DA42M surveillance plane

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by stab23, Jan 27, 2009.

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  1. So far 2 aircraft have been delivered and are at Old Sarum ZA179,ZA180 for evaluation for overseas surveilance operations. No info on who will operate
     
  2. I think initially they will be an RAF assett but the AAC will be trained to fly them as well. The first 2 have been delivered & now sport RAF Markings & Military Serial Numbers.

    I would imagine that they may eventually be possibly be based at RAF Waddington to complement the Sentinel & the three sneaky beaky 51 Sqn Nimrods.

    They have been seen at Boscombe Down & Lyneham

    Interestingly it holds the record for the first ever non stop crossing of the Atlantic by a diesel engined aircraft.

    It has an amazing loiter time of something like 14hrs !!

    This is a photo of one at Lyneham last year.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. The first of the Shadow R1s ZZ416 wassprayed atNorwich inNovember and V sqn are awaiting the other three
     
  4. Being flown by civvies albeit ex-mil. Feel free to apply tho - 12hrs on stn, no aircon and pissing in a bag. Nice.
     
  5. Thanks - I will apply. I've loads of time on DA42 and done some pretty long flights on them too. Sitting in a nice comfy seat for 12 hours and pissing in a bottle no problem for me. Easy peasy compared to sitting in a hedge for 24 hours crapping in a bag :lol:

    Shame you have to be a civvy to fly them though. I'd rather be allowed to rejoin and do it properly.
     
  6. It's proper enough
     
  7. The DA42 has actually got very good take-off performance for a light twin, and can take off from wet grass without problem - you just need to make the appropriate adjustment.
     
  8. Such as checking that the wet grass strip you intend to use isn't shorter than what the book tells you is required.
     
  9. Phwoar. It's a pretty good looking little twin though. If us crabs do get em I might have to trade change....
     
  10. It's a really very nice plane to fly too. It's a lot more comfortable and quieter for the pilot than a Betty (Britten Norman Islander), and more fun to fly. The avionics are excellent - G1000, and on the later models the Garmin 700 digital autopilot which is astonishingly accurate and even has a yaw damper! Compared to a Betty, operating costs are about a fifth, autonomy is about three times higher, loiter stability much better (especially with the yaw damper), ground signature far lower (you can't hear them at all once above about 5000ft). Only drawbacks are that the undercarriage wheels are tiny and it can't really operate off unprepared surfaces (see above!) to the same extent as a Betty, and it is only certified to 18000ft (but it will climb to 25000ft before the ecu's go out of their mapping range and crash - don't ask how I know that!). Despite looking a bit flimsy, they are actually very hard-wearing aircraft - I flew one yesterday that had 4000 hours having the guts kicked out of it in a busy flying school and it was still in excellent condition.

    They will be a very useful ISTAR asset. They're ridiculously cheap to operate - you could have one flying round the clock overhead of every foot patrol, ensuring comms relay and (with the full Scotty kit) live simultaneous video down to the ground and via Sat uplink back to the ops room, all at the cost of not much more than a WMIK. I reckon the AAC should make a grab for them quickly as the crabs on PPrune are all moaning that there is no A/C, no khazi, no galley, they're too hot, there's nowhere to put their teddy bears etc. Excellent bit of kit and you could buy a couple of squadrons of them with army pilots for the cost of one Typhoon with one RAF pilot, and they would actually be of some use too.