Austro Turbo-diesel Engine Certified By EASA
Diamond Aircraft Industries has received EASA Type Certification for its Austro E4 turbo-diesel airplane engine, the company announced on Wednesday. The certification has been in the works for almost four years, but recently interest in the engine has intensified as Thielert, another European manufacturer of diesels for GA aircraft, encountered financial difficulties and declared bankruptcy. Although Thielert has continued to produce engines, Diamond has clearly been anxious to bring the Austro alternative to market. Generally, FAA certification follows relatively quickly once the EASA standard has been met. Diamond CEO Christian Dries said the EASA certification program cost about US $64 million. "The complete program developed into one that was significantly more complex than originally anticipated," Dries said. "Only the full dedication of all participants, specifically the Austrian and European Airworthiness Authorities, MB Tech, Bosch General Aviation Technologies and our employees, enabled the successful conclusion of the certification process." There are already 27 Diamond DA42 NG airplanes with AE 300 engines on the production line, the company said, and type certification for those aircraft is also expected imminently. Following will be AE 300 powered versions of the DA40 and the DA50. For the existing diesel-engine-powered Diamond fleet, a retrofit solution to convert to AE 300 power will be developed and offered, the company said.
Dries and Thomas Mueller, general manager of Austro Engine, said in Wednesday's news release that they are confident of a good future for the companies, despite the current difficult times. For more about the Austro engine, click here for a recent AVweb Insider blog post by AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli.