Daher-Socata Going Forward with NTx Plans

 - April 30, 2009, 12:13 PM

Daher-Socata early next month at EBACE will formally announce plans to invest almost $330 million to develop a new eight- to 10-seat twin-engine aircraft to offer in the market segment above its TBM 850 turboprop single. The so-called NTx program was launched at the NBAA Convention in October, but Socata still has not decided whether the new airplane will be a turboprop or a turbofan. The final engine choice for the NTx hinges on who Daher-Socata selects as the aircraft’s primary financial and/or industrial partner, which might not be a European company. President and CEO Patrick Daher said that powerplant choices are still under discussion, even though the company has started marketing efforts for the new aircraft. A full industrial launch is expected at the end of this year or early next year. Pratt & Whitney Canada, which supplies the TBM 850’s PT6A-66D turboprop engine, is likely to be in contention to join the new program.