Diamond DA40 vs Cessna 172

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Renesh Kumaresan, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. Profileclimb

    Profileclimb Filing Flight Plan

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    The DA 40 sounds fun to fly.
     
  2. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    The DA40 has a big wing, so it has low wing loading. On the plus side, that low wing loading helps keep your friends and family safe. On the minus side, it might make your friends and family throw up, when they're bounced around in air that isn't completely smooth.
     
  3. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    Im not so sure about that. They sure don’t fly like they are that low to me. A 2 second search came up with this thread; I wouldn’t have expected it to be quite that high, but certainly not that low either.

    https://www.diamondaviators.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6488
     
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  4. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    I've got a number of hours in DA40's. It isn't *that* bad. Let's just say that if a 172 will make them throw up, a DA40 might make them throw up more.
     
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  5. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Let's see, you want to go cross country and you can either rent a 115-knot airplane for $140/hr or a 145-knot airplane for $140/hr.

    Doesn't take a math major to figure out that the DA40 is actually cheaper... And it's way more fun to fly, gets you there quicker, has a much better view out of the cockpit, has far better ramp presence, etc... This one is a no-brainer to me.
     
  6. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The single biggest difference between all makes and models is the sight picture in the landing flare. If you think the DA40 is low, you should see a Cirrus or Tiger.
     
  7. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Trainer trike is a trainer trike

    You look looking to build hours, or dollar per mile, just do the math.

    For $140 I’d be looking for a arrow RG or something more fun

    For a VFR pilot the G1000 alone isn’t worth any extra $$, for a experienced IFR pilot it’s not really worth much more ether, a good AP and /G is nice though.
     
  8. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Maybe you were imagining ? Or had just entered the Twilight Zone?
     
  9. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not bad at all. Speeds in the pattern are about the same. Took me a few times around the pattern to get the landings. Kept coming in a bit too high and needing to add a bit of power. Power off stall it just “mushes”. No wing drop really just a slight wobble with altitude loss. It’s a fun plane to fly. I still like 172s but the Tiger is my preferred plane for YE flights and XC trips.
     
  10. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    And rear seat passengers get their own door. Anyone sitting back there will love it.
     
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  11. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes... One of many reasons the DA40 is a really excellent airplane.
     
  12. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    45 minutes of ground going over the POH (different V speeds, weight and balance, etc.) a long pre flight, and 1.5 hours flying (stalls are a lot easier), and all is good. Already rented it on my own last Sunday. Fuel management is a key difference, as you can't pull from both tanks at the same time and have to manually switch every 10 min, as well as using the electric secondary fuel pump on take off and landing. Other than that it's not that hard - but you do have to take it seriously, read the POH, etc.
     
  13. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The tank switching thing, with the fuel pump on/off at times, will get you ready to fly any Piper PA28... Although switching tanks every 10 minutes seems odd.
     
  14. Bonchie

    Bonchie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Every 10 minutes is overkill. That may just be that rental outfit's personal policy. Every 30 minutes will do just fine.
     
  15. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's what I usually do in PA28s. Also, a good piece of advice I got from a CFI: when you're about to switch tanks, it's better to be within gliding distance of an airport or field just in case the tank switch disintegrates and clogs fuel lines... sometimes I wait 5-10 minutes for that before switching tanks.
     
  16. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We do every 30 minutes for the PA-28 that I rent for training. For anyone looking for an easy reminder to switch tanks, I run for fun and use a garmin forerunner watch to track my runs. When I fly, I with it set to "other" for my workout and have an interval training session setup for 30 minute intervals. Every 30 minutes, my watch buzzes and vibrates to remind me that I need to switch tanks. Its gotten to the point that I'm usually checking my watch at about the 28 minute mark naturally now, but its still nice to have some form of a reminder just in case I get busy and don't think about it.
     
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  17. SoCal RV Flyer

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    I'm spoiled with my EFIS. The 30-minute warning automatically pops up on the screen.
     
  18. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Overkill maybe. I think the CFI was just getting me into the habit.
     
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  19. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes, you are spoiled. :) Good ol' steam gauges in the Cherokee at my school. DOn't get me wrong, if I ever decide to buy a plane in the future I'd consider the cost/benefit of going with a glass panel. Or at least a partially glass panel.
     
