Owners of Diamond aircraft with Thielert diesels are getting bad news this week. Thielert says it won't support warranty claims and any owners who need parts and services to keep their airplanes flying will have to pay upfront. As we've reported on AVweb, Thielert declared bankruptcy two weeks ago and is now undergoing financial restructuring. In the meantime, the company pledged to continue building and shipping engines and parts, but buyers will have to pre-pay and await delivery. One DA42 owner has already contacted us expressing unhappiness about this policy. Diamond told us Wednesday that it doesn't yet know if it will step into the breech and support owners who have warranty claims. "We're relatively early into this, we're still making a lot of decisions on how to handle this. I can't give you an answer on that right now," said Heike Larson, Diamond's VP of sales.
Meanwhile, Diamond predicts it will have its own line of Austro four-cylinder diesels certified in Europe by this summer and plans to unveil the powerplant at the Berlin Airshow in two weeks. These engines will initially be used only in European aircraft.
The Austro plant is at the Wiener Neustadt headquarters south of Vienna and has been under construction since last fall. Like the Thielert Centurion line, the Austro engine is adapted from Mercedes-Benz automotive technology and will be in the 170-HP range. U.S. certifications are some months away and Larson said the company is planning to offer Austro replacements for existing Thielert installation, but still has a lot of technical details to work out. Press reports in Europe say it also plans to offer diesel as an option in its new DA50 Super Star.