any one fly a Twin Star? what to do about Teilert

flyboywbl

3rd regional in 1 year
Any one else in the same situation as me? I'm coming up on my multi engine commercial and the DA-42 Twin Star that i fly, has engines that are no longer under warranty. Teilert engines went bankrupt so when the engines go under 400 hour, they are gonna need 60,000 dollars (per engine i think) of overhauling not covered by the engine manufacture. The owner of the plane does not want to pay this so i have two things to worry about. If the plane breaks we are not gonna pay to fix it and if the hours get high enough the plane is grounded as well.

Diamond is trying to come up with a solution. One thing our owner can do is buy the Teilert 2.0 L engines for about 100,000 dollars a piece but they would have NO warranty (dumb). Two, we can wait for diamond to build their own turbo diesel engine (could be up to a year). There is an option to put Lycoming engines on it and it will run on av gas instead of Jet A.

So the owner does not get totally hosed there has been talk of parting out the plane (selling the engines before they break or go into overhaul) to some one who needs them.

There is talk of Diamond buying out Teilert but Diamond denies this.

Personally i think Diamond should stand behind their plane and either pay for the overhauls or pay for the new engines. Right now they are offering something like 30% off the new Diamond turbo diesel's to DA-42 owners but who knows when they will come out. Obliviously they could not pay for the new motors or they would go out of business.

Any way i was just wondering if any one else was in this boat and what they are doing to remedy the situation. It just kind of sucks because i've payed thousands of dollars learning in this plane only for it to go down right after i get my MEI and can actually get paid to fly it. the 50+ hours of multi time won't ever go away but still it's not a good situation.

-Matt
 

ZeroPapaGolf

Well-Known Member
Sounds like it's not really your problem to worry about. What I mean by that is, whatever the owner chooses to do, is what he'll do. Odds are if he needs an airplane now, this isn't going to make him stop needing one. He'll either fix the Twin-Star or get something else. Win-win for you.
 

ILS37R

Well-Known Member
I was just about done with my MEI when the Twin Star went down at my local FBO. I ended up going to nearest ATP location to get the quickie course (I already had plenty of Seminole time). I now work at the FBO and it's basically wait-and-see when it comes to the Twin Star; thankfully there's also a Seneca on the line.

Thielert (or, more precisely, Herr Thielert's "expense account") put Diamond in a really bad position. With their engine manufacturer shuttered until bankruptcy runs its course (and an unsympathetic judge, to boot), there's not really a whole they can do. Insolvent companies aren't much for honoring warranties and, even if Diamond wanted to fully step-in and do it themselves, the parts just aren't being made.

Rather than waiting around and hoping for a quick and favorable resolution of Thielert's filing (not especially likely), Diamond has been scrambling to get a new engine certified--a risky, if ballsy, move.

The new engine, if it's as advertised with 30 more hp and higher fuel efficiency, might actually bring the Twin Star closer to its original performance projections. I'll believe it when I'm preflighting it. But you gotta think Diamond's taking it on the chin with this: development and certification (both in the EU and US) of a new engine, which they'll then turn-around and sell at 70% of value? Ouch. I really wish Diamond would do more, but I bet their bean-counters are already fuming.

Regardless, we're probably looking at a minimum 10-12 month horizon here. The new engine isn't even certified yet and--even if the Thielert bankruptcy ended today--it would take months for Thielert (or another company that bought its assets) to get things up and running again.

It's a mess all-around. There's not really much those of us on this side of the equation can do other than hope for a quick resolution. If you play your cards right, though, you may be able to get your school/FBO to pay for the five hours you need in a different twin so you can instruct in it ;)
 

Baronpilot244

Killick Stoker
Do yourself a favor - get your multi in a "real" twin. One with 6 levers on the throttle pedestal. Sorry to be blunt but what flying will you do in a twin star once you have finished your training (unless you instruct).

Someone wants you to fly a Cessna 402 or a Baron - trust me these are busy airplanes and get away from you in a heartbeat - twin star experience isn't going to count for much. Unless you're going to go straight to something automated enough that you won't have to worry.

Sorry - just my opinion and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the Twin Star, looks like a nice airplane and has lots of nice toys - fine if thats all you'll ever fly...........

BP244
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
I agree with Baronpilot. This is why we utilize Twin Comanches at CPS for our Multi training.

In terms of the Thielert debacle, in terms of parts for the actual engine, correct me if I'm wrong, but they're just Mercedes parts so they can't be difficult to source. I realize the reduction gearbox and the electronics are at least semi proprietary to Thielert, but the actual engine block and ancillaries are straight from Mercedes last I knew.
 

flyboywbl

3rd regional in 1 year
Do yourself a favor - get your multi in a "real" twin. One with 6 levers on the throttle pedestal. Sorry to be blunt but what flying will you do in a twin star once you have finished your training (unless you instruct).

