Diamond Delays TwinStar Deliveries

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Sometimes when you're on the leading edge you have to put up with a little turbulence. Diamond Aircraft says it has delayed (to individuals) the first deliveries of its innovative diesel-powered DA-42 TwinStar because an adequate support network won't be in place for the Thielert diesels in time. "We have to be able to provide service for those customers," Diamond's North American CEO Peter Maurer told AVweb. While the company had hoped that first deliveries would be made by the end of this year, they've been put off for at least a year. "It's quite realistic that in 2005 there will be Thielert deliveries," he said. Fleet customers (who presumably will have trained service personnel) will get the Thielert aircraft as scheduled. Diamond designed and built the diesel twin in 2002 and it was certified in Europe earlier this year. It made its North American debut at EAA AirVenture last July and the company claims it's redefining fuel-efficiency standards for light twins. The 135-horsepower diesels, based on Daimler car engines, have a one-of-a-kind, single-lever full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system and other features that would be utterly foreign (pun intended) to the average FBO mechanic. Therefore, Diamond wants to ensure that there are enough service centers available in North America to fix the engines to avoid having its customers stranded.