Socata To Join Jet Set with Reworked SPn

 - September 28, 2010, 9:16 AM

Daher-Socata confirmed that it is jointly studying plans for a new aircraft development under an exclusive agreement with Allied Aviation Technologies, which owns the assets of the SPn light business jet program on behalf of the main creditor for Grob Aerospace, the aircraft’s former developer. The agreement has been concluded with former Grob Aerospace CEO Niall Olver, who since the company’s bankruptcy in January 2009 has been seeking fresh investors for the SPn. Speculation about possible new plans for the SPn has been prompted by unofficial reports that the three remaining prototype examples for the aircraft are set to be relocated from Grob Aircraft’s headquarters at Tussenhausen-Mattsies in southern Germany. Grob Aircraft, which is owned by Germany’s H3 Aerospace group, controls Grob Aerospace’s training aircraft business, which was sold separately during the insolvency process. Allied owns the prototypes, in addition to all intellectual property associated with the SPn program. Daher-Socata’s confirmation of the joint study agreement with Allied says that it is “evaluating a 100-percent composite, twin-engine business aircraft program based on the SPn platform.” The French manufacturer has long had ambitions of expanding its turboprop and piston aircraft offerings with the addition of a light jet. Restarting the SPn program, which was quite far advanced when Grob Aerospace hit financial difficulties in August 2008, would provide a way to do this more quickly than starting with a completely new design. Daher-Socata confirmed that it is jointly studying plans for a new aircraft development under an exclusive agreement with Allied Aviation Technologies, which owns the assets of the SPn light business jet program on behalf of the main creditor for Grob Aerospace, the aircraft’s former developer. The agreement has been concluded with former Grob Aerospace CEO Niall Olver, who since the company’s bankruptcy in January 2009 has been seeking fresh investors for the SPn. Speculation about possible new plans for the SPn has been prompted by unofficial reports that the three remaining prototype examples for the aircraft are set to be relocated from Grob Aircraft’s headquarters at Tussenhausen-Mattsies in southern Germany. Grob Aircraft, which is owned by Germany’s H3 Aerospace group, controls Grob Aerospace’s training aircraft business, which was sold separately during the insolvency process. Allied owns the prototypes, in addition to all intellectual property associated with the SPn program. Daher-Socata’s confirmation of the joint study agreement with Allied says that it is “evaluating a 100-percent composite, twin-engine business aircraft program based on the SPn platform.” The French manufacturer has long had ambitions of expanding its turboprop and piston aircraft offerings with the addition of a light jet. Restarting the SPn program, which was quite far advanced when Grob Aerospace hit financial difficulties in August 2008, would provide a way to do this more quickly than starting with a completely new design.