What a new plane looks like

Diamond Star DA40

I’ve flown 17 different types of planes since November, 2002 when I first started flying but most of these planes (including mine) were built in the 70’s. I even flew one that was built in 1944! My local airport recently acquired a brand new Diamond DA40 airplane – a 4-seater, single engine airplane made of composite materials. It has a cool modern look on the outside but the inside is where the fun really begins. The DA40 is equipped with Garmin’s latest avionics – the Garmin G1000 (commonly called a “glass cockpit”).

Even if you are not into aviation, you have to admit this is cool. Everything the pilot needs is displayed on two monitors – attitude, airspeed, altitude, terrain, traffic (yes, it shows other planes that are near you on the display), navigation, XM weather (NEXRAD radar, satellite, winds, airport conditions, etc.). The old fashion gauges at the top are just for backup. There are two independent power sources and tons of other redundancy built in. I’ve flown it 3.2 hours so far – fun stuff!

Diamond DA40 Cockpit

There are other manufacturers using this same system so there is a bit of standardization underway. This is great for pilots because once you go through the pain of learning the G1000, transitioning from one plane to another is much easier.

~ by gregorywilson on November 13, 2007.

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