Socata, Pilatus Struggle with Twin Models

 - May 16, 2012, 9:45 AM

Turboprop-single business aircraft manufacturers Pilatus and Daher-Socata seem to be having trouble defining time frames for producing larger, twin-engine airplanes–respectively the PC-24 and NTX–both companies told AIN this week at EBACE.

The PC-24 was to be unveiled this year, according to Pilatus’ latest annual report, but this has apparently changed. Yesterday at EBACE, the company told AIN that an announcement is now planned for EBACE 2013–in a year. In any case, the PC-24 is the only civil project Pilatus design engineers currently have on the drawing boards. It is understood to be a twin-engine design, but Pilatus will not say whether it is a jet or a turboprop.

Meanwhile, Daher-Socata engineers have been evaluating the defunct Grob SPn business jet program as a possible basis for a Socata product. The three SPn prototypes are at the airframer’s Tarbes headquarters in France. The first has flown with Socata test pilots; the second is being used for system tests on the ground; and the third, in a disassembled form, has served a production assessment role.

A Daher spokesman said his company is “actively working on the project to meet the economic, market and technical conditions for a program launch,” but added that no time frame has been set. Other options, including a clean-sheet development, remain on the table, he said.

Comments

Karl Zimmerman's picture

Socata didn't go with the Grob because it was unviable, however their previous head engineer wanted to go with the twin engine, but they stopped him on his feet. They turned him away and got a new head engineer who decided not to follow the twin! Wrong move right there! Now they are lost in their own shadow, moving on with no twin to face the competition, the new TBM century is good but not so good, will be too expensive, is running late, meanwhile Pilatus is already there with their new twin engine! This is when companies make bad decisions. The Century will be pretty, wioth wingtips composites avionics,m ore powerful engine, etc, but as I said is running late and ius facing many challenges and will be no way near the competition and what the market is waiting for.

PlanesPlanesPlanes's picture

Twin is what the market is expecting. Now Pilatus has its twin already and socata is still working out what they are going to do with the future. They stopped the Grob because it was unviable. The old head engineer wantedi to move on to the twin, but they stopped him on his feet. They brought a new head engineer with a famous last name but no knowledge that is leading the company to the ground. Wrong move! they decided to go with the century model, I recon it will be beautiful, with wingtips, more engine power, composite parts and better avionics, but single engine come on! The market is double engine. Even the Century model is running late very late so Socata right there is losing edge, I hope this is not what brings it to the ground. As I said twin is the way to go!

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