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  20. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    When you are taxiing slowly, you just bump up the power for a second or two to get more airflow over the rudder. Then you just reduce the throttle after the plane starts turning so you can continue taxiing at a slow speed. I got pretty good at goosing the engine just enough to get the tail to turn around without increasing my taxi speed.
     
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  21. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Very nice tip - thanks!
     
  22. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

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    ...or you could just use the differential braking like it was designed... o_O
     
  23. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    15-20? Maybe over a 180 HP 172. A DA40 is 30-40 knots faster than a 160 HP, just like a Tiger is.

    The thing I don't like about landing a DA40 is that they get very squirmy in any sort of wind when slow.

    I wouldn't fly a Cessna 172 for any training (or any reason, unless absolutely forced to). They teach bad habits and generally suck to fly. Much better to train in a Cherokee or Grumman, or even a Cirrus.

    That is an AHRS failure screen on the G3x. The map still worked because it is fed by either the external GPS or an internal backup. The G3x STC requires a G5, with its own AHRS, as a backup.

    DA40s are definitely not as good in turbulence as a Tiger, Bonanza or Mooney. Probably better than a 172, just because they lack the pendulum effect. I've not flown in any sort of significant turbulence in a Cirrus, so I don't know how they behave, but the weight should help.

    Yeah, if you can land a Tiger properly, you can grease a Cirrus, and vice versa. Very similar sight pictures. DA40s are not nearly as stable as a Tiger or Cirrus - they are much more like a glider or light sport - in the pattern and over the numbers. Also, I despise that ridiculously nose high climb in the DA40.

    A properly flown Tiger vs. a properly flown 172 should be about 5-8 knots difference in pattern speed. Unfortunately, most 172s seem to be flown rather slowly around the pattern, because of bad habits and that super forgiving, slow wing. There is no comparison in flying dynamics - Tigers are Porsches, 172s are Ford Focuses.
     
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  24. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So. Flying a tiger, on final approach, speed was constant 70 kts. Stall horn started popping on and off. What was that about ?
     
  25. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That is definitely something I have not seen in a DA40. Yes, once on the ground one has to realize there is no nosewheel steering and needs to move to the brakes for directional control on the ground. But in the air, that skinny rear makes crosswinds, even gusting ones, a virtual non-event compared to other singles I've flown. This isn't much but it's all I have.
     
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  26. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Gusts? Long enough to get a yip from the warning. Short enough not to register on the ASI.
     
  27. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    You stab at the brakes to get moving when slow, then let the rudder take over. I will say that I prefer a 1200 RPM taxi in the Tiger, over a 1000 RPM taxi.

    70 on final approach is a touch slow in a Tiger, especially when gusting. 70 should be your over the fence speed for a standard landing, dropping to 65 on a short field. I prefer to be 75-80, nose down, full flaps on final.

    Also, what was your flap setting? Clean stall is 58 and full flap stall is 53 - a gust can change that quickly. When doing maneuvers, I get the stall horn chirping on a power on stall at around 65.

    I have about 10 hours in DA40s, and I own a Tiger. I'm well aware how to steer a free castering nosewheel on the ground. My complaints are the tendency of the DA40 to wallow in the air when slow.
     
  28. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have not seen that in my 70+ hours, more than half teaching in them.
     
  29. N1120A

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    Hell if I know. My instructor, who probably has 250-300+ hours in them and did his CFII checkride in one, has agreed with my view and still makes fun of one "landing" I made in particular.
     
  30. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for the tiger landing speed tip. It was gusting, and I had full flaps. I’ll bump it up to 75 next time.
     
  31. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Much of this stuff is highly subjective. Lightly loaded airplanes are more susceptible to the movement of the wind. That much applies to the DA40, but I've found it more than balanced by the lack of a "barn door" behind the CG as exists with a lot of other makes and models.
     
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  32. N1120A

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    No problem. The plane likes to go fast. Another thing to consider is to keep some power in when it is gusting. Normally, I idle the Tiger fairly early - maybe 100-200 yards before my aiming point, and then just manage energy in. When it is gusty, I'll keep a touch of power in longer for a little bit more positive control.

