Diamond Aircraft has received European type certification for its turbo-diesel Austro AE 300 engine, a development the company says “secures its future.”
Diamond had been scrambling to develop an alternative to the Thielert Centurion 2.0 turbo-diesel engine after Thielert filed for bankruptcy in April last year. The Centurion powers more than 400 DA40 piston singles and more than 500 DA42 twins. Diamond has not ruled out offering a Thielert option on future aircraft assuming the company recovers after a pending sale.
“The complete program developed into one that was significantly more complex than originally anticipated,” says Diamond CEO Christian Dries of the certification effort, which ultimately took 42 months to complete at a cost of €48 million. Dries says there are already 27 DA42 NG aircraft powered by AE 300 engines on the production line and type certificate for the aircraft is expected “imminently”.
Dries says Diamond next will certify the engine as forward-fit for the DA40 and DA50, and will develop an AE 300-powered version of the DA42 multi-purpose platform. The company will also offer a retrofit version for its existing Thielert diesel-powered aircraft.