Diamond Delighted

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The announcement came as Diamond Aircraft, of London, Ont., is getting ready to ramp up production and sales of its DA42 TwinStar, which is powered by Thielert 135-hp diesels. "Obviously, Diamond is delighted that [Thielert] is taking this very significant step," Diamond CEO Peter Maurer told AVweb. "The timing coincides perfectly with our ramp-up of deliveries of the DA42 Twin Star to our U.S. customers." Diamond delivered its first diesel twin in the U.S. last summer and interest has been strong in the innovative aircraft, which sips 12.5 gph at 172 knots TAS. And while support for the TwinStar and other aircraft that have supplementary type certificates for the diesel is crucial for the success of this Jet A engine, there is open speculation (as Lycoming retires active crankshafts) that the step might be only the beginning. While Lycoming struggles with the operational and public-relation realities (read: nightmares) of a vexing problem with crankshafts in some of its most popular engines, there are some who say Lycoming is vulnerable to a well-choreographed assault on its market share. Thielert's aviation business is part of a much larger engine and parts enterprise that specializes in leading-edge technology development. The company recently went public and, with the fresh infusion of cash ($166 million), is "now heading to conquer the U.S. market," according to the Hamburg Business Development Association newsletter.