January 29, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
Diamond Aircraft Industries has received certification in Europe for the E4 (AE300) turbo-diesel engine. It could be the beginning of a solution to the problem created when Thielert Engines, used by Diamond DA42 multiengine aircraft went bankrupt.
Engine certification came after 42 months of intensive development work at a cost of $63 million (Euro 48 million). “The complete program developed into one that was significantly more complex than originally anticipated,” said Diamond CEO Christian Dries. “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 27 Diamond DA42 aircraft with AE 300 engines on the production line, and type certification is expected soon. Following that will be AE 300-powered versions of the DA40 and the DA50. Based on the high demand, the AE 300 powered version of the MPP surveillance aircraft will also be certified as soon as possible. For the existing Diamond fleet powered by Thielert engines, a retrofit solution to convert to AE 300 power will be offered.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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