The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the Diamond DA42 NG, powered by Diamond’s own 170-horsepower Austor diesel. Thielert, whose engines powered first generation Twin Stars, became insolvent less than a year ago, resulting in serious maintenance issues for DA42 owners, although Diamond had started Austor development before the Thielert bankruptcy.
EASA certification means Diamond can start delivering Twin Stars in Europe – it has 40 on the assembly line – and can begin retrofits for owners of Thielert-powered Twin Stars who want the new engines. Although the EASA certification is valid only in Europe, it should be fairly straightforward to get it recognized elsewhere.
“We are focusing our efforts to achieve the certification of the optional upgrade of all delivered DA42s with the Austro Engine, such that all customers can benefit from these improvements along with comprehensive customer support for their engines,” said Diamond CEO Christian Dries. Dries said that, even though the new engine pumps out 20 percent more horsepower, it actually delivers better fuel economy than the Thielerts while giving the aircraft a higher gross weight and better performance.
The initial TBO of the new engine is 1,000 hours, but Dries said the goal is to extend that to 2,000 hours. It is not yet clear how that will affect customers in North America, where the Thielerts are on a 1,000-hour TBR (time before replacement).