    I like the handling of the DA40 when in cruise. It trims beautifully. It is the low speed stuff that I dislike - especially the climb attitude.
     
  33. mondtster

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    Read the comment I quoted for context. My response was not about how the airplane handles turbulence, it was about the claim that the Diamond has low wing loading. Simply put, the Diamond has higher wing loading than people think; if it didn't you wouldn't need to fly as fast as you do on final.

    My gut feeling on why there is a difference in handling between the Diamond and the other airplanes being discussed is the high aspect ratio wing.
     
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  34. N1120A

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    A 172 has a 13.2 wing loading. A DA40 has 13.6. They are both known for being pretty crap rides in turbulence. I think the point with the DA40 is that it has a pretty poor wing loading for one of its missions - a relatively economical (once you get past purchase price, which have dropped for Diamonds) cross country machine.

    The handling is a different story, and has more to do with - as you said - the aspect ratio of the wing and probably also the T-tail.
     
  35. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    Wing loading is not always what it seems. One of the best riding airplanes I've flown in turbulence is a Super Cub, which has lighter wing loading than either of the two you claim are no good. Speed is also factor, much the same way that the ride across a lake at 85mph in a boat is going to be rougher than 20mph.

    I have no idea how many hours I have in Diamonds but I've crossed the country in them and hand flown in all conditions. They're fine for a cross country.
     
  36. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks. I usually keep the power constant until I’m rounding out and then I slowly go to idle. Let it float down the runway scrubbing speed and flare just before the mains make contact. Seems to work nicely with the tiger. I agree 100% with keeping some power in for control.
     
  37. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    After you replace your first set of tires and brakes, you'll use the rudder like it was designed. ;)

    Seriously though, a lot of people use nothing but differential braking, when in reality if you have one of the big-rudder DA40s (newer than maybe 2004?) they are quite easy to steer with the rudder by goosing the power up to about 1300 RPM and using rudder to change the rate of turn, then coming back to a normal taxi power setting. If you need a tighter turn, then use the brakes - But there's no sense using the brakes unless you have to.

    Huh? What do you mean "squirmy"? They do really well in wind since the shape of the fuselage really doesn't catch much wind.

    What bad habits? IMO if you learn on a Cherokee you'll never know how to flare - They practically do it for you. And while no tricycle gear trainer really teaches good rudder use, the 172 does need more rudder than a Cherokee. And then there's stalls - The Cherokees stall pretty gently compared to a Cessna.

    I wouldn't expect them to be as good as a Bo or Mooney, since those are heavier, faster birds with a higher wing loading. I wouldn't call them better or worse than planes with a similar wing loading, though they certainly are different - I attribute this to the long wing catching more bumps, but it also results in those bumps being gentler. You definitely need to keep track of your yaw axis though - Even just keeping both feet pushed against the rudder pedals makes a noticeable difference.

    Huh? The nose doesn't even make it to the horizon. Not sure what you're talking about here. :dunno:
     
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  38. woodchucker

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    I fly the 172 at those speeds approximately (90-80-70) but I do shoot for 65 on short final. I’ll try your method of carrying 70 in the Tiger closer to the runway. I’m a fairly new Tiger pilot and loving it.
     
  39. N1120A

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    Diamonds are fine for a cross country. Much, much better than a Cessna thanks to speed. They just aren't as nice a ride as other options that are available for the same or less, and don't have great pattern dynamics IMHO.

    90 isn't far off cruise for a 172 160 HP. It is 45-50 knots from a Tiger's cruise, meaning you need to plan more. The clean stall for a Tiger is 9 knots faster than a 172. Full flaps is 10 knots faster. That means you need to be faster in every stage of flight. 70 should be your speed with nose down, idle, close to the runway. Then you level out and run out of elevator onto the mains. Easiest plane to grease.
     
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  40. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When you like or are used to flying a certain type, many tend to see the relatively small differences between types as big ones. The one I see most often in transition training is pitch attitude, mostly in the landing flare, but from time to time on takeoff also.

    Sometime I think that like "fight or flight" we have a built in "different, don't like it" response to stimuli :D
     
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