000 is not yet WAAS
certified, but it is supposed to be software upgradeable, unlike the 430/530
which require new clock chips. The factory will also do custom paint jobs.

--
Christopher J. Campbell
World Famous Flight Instructor
Port Orchard, WA


If you go around beating the Bush, don't complain if you rile the animals.



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  #2  
Old July 17th 04, 02:09 AM
Michael 182
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Default

Great post, thank you.

Michael

"C J Campbell"

wrote in message ...
I got a demo flight in a Diamond DA-40 equipped with the Garmin G-1000

glass
cockpit this morning. snip



  #3  
Old July 17th 04, 02:13 AM
Dude
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Posts: n/a
Default

Lucky Dog.

How was the fit and finish of the plane?

What kind of load was left with all that Garmin Stuff?

Did you get the standard Diamond crashworthiness pitch? Do you believe it?

Thanks.

"C J Campbell" wrote in message
...
I got a demo flight in a Diamond DA-40 equipped with the Garmin G-1000

glass
cockpit this morning. We departed IFR from Tacoma Narrows and flew west

for
some maneuvers. This plane was the second one out of the factory with the
G-1000. I had a difficult time maintaining my altitude; the altitude and
airspeed tapes just didn't seem to be in the right place for my scan. A
little practice would be necessary to get proficient. I also had a hard

time
with the 'ball.' It is a little trapezoid on the display and I don't think
it is prominent enough. Again, just something to get used to, but my

trouble
with controlling the plane gave me a nice case of the leans the whole time

I
climbed up through the layer. I was deliberately avoiding using the backup
gauges, even though they are nicely placed at the top center of the panel.

The panel was fairly easy to learn. The menus and knobs are classic

Garmin.
Anyone familiar with the 430 or 530 would feel right at home with it. I

did
have trouble finding volume control knobs at first. The audio outputs are
wired to provide power for Sennheiser ANR headsets, but I understand you

can
get an adapter for other brands. Although it was very bright and sunny

above
the cloud layer the panel was bright and easy to read. The panel is a

little
dimmer when the engine is not running.

With the avionics master off you still have the full panel and your COM 1
radio, so these are on even during engine start. There was no apparent lag
between a change in attitude of the airplane and the display. Engine
instruments are displayed on the right panel along with a high quality
moving map. Other aircraft were displayed as diamonds on the right panel.

If
you lose the left panel then the right panel automatically displays your
attitude instruments. If you lose the right panel the then the left panel
automatically displays your engine instruments. If you lose your

alternator
the panels can be put into 'essential bus' mode, which gives them 45

minutes
of life. If you lose that, then you have a lithium battery that gives you

an
hour and a half for your backup electric attitude indicator and a single
cockpit light. The instructor in me says BWAHAHAHA! I can have fun with
this! Partial panel half a dozen different ways! You can even give the
instructor a panel and turn off the panel for the student. All the circuit
breakers can be pulled and they are all over on the instructor's side.

Take
away his moving map if you think he is too dependent on it. Lots of fun
stuff. Unfortunately the magnetic compass is over on the instructor's

side,
too.

Visibility out of the cockpit was very good. The pilots sit forward of the
wing and the cowling is very low. You can see both above and below you.
Getting in and out of the cockpit is like climbing in and out of a

Grumman,
but easier because of abundant handholds that were actually built for the
purpose (what a concept). The DA-40 is not a rare airplane, but for those
who have not flown it I would compare handling to a Cessna 172, but
performance close to a 182. Steep turns were easy, though I tended to pull
up on the nose a little too much because the sight picture over the

cowling
was so different. Stalls were also easy. The buffet is very distinct and
impossible to ignore, which is a good thing because the pilot might not

know
otherwise that the airplane is stalled. You still have complete aileron
control, but you have a rate of descent of about 650 fpm. There is no
distinct break or bobbing. It just stops flying and descends straight down
out of the sky in whatever attitude you stalled. I think it would be very
difficult to get one of these things to enter a spin; perhaps a skid with
bottom rudder with a high angle of attack. I am told that it takes a lot

of
rudder to kick it into a spin, but the only way you can spin one legally

is
to get one of the factory reps to demonstrate it before they put the
certification sticker in it (while it is still legally an experimental).