Someone wants you to fly a Cessna 402 or a Baron - trust me these are busy airplanes and get away from you in a heartbeat - twin star experience isn't going to count for much. Unless you're going to go straight to something automated enough that you won't have to worry.

Sorry - just my opinion and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the Twin Star, looks like a nice airplane and has lots of nice toys - fine if thats all you'll ever fly...........

BP244
Totally agree with you. The Twin Star is more like a jet with it's % power levers. Shutting the engine down and feathering is as easy as turning off the master switch. I would like to have "traditional" twin time but the fact is we don't have another twin at our school. We are solely a diamond school. our G1000 sim is a Barron and i have 10.6 hours on it going towards my commercial not the same but at least it's a little different. I talked to the owner of the flight school and he said that it's really hard to find a reasonable twin to lease with insurance/gas being so high. Before the school started using diamonds they used to have a Semonel that they advertised for 199 an hour. that was two years ago. gas was cheep back then. ;) my solution to the Twin Star problem, make it a TurboProp :nana2:, that will beat their original performance projections!
 

Minuteman

“Dongola”
An non-airworthy DA42 could make a good airplane for a smuggler. :D

(Kidding ... I mean, it's true, but kidding about the part where that actually happens. Don't do that.)
 

BajtheJino

I'm looking at you.
I don't understand the problem. If the airplane was renting so much that it has now come up to time for replacement on the engines wheres the money to replace them? I didn't think the warranty for the engine had anything to do with replacement costs? I didn't think you could overhaul the diesels? I thought it was strictly a comes times to replace you replace.
I don't know, thats why I'm asking. When we still had our 172's at the school they were a Theilert dealer. They were very expensive and the time to replacement was still around 1000 hrs. But I thought it had gone up to 2400 hrs since?
Diamond isn't honoring the warranties? Thats pretty bad business-especially for the scratch people through down for these aeroplanes.
 

flyboywbl

3rd regional in 1 year
Sounds like it's not really your problem to worry about. What I mean by that is, whatever the owner chooses to do, is what he'll do. Odds are if he needs an airplane now, this isn't going to make him stop needing one. He'll either fix the Twin-Star or get something else. Win-win for you.
The problem is, is that the owner does not fly his twin. It is solely a tax write off. He does not even have enough hours for the insurance to fly it. There is no way he is gonna buy another one. He owns a DA-40 and two DA-20's. He does not give a crap if the school has a twin. I'm sure he is thinking, how can i make money on this thing. If it gets grounded, who will want to buy it? If it gets grounded the mortgage still has to get paid. Thats 50,000 dollars a year for something that's not flying, ouch!!! I don't think the owner will be hurting though. If you can buy a million dollars worth of airplanes and you can't afford 50,000 a year with out hurting, you should not own a million dollars worth of planes.
 

flyboywbl

3rd regional in 1 year
I don't understand the problem. If the airplane was renting so much that it has now come up to time for replacement on the engines wheres the money to replace them? I didn't think the warranty for the engine had anything to do with replacement costs? I didn't think you could overhaul the diesels? I thought it was strictly a comes times to replace you replace.
I don't know, thats why I'm asking. When we still had our 172's at the school they were a Theilert dealer. They were very expensive and the time to replacement was still around 1000 hrs. But I thought it had gone up to 2400 hrs since?
Diamond isn't honoring the warranties? Thats pretty bad business-especially for the scratch people through down for these aeroplanes.
From what i understand, it's the gear box that needs the overhaul and it was suposed to be under warranty. Because Theilert is going bankrupt, they won't do the warranty for free. It will cost around 60,000 dollars. if i'm wrong please inform me but this is what i understand the problem to be. Diamond probably would go out of business if they honored the Theilert warranty. it's just a crappy situation for every one.
 

WacoFan

Bigly
An non-airworthy DA42 could make a good airplane for a smuggler. :D

(Kidding ... I mean, it's true, but kidding about the part where that actually happens. Don't do that.)
Would it carry enough "stuff" to make an illicit trip worthwhile? Who wants to carry a full load of blow out of some Columbian, High-altitude unimproved strip in a Twinstar? Give me a C-310 with long-range mods for that mission. I believe the 310 is faster, carries more, has better single engine performance, and is all round the better smuggling airplane.
 

WacoFan

Bigly
I agree with Baronpilot. This is why we utilize Twin Comanches at CPS for our Multi training.

