On Sat, 1 Jan 2005 23:39:49 +0000 (UTC), Martin Spott

> They also have a version with two Lycoming IO-360 for the North
> American market,

Is that out yet?  I'd heard that they were working on one because
there's no repair network for the Thielert diesel engine in North
America; I'd also heard that they were working on setting up such a
network.  The Thielert engine certainly accounts for a lot of the
savings -- I'd expect two IO-360's to burn at least 20 gallons per
hour, vs 10 gph for the Thielert engines, but they'd probably also
increase the useful load by a couple of hundred pounds and make the
plane fly faster, to offset that.

The Rotax engine originally used in Diamond's Katanas was an
unmitigated disaster (we had yet another Katana forced landing at the
Ottawa airport a month or two ago), and left the North American market
very nervous about any non-Lycoming/Continental engines -- Diamond
finally started making the Katana available with a Continental engine
(I think).  The Thielert diesel engine has nothing to do with the
Rotax, of course, but Diamand will have to do a lot of work to win
back North American buyers' trust about non-standard engines.  We fly
planes hard and far in North America, often with multiple 3-5 hour
legs through some pretty extreme climates (from about 45 degC in the
American southwest to -40 degC in northern Alaska and the Canadian
arctic), so engines that perform nicely for occasional recreational
use for local flights in a moderate Europe climate don't always cut it
over here after a few years of use.  I'm hoping that the Thielert will
make it, because the fuel savings sound fantastic.

All the best,



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