In the high-flying world of aviation, the Diamond DA42 Twin Star shines as the twin-engine, piston-powered darling of the skies.
Dreaming of one day snagging my own, I dove headfirst into the financial whirlwind of owning this gem. Here’s the scoop: snagging a brand-new Twin Star?
That’ll set you back a cool $840,000 in 2024. Opting for a model with a few miles on it, from the vintage years of 2005 to 2013, expect to fork out between $500,000 to $754,000.
But the spending spree doesn’t stop there. Annually, you’re looking at shelling out around $23,555 on the essentials—insurance, maintenance, hangar fees, minus the tears over depreciation.
And for those itching to take to the skies, budget about $236 per flight hour, assuming you clock in 100 hours airborne. That’s a significant step up from the Diamond DA-20.
So, if you’re plotting to pilot this prized possession, start saving your pennies—or perhaps a small treasure chest.
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Why the Diamond DA42 Twin Star is a Great Plane
Newly qualified multi-engine pilots often consider purchasing a Diamond DA42 Twin Star because of the relatively low price for a twin piston, fuel efficiency, and easy handling of the aircraft.
Not only that but the Diamond DA42 Twin Star can carry up to 4 passengers including the pilots.
In this article, I’ll cover the total cost of ownership and the various financing options for a Diamond DA42 Twin Star.
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Cost of Purchasing a Diamond DA42 Twin Star
There is a big price difference between purchasing a new or used Diamond DA42 Twin Star.
A new Diamond DA42 Twin Star starts at around a cost of $840,000. If purchasing a new aircraft, you’ll be guaranteed that it will be in perfect working order.
There are many optional extras to choose from, such as a glass cockpit or other add-ons.
If you’re on a budget, you can pick up a good condition used Diamond DA42 Twin Star within the $500,000 to $754,000 price range for a 2005 to 2013 model. You can find one here on Controller.
Given the popularity of the Diamond DA42 Twin Star, they are easy to acquire. There are many of them on the market because they first launched in 2004 and are still being manufactured to this day.
You can probably find a decent condition Diamond DA42 Twin Star for about $500,000. Keep in mind that they sell quickly once they go on the market.
Ownership Costs of a Diamond DA42 Twin Star
After purchasing a Diamond DA42 Twin Star, you won’t be finished spending money. Not by a long shot!
You’ll soon have to start paying for the fixed and variable running costs. Be prepared for a total cost of ownership of $23,555 annually.
Total fixed costs are going to be approximately $11,255 and total variable costs will set you back around $12,300 (based on 100 annual flying hours. There’s also going to be a depreciation cost but it’s impossible to estimate this cost for your specific circumstances because there are so many factors to consider.
There are many fixed and variable costs of airplane ownership that beginners may not realize. Of course, this is true for any aircraft, not just for a Diamond DA42 Twin Star.
If purchasing your new or used Diamond for straight-up cash, you don’t need to concern yourself with finance costs. If getting a loan to finance the purchase, you’ll also need to account for the interest repayment costs.
What Are the Fixed Costs for Diamond DA42 Twin Star Ownership?
We can define fixed costs of aircraft ownership as the costs that you’ll still have to pay regardless of whether the aircraft is flown or not.
So even if you purchase a Diamond DA42 Twin Star and never fly it, you’ll still need to pay the fixed costs such as the once-off purchase price, the hangar fees to the aerodrome, insurance costs, and the annual inspection cost.
Fixed costs for this aircraft (excluding the purchase price) are going to be approximately $11,255 per year.
There’s also the depreciation of your aircraft’s asset value to consider. When figuring out how much it costs to own and run a DA42, it’s important to think about how its value goes down over time.
The amount of depreciation will depend on many things, such as how old the plane is, how much it cost to buy in the first place, what its expected resale value is, and how the market is doing. We know how important this cost is, but it’s hard to give an exact number without taking into account the unique circumstances of each aircraft.
To fully prepare for the annual inspection, you will also likely have to pay for any required maintenance that will be needed to pass the inspection.
Some people will group these maintenance costs into variable costs, but I like to classify them as fixed costs because you’ll still likely need to pay for them regardless of whether you fly or not.
