EASA Approves Austro-Powered Diamond Twin Star

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Less than a year after an insolvency debacle that left its engine supplier in ruins, Diamond has achieved European certification for its DA42 NG-powered by Diamond's own Austro diesel engines. The 170 hp Austro engines have 20 percent more power than the Thielert engines they replace, while nevertheless claiming lower fuel burn. Certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is thought to be an easy prelude to certification elsewhere, which should-ultimately-be good news for U.S. DA42 operators who have been left in the lurch with Thielert engines that have been rendered unairworthy due to lack of required spare parts. Diamond CEO Christian Dries said the company is focusing on an optional upgrade to Austro power for existing DA42s "such that all customers can benefit from these improvements along with comprehensive customer support for their engines." Besides better fuel economy, the new engines are said to offer better performance and will allow higher maximum gross weight for the composite Twin Star. Though Thielert-powered Twin Stars flew with Garmin's G1000 avionics, the new NG version will also come with Garmin's GFC 700 autopilot and will be able to accept Garmin's newly certified synthetic vision system. Dries expects to soon be able to extend the current 1,000-hour TBO on the Austro engines to 2,000 hours. Before the collapse of Thielert Engines last year, Diamond had delivered more than 500 Thielert-powered DA42s.