Diamond Aircraft is delaying the introduction in North America of its diesel-powered DA42 Twin Star until powerplant supplier Thielert Aircraft Engines (TAE) has established a satisfactory support network for the aircraft's Centurion 1.7 turbocharged engine.
Meanwhile, Diamond Aircraft managing director Michael Feinig says the company will accelerate development and certification of its 180hp (135kW) Textron Lycoming IO-360-MIA-powered Twin Star and has earmarked mid-2005 as the target date. "We have around 200 orders in North America and we plan to convert up to 90% of sales to the higher-performance Lycoming Twin Star," he says. "There is a vast Lycoming service centre network in North America," Feinig adds, "but we cannot deliver the diesel Twin Star without support."
US certification of the Centurion-powered Twin Star was originally planned for the third quarter of next year.
TAE says it is pursuing the formation of a service centre network for its engine in North America. The Chemnitz, Germany-based company is considering options it says, including establishing distribution, service and training centres with third-party companies.
KATE SARSFIELD / LONDON
Source: Flight International