Diamond DA-20 Katana A1

I used to fly this beautiful airplane some time ago. It was my initial trainer to get in to PPL. Small, light two seater – Diamond DA-20 Katana A1 with Rotax 912 engine.

The funniest part of that engine was to check the oil. It was the process you had to follow including “gurgling” and prop spinning by hand.

Airplane was very light and each air movement was noticeable. With the same time it was slow (about 90 kt) in cruise and it was very forgivable. I think that as a trainer aircraft this model is very good!

Airplane is very economical. Rotax912 engine is modern model, it uses water cooling system so no shock cooling issues. Engine was STCd for automotive gasoline use and I remember my self bringing 20L can of Shell94 and flying at least 60-90 minutes on it. So it is about 3.5-4 Gallons per hour which is super economical.

Landing of Katana was another story – if you are little faster on approach you could float over runway and touchdown only in the middle. Airplane wants to fly. To land it you have to be at precise speed over the numbers and than gently flare and wait for touch down. With the same time glide characteristics of this airplane are amazing (14:1). From 2000ft AGL while practicing emergency landing I had so much time to find the spot and do all my business. Comparing to Cherokee 235 where from 3000 AGL it goes down like a brick with no prop spinning my Diamond was like a glider.

Enjoy some video and pictures!

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