The Prototype DA-2A made its first flight on May 21, 1966. It has a cruising speed of over 110 and was clocked at over 132 MPH (FULL POWER) at Oshkosh in 1971. Harmon Lange’s DA-2 was clocked at over 145 MPH with 85 HP. The prototype only had 65 HP but performed very well for many hours before being converted to 100 HP. Any engine from 65 to 100 HP can be used in this airplane.
With the 65 HP engine, the prototype could climb at 500 feet per minute with two people aboard. The DA-2A has a large baggage compartment for an airplane its size. The seats also have a large map compartment built in the back of each one and really come in handy for cross country work. The seats will adjust to the size pilot or passenger by sliding fore or aft on slides. As the seat slides back for the taller pilot or passenger, it also is lowered for more head room. This is done by installing the rails at an angle, and is all a structural part of the airplane. This philosophy is carried out throughout the entire design and gives the airplane strength and keeps the weight down.
The cabin is large and utilizes all available space. One way of making more room inside was to install external braces on the bottom of the fuselage. These create little or no drag and gives a nice flat floor inside and again the structural skin becomes the floorboards of the plane, serving two purposes for one part. The airplane has no compound curves, and is an ideal project for the first time builder. The fuselage bulkheads and skins are all made from flat sheet aluminum with simple bends and are riveted together.
The wing is a “Constant Clark Y,” which means that all the ribs have the same airfoil and can be built from just one set of form blocks. The main spar is two aluminum angles that are tapered and are joined together by an aluminum web to form the spar. The rear spars are made from sheet aluminum. The skins are four sheets of aluminum that are wrapped from trailing edge top side to trailing edge bottom of wing.
The V-tail configuration offers several advantages. The absence of the third surface results in a weight reduction and about 20% less drag. It is simple to build, only having two ribs in each, and both being identical. Controls are sent to the V-tail through a mixing unit that is paper-clip simple. Elevator and rudder inputs are fed into the mixing unit through cables and the aileron controls are fed to the ailerons direct through torque tubes. Nose wheel steering is also direct from the rudder pedals and provides positive ground handling. The windshield and windows are all flat stock plexiglass which makes for an easy and inexpensive approach to the problem of windshields and canopies. The cowling is all metal and the plans have full size templates to make it. The plans also have full size templates for other hard to lay out parts, such as the tail fairing, baffles and instrument panel, along with several isometrics. The drawings consist of 25 drawings plus information sheets and are detailed down to the last rivet.
The DA-2B is basically the same airplane as the 2A. The difference being that the 2B has 2.75 inches taken out of the fuselage depth. It is lighter, faster, and better looking than the 2A. Either the 2A or the 2B can be built from the drawings.
The DA-2 carries 20 gallons of fuel in its fuselage tank which gives it good cross country performance. It was designed with safe, economical transportation in mind.