ABOVE: “The eDA40 project ushers in a new era of electric propulsion that solves an immediate problem in both an economical and sustainable way” said Natham Milecam, CEO of Electric Power Systems.

The all-electric eDA40 has made its first flight, marking a ‘significant milestone’ for its manufacturer, Diamond Aircraft.

A derivative of the already-certified four-seat, piston-powered DA40 platform, the eDA40 is designed to be ‘an excellent electric circuit trainer’ and is projected to be the first EAA/FAA Part 23 certified electric aircraft with DC fast charging.

During the aircraft’s first flight (conducted from the manufacturer’s headquarters in Wiener Neustadt, Austria), Diamond’s Head of Flight test Sören Pedersen covered system checks, all basic maneuvers and initial performance evaluation, concluding that the flight delivered ‘all results requested’.

“The aircraft performed outstandingly well during its maiden flight and not only met but exceeded all our expectations,” added Liqun (Frank) Zhang, CEO Diamond Aircraft Austria. “We are very much looking forward to offer an exceptional sustainable aircraft for the flight training market of tomorrow.”

The eDA40’s first flight also marks the first time the motor and electrical protection system (a Safran Electric & Power ENGINeUS electric smart motor, charged by Electric Power Systems’ battery module) has flown on an all-electric aircraft. “Participating in the electrification of the DA40, a proven aircraft and a best seller, has been a thrilling technical challenge” noted Bruno Bellanger, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Power division of Safran Electrical & Power. Safran has recently received EASA Design Organisation Approval (DOA) for the ENGINeUS 100 electric motor and is currently “in the home stretch” in obtaining final certification.

The eDA40 is due to be presented to the wider public at AERO Friedrichshafen 2024.