I’ve also considered some regular subscriptions here that you might be paying for such as weather services or ForeFlight. Let’s allow about $605 to cover these other costs.
Hangar Costs for a Diamond DA42 Twin Star
Hangar costs will vary greatly depending on location and the type of storage facility you’ll be renting space from.
In the US, you’ll find hangar space for approximately $70 per month. Annually, you’re looking at about $850 for your storage costs at a hangar for your Diamond DA42 Twin Star.
You don’t need necessarily need to rent storage space though. You might have the opportunity to build or buy your own hangar.
How much does insurance cost for a Diamond DA42 Twin Star?
Insurance for owning and flying a Diamond DA42 Twin Star is not as expensive as you might think.
Again, just like the other costs, the cost of insurance will vary greatly depending on your location, frequency of flight, aircraft value, and type of cover.
Insurance pricing does vary due to so many factors. I recommend that you shop around and you might get a lower rate. Bear in mind that the lower rates will often only be liability-only cover. That won’t cover damage or loss to the aircraft itself. It will cover damage or injury to third persons.
The main factor in determining the cost of insuring a Diamond DA42 Twin Star is the valuation of the airplane.
The cost to insure a used Diamond DA42 Twin Star will be approximately $6,600 per year.
The cost to insure a brand new Diamond DA42 Twin Star will cost many multiples of that due to the high replacement cost of a new aircraft.
How much is an annual inspection for a Diamond DA42 Twin Star?
Each year, the FAA stipulates that an aircraft must have an annual inspection. It costs about $1,450.
On top of that, you’ll still need to ensure that parts are in working order and oil and other fluids are topped up as needed.
The fixed maintenance costs (including the annual inspection) could be around $11,255 each year. In my calculations, I’ve also allowed for other necessary maintenance for parts at around $1,750 each year.
What Are the Variable Costs for Diamond DA42 Twin Star Ownership?
The variable costs such as fuel, oil, unscheduled maintenance and miscellaneous costs (landing fees, parking, minor travel costs) will probably cost in the region of about $12,300 annually.
The variable cost to fly works out at around $123 per hour. That’s based on 100 flying hours per year.
All we can provide here are estimates because your mileage may vary when it comes to variable costs for running a Diamond DA42 Twin Star.
The longer you own a plane for, the more the annual variable costs tend to start increasing. That’s mainly due to the increased maintenance costs.
Unlike fixed costs, you’ll only need to pay these costs when the plane is actually in use.
Diamond DA42 Twin Star Fuel Costs
The Diamond DA42 Twin Star uses jet fuel, and this costs about $70 per hour of flight.
Currently, jet fuel costs about $5.40 per gallon, and the Diamond DA42 Twin Star consumes 12.5 gallons of jet fuel each hour.
It pays to shop around when it comes to jet fuel prices. Different airports charge different amounts depending on location and how busy it is.
Diamond DA42 Twin Star Oil
If you are technically-minded, you can save money on labor by looking after oil changes yourself.
Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for the labor, oil, and filters out of your own pocket.
I’ve worked out that the oil cost for a Diamond DA42 Twin Star will typically run at about $3 per running hour.
Diamond DA42 Twin Star Engine Maintenance Costs
During the year, you might have to replace spark plugs and air filters. These are routine and usually done every 100 hours of flight time. They don’t cost too much.
The engines may need to be checked at regular intervals, such as with a compression test, which can help find problems before they get worse. Other costs for routine engine maintenance on a Diamond DA42 Twin Star may include replacing hoses, belts, and other parts that are worn or broken.
Let’s be conservative and factor in say, $20 per running hour to cover these engine maintenance costs.
Every 2,000 hours or so, the engines of a Diamond DA42 Twin Star need to be overhauled. This is also known as a TBO (Time Between Overhaul).
Overhauling airplane engines can get very expensive very quickly depending on the condition of the engine, the age, the hours of wear and tear etc.
Safety is paramount, so it’s a crucial thing that needs to happen. The engines are taken apart, and each component is carefully examined. This includes the pistons, bearings, cylinders as well as other parts of the engine.
Repairs or replacements are carried out as necessary. The more flight hours that build up on an engine, the more often it will need to be completely overhauled.
