Diamond Aircraft has earned European certification for an Austro-engine-powered version of its Twin Star, the DA42 NG. The certification came on the heels of European certification of the Austro AE300 turbodiesel engine, developed by Diamond sister company Austro Engine for use in the revived twin. FAA approvals for both the airplane and engine are expected to follow shortly.
The AE300 diesel engine will not only go into new-production DA42 Twin Stars, 40 of which were already on the production line at Diamond's Austria factory, but Diamond and Austro plan to offer a retrofit solution to existing DA42s that are equipped with the Thielert Centurion 2.0 diesels. Thielert declared insolvency last year, throwing Diamond's Twin Star program into disarray. Diamond has not yet announced the details or timing of any retrofit program, though owners of Thielert-powered airplanes are surely eager to learn of them.
The success of the certification program is a major coup for Diamond. In reaction to Thielert's woes, Diamond Aircraft Industries, Diamond Aircraft's parent company, went to work developing a new alternative, its own diesel engine, to power the DA42, bringing the product to market less than a year after the insolvency filing of Thielert.
The new engine, which produces 170 horsepower on fuel burns similar to the 135 hp Thielert diesel, will improve the Twin Star's performance across the board. It will feature an initial 1,000 hour TBO, with Diamond planning to up that to 2,000 hours as the engines gain experience.
Diamond planned to start deliveries of the new model immediately.