All right, back to IFR. Setting up the ILS was simple. The Garmin loaded

the
localizer frequency into Nav1 and set the HSI to the inbound course. Hmph.
You would have thought that it would have put the SEA frequency and radial
for the missed approach in, too, and maybe warmed the latte in your cup
holder. :-) I had better luck maintaining the localizer and glideslope

than
I had maintaining control when departing, but I would still need a lot of
practice. The glideslope consisted of a single blue arrow on the altitude
tape. I had expected a line across the screen or something, but in the end
it was not that difficult to use. The G-1000 knows your wind and

everything
so the holding racetrack depicted on your moving map adjusts itself
accordingly.

Landing is a little flatter than a Cessna 172 and about five knots faster.
The small flaps were surprisingly effective. The transponder, which
automatically sets itself to ALT when your airspeed reaches 30 knots, shut
itself off as we taxied off the runway. You can set your transponder code,
radios, flight plans, and just about everything else from either the right
or left panel. Again, shutting off the avionics master does not shut down
the panel; the GPS, Com 1, and attitude and engine display continue to
function until the master switch is turned off. Shutting down the system

and
restarting it in flight requires 30 seconds for the GPS to locate itself;
everything else starts working instantaneously -- take that, Avidyne!

My first impression is that this airplane is almost too easy to fly to be

a
good pilot trainer. Although the seats are not adjustable, I found them
comfortable and I think it would be good for long cross country flights.
Objects in the back seat are hard to reach from the front seats. I think
this plane would be a superb IFR trainer because it can do nearly anything
that would ever be required in an IFR environment. It has plenty of backup
for any instrument failures and lots of opportunity for training

scenarios.
:-)

The airplane I flew was loaded and costs $259,000 as equipped, including

the
KLN-140 autopilot with altitude hold. DA-40s with the G-1000 package start
at about $229,000. The only options this plane did not have were the three
bladed prop, the Stormscope, and the Garmin WX system which is not

available
until next month (a $6,900 upgrade). Also, the G-1000 is not yet WAAS
certified, but it is supposed to be software upgradeable, unlike the

430/530
which require new clock chips. The factory will also do custom paint jobs.

--
Christopher J. Campbell
World Famous Flight Instructor
Port Orchard, WA


If you go around beating the Bush, don't complain if you rile the animals.





  #4  
Old July 17th 04, 02:22 AM
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Posts: n/a
Default



C J Campbell wrote:


G-1000. I had a difficult time maintaining my altitude; the altitude and
airspeed tapes just didn't seem to be in the right place for my scan. A
little practice would be necessary to get proficient.


Airline pilots that transitioned from "steam gauge" to the tape altimeters and
V/S often had problems at first. But, those folks are type rated and restricted
to type.

That's the problem with this new "gee wiz" Light A/C G/A stuff. No
standardization and no type requirements.

  #5  
Old July 17th 04, 04:05 AM
C J Campbell
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Dude" wrote in message
...
Lucky Dog.

How was the fit and finish of the plane?


It looked good to me. I didn't see any flaws in it at all. I thought the
exhaust pipe was a little ugly.

What kind of load was left with all that Garmin Stuff?


The Garmin stuff is supposed to be lighter than standard instruments, but
there were a lot of other options on this plane besides the Garmin stuff.
Diamond claims about 650 lbs payload with full fuel. The tanks are 41
gallons, so allow for 240 lbs useable fuel, which would give you a total
load of about 890 lbs. IOW, it is about like a 172. This airplane had the
extended baggage area and the new baggage area weight allowance. Older
DA-40s are limited to 60 lbs in the baggage area. This one allows 140 lbs in
the main baggage area and 50 lbs in the extended area.


Did you get the standard Diamond crashworthiness pitch? Do you believe

it?


