Diamond Aircraft announced Tuesday that it's accelerating plans to certify its hot-selling DA42 Twin Star with Lycoming engines to replace the troubled Thielert Centurion diesels. And just to give itself and customers more options, Diamond has also asked the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to give it approval to provide technical support and parts for Thielert engines, which presumably would be the European equivalent of the parts manufacturing authority common in the U.S.
In a bulletin to more than 800 owners of DA40 and DA42 aircraft, Diamond said it will "aggressively pursue" at its London, Ontario, plant certification of the DA42 for 180-HP Lycoming IO-360 engines for both new aircraft and retrofit of airframes currently equipped with Thielert diesels. Diamond has a head start on that project because even as it was developing the twin in Austria, it was also flying the airframe with Lycoming engines. The project was shelved when the diesel variant gained traction in the world market in the face of dwindling avgas availability. Diamond says the certification project envisions the twin being capable of having Thielert, Lycoming or the new Austro diesels being developed by a Diamond sister company in Austria. No schedule was offered on the Lycoming project, but Diamond said it expects to announce a Thielert support/parts program within the next few weeks. Meanwhile, Diamond also said the insolvent TAE continues to provide support and parts, albeit slowly and at high prices. Diamond advised its customers to get confirmation on parts orders and shipping schedules before paying TAE.