May 29, 2008
By Alton K. Marsh
Things should improve for Diamond Aircraft once it receives certification of its own diesel engine later this year, but for now, the feud between Diamond and the Thielert Aircraft Engines (TAE) is escalating.
Diamond officials have customers with airplanes on the ground, waiting for Thielert parts or engines. They feel the court-appointed bankruptcy officials in Germany aren’t responsive to their efforts to find temporary customer support. The officials, in turn, have countered with complaints about Diamond. It’s war via press release.
In the meantime, more than 50 Thielert-powered Diamond aircraft are on the ground due to lack of support or parts. Diamond has stopped 60 percent of the company’s annual production of 500 aircraft (whether Thielert powered or not). The cost of operating a Thielert engine, based on a boost in parts costs by the bankruptcy administrators and the lack of supported warranty programs, has gone from $13 an hour to $85 an hour.
“This effectively makes the engine, and TAE-powered aircraft, commercially non-viable at the current point in time,” Diamond officials said in a press release.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>