Yes, but I don't know whether to believe it. The cockpit cage certainly
looks strong enough. I suppose the NTSB site would be worth investigating.


  #6  
Old July 17th 04, 04:11 AM
C J Campbell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message ...


C J Campbell wrote:


G-1000. I had a difficult time maintaining my altitude; the altitude and
airspeed tapes just didn't seem to be in the right place for my scan. A
little practice would be necessary to get proficient.


Airline pilots that transitioned from "steam gauge" to the tape altimeters

and
V/S often had problems at first. But, those folks are type rated and

restricted
to type.

That's the problem with this new "gee wiz" Light A/C G/A stuff. No
standardization and no type requirements.


All the manufacturers that are offering the G-1000 that I know of include
enough training that it could be considered equivalent to a type rating. I
suspect insurance companies will require it for subsequent owners and
renters. Cessna is sending us the syllabi for training pilots in the G-1000
next week. On Tuesday I will try to wangle a demo flight in the G-1000
equipped 182 for comparison. Cessna's installation appears to have some
differences from the Diamond installation, such as the way it uses backup
batteries.

The funny thing about this is that so many planes are coming out with this
panel. Once you become familiar with it, the instrumentation on all these
different types will be virtually identical. A person familiar with G-1000
on one type would probably require far less time to transition to another
type than it used to take.


  #7  
Old July 17th 04, 02:12 PM
Dan Luke
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Default

"C J Campbell" wrote:
The tanks are 41 gallons, so allow for 240 lbs useable fuel,
which would give you a total load of about 890 lbs.


Those are some pretty poor numbers for a new, 4-place design. This
airplane would not meet my regular travel needs, i.e. IFR trips between
Mobile and Houston. On most trips, at least west bound, I'd need to
make a fuel stop.
--
Dan
C172RG at BFM


  #8  
Old July 17th 04, 03:16 PM
C J Campbell
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Dan Luke" wrote in message
...
"C J Campbell" wrote:
The tanks are 41 gallons, so allow for 240 lbs useable fuel,
which would give you a total load of about 890 lbs.


Those are some pretty poor numbers for a new, 4-place design. This
airplane would not meet my regular travel needs, i.e. IFR trips between
Mobile and Houston. On most trips, at least west bound, I'd need to
make a fuel stop.


It is pretty short range; about 600 nm with reserves. I think of the
airplane as having the payload of a 172 with the speed and roominess of a
182. They do offer extended range tanks that hold 53 gallons.


  #9  
Old July 18th 04, 03:08 AM
Dude
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Default

Poor?

It has the same engine as a 172 SP or an Archer, but it gets an extra 20
knots.

I suppose you could slow it down to Archer speeds and get more range.

They do have a diesel version in Europe, it gets about the same cruise on
5.5 gph. Its easier for a new design to do better with a new engine design.




"Dan Luke" wrote in message
...
"C J Campbell" wrote:
The tanks are 41 gallons, so allow for 240 lbs useable fuel,
which would give you a total load of about 890 lbs.


Those are some pretty poor numbers for a new, 4-place design. This
airplane would not meet my regular travel needs, i.e. IFR trips between
Mobile and Houston. On most trips, at least west bound, I'd need to
make a fuel stop.
--
Dan
C172RG at BFM




  #10  
Old July 18th 04, 04:10 AM
Ray Andraka
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Posts: n/a
Default

Is there a means to leave the transponder on? Ground radar is being tested at
Providence now, and is likely going to be showing up at air carrier airports
around the country soon requires the transponder on for any movement on the
ground. Providence announces on ATIS that transponder use is mandatory on all
taxiways and runways. If the trasnponder automatically goes to standby when the
airspeed is below stall, this could be a big problem.

C J Campbell wrote:

... The transponder, which
automatically sets itself to ALT when your airspeed reaches 30 knots, shut
itself off as we taxied off the runway.


--
--Ray Andraka, P.E.
President, the Andraka Consulting Group, Inc.
401/884-7930 Fax 401/884-7950
email
http://www.andraka.com

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little
temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin, 1759


 




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