Corrosion Problems Hit Diamond Diesels

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Diamond Aircraft's Austrian division will soon issue a Service Bulletin concerning possible cylinder-head corrosion problems on its Thielert diesel-powered DA40 aircraft. In a news release issued by Thielert, the company says the problem has affected "only a few" DA40s and none of the Cessna 172s or Piper PA-28s retrofitted with the diesels. The corrosion problem in the DA40s is electrochemical and traced to the cooling system, according to Thielert's release. Earlier this year, Diamond announced it was delaying introduction of its Thielert-powered DA42 TwinStar and speeding up development of a Lycoming-powered version. Among the reasons for the delay was the lack of a Thielert service network in North America, something the engine maker is now addressing. In the same release dealing with the corrosion problem, Thielert announced it will open a training center for technical service in the U.S. It will launch the initiative by flying a diesel-powered DA40 from Long Island to Paris following Charles Lindbergh's route. Along the way, the company hopes to set records: the first solo trans-Atlantic flight in a single-engine diesel aircraft, lowest fuel consumption, and least expensive trans-Atlantic flight. No date was announced for the flight, which is expected to take about 16 hours and 30 minutes, about half the time it took Lindbergh.