Thielert Engines Update
The Thielert engine factory in Liechtenstein is continuing to build and deliver diesel engines and spare parts while sorting through various offers from new investors who hopefully will rescue the company from insolvency, company representatives told the media in a conference call from Europe on Tuesday. Asked whether a new owner will honor the warranties that are currently worthless paper in the hands of engine owners, spokesman Christoph Moller said that will be up to the new investors to decide. "We are not authorized to tell the new investors what to do with their company," he said. Gunter Kappler, head of technology at Thielert, said that even if Diamond Aircraft switches to their own Austro diesel engine, as they have said they plan to do, Thielert has enough other customers to keep the company viable. Also, the company is focused now on extending the life of life-limited components from 300 hours to 600 hours, though Moller said he couldn't give a timeline for when that goal would be reached. He also said it would be up to the new investor to figure out the problems associated with a lack of service centers in North America -- engines now must be shipped to the factory in Europe for inspection and repair. And he added that since the factory is still operating and the service center is open, "There is no reason from our side that aircraft are AOG" -- a claim that aircraft owners whose Thielert engines are now up against life limits and no apparently viable options to keep them in the air, are sure to dispute.
Todd House, the founder of the Thielert Engine Owners Group, also called in to the conference, but his questions were politely defrayed by the company representatives. "This is a press conference, and you are welcome to listen in, but we are taking questions from the media only," they said. They added that a meeting with representatives from the owners group is scheduled for later this week and all of House's concerns would be addressed at that time. For more on this story, click here for analysis from Paul Bertorelli, editor-in-chief of Aviation Consumer, in the AVweb Insider Blog.