Socata denies report of jet development

 - July 7, 2008, 6:53 AM

EADS Socata, the France-based manufacturer of the TBM 850 turboprop, last month denied the content of a June 1 story in the India Times, which reported that UB Group’s Vijay Mallya was ready to invest $200 million in the development of a jet. “We did talk to Mallya, but it was about relaunching our line of piston singles,” a spokesman said, adding that the company has made no progress recently in the search for partners in business aircraft. The long-rumored tie-up with Epic Aircraft seems to have never started, as nothing more than consulting services were exchanged between the two companies, according to Socata’s spokesman. A likely partner to help fund a new Socata program is French aerostructure specialist Daher. It will join EADS in the company’s ownership (and possibly become the majority owner), providing Socata and Daher succeed in their joint bid for an Airbus A350 work package.