September 2011 Issue
Thielert Report Card: Mixed Experiences
Six years on, owners love Diamondís diesel-equipped DA42, but we would describe their attitude toward the engines as satisfied, if not enthusiastic.
In business, itís axiomatic that eight of 10 startups fail within three years. In general aviation, if anyone bothered to track them, the odds are probably a little worse. Nonetheless, when Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH went belly up in the spring of 2008, it was a surprise to many who had been following the company casually. Diamondís innovative DA42 was selling well, the engines seemed to be performing and with avgas threatened, the trend line appeared to point in only one direction: up. Yet in the summer of 2011, the company remains under the bankruptcy protection of German law. But it also continues to operate, delivering both new engines and parts, albeit at high prices.
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