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Few questions for DA42 owners/flyers

I have few questions for DA42 owners/flyers or anybody else who can provide relevant answers

1. What would be a fair price for DA42 with some 900 hours? I know it depends on the equipment but I need rough estimate.
2. What is the difference between GFC700 and KAP140 equipped aircrafts? Is it so big that aircraft with GFC700 is much better choice? What should be expected price difference between these two?
3. What do you think about Crosby’s STC? It’s about €120k – is it worth of it?
4. What do you think about factory oxygen? When you take usual pros and cons how would you decide in case of DA42?
5. Can DA42’s factory oxygen (continuous flow) be converted to MH Pusle Demand?

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Hi Emir, I can’t answer all your questions but at least I know some answers

What is the difference between GFC700 and KAP140 equipped aircrafts?

GFC700 is Garmin’s autopilot and integrates nicely into the G1000, while the KAP140 is an extra unit in your panel.
KAP140 for example does not get the QNH from the G1000, while the GFC700 does.
If you have the choice, go for the GFC700. We have 4 DA40’s with an installed KAP140 and we have lots of issues with it.
The GFC700 seem to be much more reliable.

What do you think about factory oxygen?

If the aircraft has a builtin oxygen system, I would use that, given that I can refill it in the hangar.
A portable oxygen (like from Mountain High) is cheap and does not need certification, etc. You can take it in your car and have it filled at a location.
I take mine to a diving shop that can fill pure oxygen.
You can plug the MH O2D2 regulator into the DA42 builtin oxygen system. You might need an adapter for that.
O2D2 is imo much more comfortable than continuous flow.

Last Edited by lenthamen at 17 Jun 08:18

Hi Emir,
1. Look on Planecheck Europe. As you say it really depends on the equipment/engines, and year of manufacture.

2. If you are into serious IFR flying, the GFC is a lot better. It is very nicely integrated into the G1000. Definively more stable than the KAP, and more reliable too. Useful additional features: Yaw damper, Flight Director, FLC-mode (constant speed climbs, no risk of stalling). Extra value? A personal thing. I’d easily pay 25k€ extra. I think Diamond retrofits it for around 50k€, so I reckon they think that is something that some people are willing to pay.

3. Apparently it gives you around 10 knots more, and a better single-engine climb performance, but I have not seen anything in writing yet. Of course the 120k (did not know that this was the price) needs to be compared to buying two new 2.0 engines, at probably around 80k. So 40k extra may not be a bad deal, especially from a safety point of view (climb performance). Note that at this point in time the 2.0s has a TBR of 1200 hrs vs the 2.0 at 1.500 hrs. Both should be upped though, and dependent on your user profile maybe the 12-year TBR is what dictates replacement anyhow. Diamond says it will also offer this option. Exactly when and at what price is still unclear.

4. It depends. If you mostly fly at oxygen levels, lightly loaded and fly to places where there is (reasonably priced) oxygen, it may be worth it. I did not take it and feel very comfortable with my decision. Hardly ever fly higher than FL100-120 and don’t like the extra weight of a system that you don’t use often (forward CoG too). And if I do need oxygen, I just take my bottle to my friend, the local blacksmith..

5. Don’t know, others will chime in no doubt.

Son Alberti LEJF, Mallorca, Spain

How is the DA42 built-in system refilled? Is it the standard bizjet (Puritan Bennett I believe – we had a thread on it on EuroGA a long time ago) fitting?

That fitting is a license to pay lots of €€€ for refills – bizjet refill price schedule i.e. €100+

Unless you can keep a big welding gas cylinder in the hangar, and make a transfer hose.

Actually I would be really interested in making up a short transfer hose from that P/B fitting (but the aircraft end) to a 540 cylinder thread.

So a portable kit could make a lot of sense on a DA42, especially if you go for the carbon/kevlar MH cylinder which a lot of people use nowadays.

You can use the O2D2 with a fitted O2 system but you need to check the pressure coming out of the 1st stage reg. It will prob99 be in the right sort of range (c. 20psi) but if it is say 15 or 25 then you will get correspondingly too little or too much oxygen squirted up the cannula – because the O2D2 assumes a specific input pressure in computing the pulse duration. I believe MH sell pressure reducers for this purpose…

In Europe, IFR without O2 makes little sense. Especially in a DA42 where without O2 you chuck out half your operating ceiling and about 80% of your wx avoidance options even before you start the engines.