In terms of the Thielert debacle, in terms of parts for the actual engine, correct me if I'm wrong, but they're just Mercedes parts so they can't be difficult to source. I realize the reduction gearbox and the electronics are at least semi proprietary to Thielert, but the actual engine block and ancillaries are straight from Mercedes last I knew.
Interested in the responses you get to this. My understanding was that the Thielert diesels were Mercedes based engines completely - block and everything. Not sure what mods occured and also not sure if you could actually buy the parts from D-Benz. Diamond needs to step up. It is amazing to me that Diamond did not do enough due dilligence on THE major vendor they had to make sure that they were a legitimate business and remained solvent. Continental Motors has been around since at least the 20's (in the airplane engine business - not sure if they made other engines before for tractors or anything) and Lycoming has been around that long as well. I can not imagine Cessna, Piper, Beech or Mooney agreeing to be supplied engines without doing a colonoscopy on the company that wanted to be that vendor - why did Diamond fail in this regard? I would sue Thielert, but that is worthless, so I would definately hold Diamond responsible - you bought the plane from them and they need to rectify your problems for the owners.
 

BajtheJino

I'm looking at you.
For the gear box overhaul I think your looking at closer to $16,000. At least that's the info I've come across. The cost of a total engine replacement is roughly $60,000 a piece.

As others have stated I can't imagine what Diamond was thinking with this. Even the conversions for 172's have had a weak response at best. Too much crap to go wrong and too expensive for the less than advertised performance.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
That's exactly my point: these are Mercedes diesels. If Thielert won't supply parts or service their product due to insolvency reasons, why can't Diamond go straight to M-B? I realize there are legal issues as far as certification/ airworthiness but I'm sure those could be solved by a team of attorneys.

On the flip side, it is absolutely ridiculous that Diamond entered into this deal without doing their homework. It is their problem now and they need to make right with the buyers of their product.
 

Polar742

All the responsibility none of the authority
...so when the engines go under 400 hour, they are gonna need 60,000 dollars (per engine i think) of overhauling...

.... One thing our owner can do is buy the Teilert 2.0 L engines for about 100,000 dollars a piece but they would have NO warranty (dumb)...
No knock to the OP.

Anyone else have fundamental issues with this? I remember when I was trying to scrap multi-time. I should have, but I didn't, buy an Apache for like 20 or 30 grand. I can't really remember the price. However, if I had my head removed, and got one, the appreciation would have cover most of the operational expenses.

I don't get spending the amount of coin that can get you a used King Air, or Learjet, on a trainer that is going to beat on anyway.

Nothing wrong with getting ratings in a 40+ year old design. I remeber how I used to attempt to fly. I didn't do anything crazy or too hot-rod, but I goofed a couple times.

Maybe it's just me, but times seem to have changed.

Sorry this was off topic, and did nothing to further the discussion, but just had to get this off my chest.

EDIT: Just went to the website. 550k. YGTBFKM. I did add the ADF and DME as options though....That's alot of gas through an old ass twin
 

DeltaAVL

New Member
Do you guys have the option of selling it now, before the engines are due and before anything breaks?

Getting rid of the thing while it's still airworthy seems like the best thing you can do. That is, if anyone will buy a used Twin Star.
 

flyboywbl

3rd regional in 1 year
i don't think any one wants to buy it. as of tomorrow the school is goona bump the price 100 dollars an hour more, to 390 to get some more coin in the bank "just in case". this just sucks. yah a 40 year old design is old but it works, thats why it's been around more than 40 years. for around the same amount you could buy a Lancair Evolution, +300 ktas and you can get into the flight levels. also you would be logging turbine time.
-Matt
 

bdhill1979

Gone West
An non-airworthy DA42 could make a good airplane for a smuggler. :D

(Kidding ... I mean, it's true, but kidding about the part where that actually happens. Don't do that.)
Actually I work with an instructor that was requested to take one of the first A1 Katana's out into some of the restricted airspace west of SLC and shut off his transponder for awhile.

Invisible to radar...........no

Two engines just means more RCS.

As to the OP... man how long have I been saying this about the Twin Star? I feel like a broken record.

They were marketed as a low cost of operation twin. Yes the fuel burn is low, but that is only one dimension of the overall cost of operating an airplane. By my estimation the Twin Stars are up one week for every two that they are down, no exaggeration. There are so many Mx issues that are mandatory, like replacing the gear boxes every 300 hours. That is two weeks down every two months at an average flight school, just for that one part per engine. Not to mention the actual breakage that occurs constantly with these things.
I don't understand the problem. If the airplane was renting so much that it has now come up to time for replacement on the engines wheres the money to replace them? I didn't think the warranty for the engine had anything to do with replacement costs? I didn't think you could overhaul the diesels? I thought it was strictly a comes times to replace you replace.
I don't know, thats why I'm asking. When we still had our 172's at the school they were a Theilert dealer. They were very expensive and the time to replacement was still around 1000 hrs. But I thought it had gone up to 2400 hrs since?
Diamond isn't honoring the warranties? Thats pretty bad business-especially for the scratch people through down for these aeroplanes.
The airplane doesn't make any revenue. It breaks when you fly it. Or has some required replacement or inspection due. Or yet another AD has grounded it.

As we all know airplanes on the ground don't make any money.
 
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