Diamond Katana

Sun Aug 22, 1999 8:53 am

Has anyone here ever flown the Katana? The flying club I'm going to be working with this year operates them and I'm wondering what to expect (even though I'll only be dispaching and not flying them) Any thoughts or experiances are appreciated!

Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

Friends Don't Let Friends Fly Fiberglass

Sun Aug 22, 1999 12:43 pm

I never flew them either but I heard enough about them to know to stay away from them.

They have nothing for a payload. Only about 500lbs including fuel. The C1 does a little better then the Rotax engined version.

The nose wheel is free castoring. This means that you spend more for brakes and it is more time consuming to taxi in a crosswind.

They are tempature limited to heat. Judging from you address I don't think this will be a problem where you are but I know that in Phoeniz, AZ in summer the Katanas had to be on the ground before 10 am in the summer. Or else the fuselage would be over temp and ruined.

In cold weather it is physically impossible to do a power on stall in the aircraft.

While UND had theirs they did have a problem with spins. At about the third spin the engine would fuel starve.

Just before I left North Dakota, UND grounded their entire Katana fleet. They didn't like the idea of the wood props delaminating. Dimond did try and blame it on the UND mechanics not torquing the props every two weeks.

Either way. I just heard from somebody still down there that they did finally get rid of their feet in favor of Piper Warriers. A much better aircraft.
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:59 am

55 Gal. Drum With Wings

Sun Aug 22, 1999 4:52 pm

I think I remember reading that the Katana was actually based on a glider design. Don't know if there's any truth to that, but it surely looks the part. I've never flown one, but I got the chance to sit down in one at an airshow a long time ago and it felt like flying an F-16. The cabin, if you want to call it that, is so small that you almost have to lie down on your back to fit in. It felt like a 55-gallon oil drums with wings and a stick.
Posts: 3094
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 6:40 am

RE: Friends Don't Let Friends Fly Fiberglass

Sun Aug 22, 1999 4:54 pm

Thats also not mentioning the fact that during normal landings the non retractable gear has a habit of retracting.

Spartan school of aeronautics had a fleet of them and returned every one of and got C172's.

There is a thermometer on the wing spar, if the temp passes a certain limit you don't fly.

Kind of like a woman there are certain days of the month where you just can't take her for a ride. hehehe
I'm gonna hear it for that one.
Posts: 5798
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

RE: Friends Don't Let Friends Fly Fiberglass

Sun Aug 22, 1999 11:20 pm

The flight school that I work for operates two Diamond Katana A1 models N287DA and N925JS. This model has the Rotax engine in it. These two aircraft are totally wimpy and can't be flown above a certain temperature or the body comes undone! You know it it is above that certain temperature by seeing if the dot in the cockpit it black. They are very underpowered and have little of a usefull load. On a hot day two adult males can not fly in this bird. I would much rather train in an old 150 or 152 than in these babies. Other aircraft to stay away from are the Zeniths. Does your club have any 172s or 182s? Is there a possibility of picking up factory new models of these great aircraft?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower

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