Last Edited by Peter at 17 Jun 08:57
Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

1. Look on Planecheck Europe. As you say it really depends on the equipment/engines, and year of manufacture.

Of course I did that. Those are the asking prices I’m trying to get feedback on what should be offered.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Emir,

1. What would be a fair price for DA42 with some 900 hours? I know it depends on the equipment but I need rough estimate.

Prices are starting at about 250K€, but prices are increasing actually; the answer to your question depends mostly on the engine types, not that much on the overall hours. I would strongly recommend thinking about a DA42NG with the Austro Engines at least, prices starting around 450K€. Alternatively you can buy a ‘cheap’ Thielert at let’s say 250K€ with the factory upgrade being done at some 150K€. Upgrade to a -vi is more expensive but may contains even the brand new weather radar additionally to all the aerodyamical modifications.

2. What is the difference between GFC700 and KAP140 equipped aircrafts? Is it so big that aircraft with GFC700 is much better choice? What should be expected price difference between these two?

The GFC700 is a fully integrated flight management system (FMS). One totally can not compare this to a ‘simple’ KAP140 autopilot. For whatever your plans are: you should definitely opt for the GFC700. This is a must-have IMHO, in particular with respect to the future value of the aircraft. The GFC is simply excellent!

5. Can DA42’s factory oxygen (continuous flow) be converted to MH Pusle Demand?

We have decided for the portable system with the MH Pulse Demand even in the -vi, this is an adequate solution with respect to usability and pricing.

Thanks everybody for replies. Based on what I read, the aircraft I planned to go for isn’t very good choice, since it’s KAP140 equipped and it has factory oxygen while GFC700 and portable oxygen are both better choices.

I’m in contact with Diamond about the upgrades and pricing is approximately 150k€ for NG (AE300 engines only) and 250k€ for -VI. Starting with cheap 250k€ ‘donor’ one can easily end up with more than 500k€ which seams little bit too much for piston twin flying slower than 200 KTAS and efectively being 2 seater (full fuel and some luggage). That’s why I’m considering 2.0s upgrade to keep the price below 400k€.

BTW I got info from Diamond that there was no “NG to -VI” upgrade while you can get “TDI to NG” and “TDI to -VI” upgrades. Strange …

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

The GFC700 is a fully integrated flight management system (FMS). One totally can not compare this to a ‘simple’ KAP140 autopilot.

Could you explain that in detail, Wolfipilot?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

As to ‘upgrades to VI’ there is something I don’t understand. I can see that many aerodynamic improvements can be retrofitted (cowlings, baggage door seals, etc), but an important change is the rudder which no longer has this big ‘horn’. The fuselage is therefore quite different. Also, there are important weight savings, supposedly associated with shaving of material. I don’t see how you can retrofit the different, and lighter fuselage. And it seems hard to imagine that the upgrade involves a new fuselage..
I’ll try and find out.

As to real prices, Emir, how can we know what your negotiating skills are .

Indeed the rumor goes that the values of the DA42 seem to be holding or maybe even increasing as a result of all these Thielert-equipped ones to have miraculously overnight been retrofitted with Continental engines. But maybe that is a rumor that I want to be true

Emir, also consider the ‘traffic’ option that has been introduced as of model year 2008 (I think). not sure whether you can retrofit it. Of course you will go for long range tanks (hardly a weight penalty) and TKS, ADF/DME, but I suppose almost all used ones have that equipment.

Son Alberti LEJF, Mallorca, Spain

I’m not sure I would go for the NG engine upgrade; one of our aircraft is about to go for 2.0 centurions and the feeling is that the Austro price, including new cowls etc, would never be recovered – if you want Austros you would be better placed to go for a fully fledged NG.

The GFC700 is indeed the dogs bits but I wouldn’t attach too much significance to it. The KAP140 is OK as long as you monitor it, which isn’t bad practice anyway.

Oxygen – we operate one aircraft which has the built-in system which takes another chunk of the forward baggage bay. The fit is neat although W&B with full anti-icing can make things a little interesting.

Aux tanks and icing are a must.

Fly safely
Various UK. Operate throughout Europe and Middle East, United Kingdom
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