The overhaul cost probably works out at something like $20 per running hour. This is a rough estimate but it should give you an idea.
Miscellaneous Running Costs for the Diamond DA42 Twin Star
You can be almost guaranteed that there will be other minor costs associated with owning and flying not just the Diamond DA42 Twin Star but indeed, any airplane.
Take for example, landing fees, parking, etc. I have estimated these to run at about $10 per flying hour. I’ve told you before, it ain’t cheap to fly!
That’s the fixed and variable costs covered. Now, let’s talk about how to afford one!
Financing Options for Purchasing a Diamond DA42 Twin Star
I know there are a few different financing alternatives available for this kind of aircraft because I have friends who own a Diamond DA42 Twin Star. Obtaining a loan from a bank or other financial organization is one choice.
Leasing the aircraft is an additional choice that enables you to use it for a predetermined period of time before returning it or even buying it at the conclusion of the lease. Last but not least, you could think about buying a share in one with a small group of people that you trust.
Whichever option you go for to purchase a Diamond DA42 Twin Star, be sure to read all those T&Cs before you sign anything. You’ll need to understand the full terms and costs that you might be on the hook for.
Taking out a loan for one Diamond DA42 Twin Star
Applying for a conventional loan from a bank or credit union to finance your Diamond DA42 Twin Star is one choice. If you have a high credit score and a solid financial history, this could be a wise decision.
Applying for a loan created especially for financing airplanes is an additional choice. If you have less-than-perfect credit, these loans frequently offer more lenient terms and might be more willing to work with you.
Practical advice: Before choosing a lender, it’s always a good idea to shop around and compare rates and terms from various lenders. Consider your financial situation carefully and make sure you can afford the loan payments.
For anyone who don’t want to commit to buying the aircraft outright, leasing a Diamond DA42 Twin Star can be a simple and affordable financing choice. When you rent a plane, you agree to use it for a predetermined amount of time—typically several years—in exchange for a fixed monthly payment. You have two options at the end of the lease: return the aircraft to the owner or maybe buy it for a set amount.
You can get wet leases (includes a pilot!) and dry leases (just the plane. You’ll most likely be opting for the dry lease option.
It makes sense to thoroughly investigate and compare lease possibilities from various suppliers. There can be a ton of paper work on lease agreements so make sure you can read the fine print. Same as for loans, think about your ability to make the payments for the duration of the full lease.
Buying a share in a Diamond DA42 Twin Star
Buying a share in a plane enables you to own a portion of the plane and operate it jointly with other owners. This may be a reasonable alternative to outright purchase or long-term leasing if you need access to an aircraft.
It’s frequently referred to as ‘shared ownership’ or ‘fractional ownership.’
Typically, there is an initial investment required when purchasing a share of an aircraft, followed by continuing maintenance and operational expenses.
This is sometimes arranged or facilitated in local flying clubs. That’s where a lot of people will first hear of the practice of having a share in a Diamond DA42 Twin Star.
The advantages of owning an airplane without having to pay for it outright can frequently be accessed by people or organizations at a reasonable cost through fractional ownership. It enables the owners to divide the aircraft’s initial purchase price as well as continuing maintenance and operational expenses.
How much of the aircraft each owner has access to and is responsible for maintaining will depend on the size of their respective shares.
People who desire to fly for personal or professional reasons but lack the funds or need to own a plane outright may be interested in fractional ownership. It can also be a viable alternative for companies that require regular access to an aircraft but do not want to assume full ownership responsibility.
As you can see, once you start adding everything up, the cost of ownership for a Diamond DA42 Twin Star (on indeed any plane) can be expensive.
It’s all relative, though. If you have a love for flying, and you can afford it, then it’s really worth it. Compared to other planes, it’s not too bad. Doing the math, the running cost for a DA42 aircraft is somewhere in the region of about $236 per hour (fixed and variable costs). The variable cost to fly is around $123 per hour (fuel, oil, maintenance etc.).
Alternatively, the majority of newly qualified multi-engine pilots prefer to rent a Diamond DA42 Twin Star if that makes more financial sense for them.
That’s it for this article. Meanwhile, safe flying!