Owners of Thielert diesel engine-powered Diamond aircraft have received some welcome relief in the cost of maintaining their aircraft and more is on the way. At a news conference on Thursday at AOPA Expo, Diamond Aircraft CEO Peter Maurer said the insolvency commissioner overseeing the restructuring of the engine maker now realizes that sale of the company depends on its ability to support the product. Therefore, the cost of many maintenance items that skyrocketed under the insolvency process have been reduced, and Thielert has started looking at ways to reduce those costs even more with lifetime extensions on gearbox clutches and other parts that require expensive scheduled replacement. As Diamond's own efforts to alleviate the issues of its customers materialize in the coming year, the cost-effective utility of its diesel-powered DA42 and DA40 aircraft should be improved.
Diamond continues to pursue certification authority to provide maintenance kits for Thielert engines and it's expecting certification of the Austro replacement engine early next year. Retrofits will be available for Thielert-powered aircraft and all newly produced diesel DA40s and DA42s will have the Austro, which will be built by a company owned by the same principals in Diamond. Meanwhile, a DA42 with Lycoming IO-360 engines is nearing certification and can be retrofitted at a later time with the new diesels.