Daher-Socata appointed WingsOverAsia (WOA) as a TBM 850 non-exclusive sales representative throughout Asia. As part of this partnership, WOA will exhibit a TBM 850 turboprop single at the Singapore Airshow in mid-February. During the show, WOA is organizing the Asia Aviators Gathering on February 15, bringing together the region’s general aviation sector for a “major meeting.” WingsOverAsia bills itself as a “private/executive aircraft flight support and aviation lifestyle services provider.”
Keystone Aviation’s Part 145 repair facility at Aurora State Airport in Aurora, Ore. has been named a Cirrus authorized service center. Keystone Aviation’s maintenance department was established in 1997 to provide maintenance services for the regional aviation market and the company’s charter fleet. It has since grown to a Part 145 repair station with a Class IV airframe rating. The Aurora location is also an authorized service center for Daher-Socata and operates maintenance facilities at Tac Air Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah.
Daher-Socata announced yesterday at the Paris Air Show that the French DGAC has awarded Rennes, France-based charter operator VolDirect the go-ahead to conduct single-engine IFR (SEIFR) commercial flights in its TBM 850. This is the first time an air charter company has been approved to carry passengers on SEIFR commercial flights in Europe.
A new film about the Patrouille de France has been released at the show and claims to portray the aerobatic team “as they have never been seen before.” The film’s producer and directors, Eric Magnan and Francoise-Olivier Robin, have captured exceptional moments in the Patrouille’s display thanks to the use of a specially-configured Daher-Socata TBM 850 turboprop, which flies fast enough to keep up with the Patrouille’s Alphajets.
During an EBACE interview, Daher-Socata (Booth 1643) airplane division senior v-p Nicolas Chabbert told AIN that none of the company’s design engineers is currently working on its new twin project (NTX) that it has been considering since 2008. “The NTX project is in standby mode,” he said. At least, the Tarbes, France-based manufacturer of the single-engine TBM 850 turboprop knows where its main competitors stand. Pilatus has just unveiled a light twinjet, the PC-24, and Beechcraft now offers a turboprop-only lineup.
Daher-Socata’s NTX project, a new twin the company has been considering since 2008, “is in standby mode,” airplane division senior v-p Nicolas Chabbert told AIN this week at EBACE.
AIN understands that Daher-Socata has considered both a twin turboprop and a twinjet under the NTX project banner. Without referring specifically to one option or the other, Chabbert said Daher-Socata is not excluding any possibility. However, the company has already ruled out resurrecting the Grob SPn program after some in-depth evaluations, including flight tests of the SPn prototype.
Daher-Socata airplane division senior v-p Nicolas Chabbert gave an optimistic outlook at EBACE for sales of the French manufacturer’s TBM 850 turboprop single. At about 40 examples of the aircraft, deliveries this year will be close to last year’s 38–but this time the backlog is much stronger: “We have sold 95 percent of the planned production,” Chabbert said.
Daher-Socata is here at EBACE (Booth 1643) with its model year 2013 TBM 850 Elite, featuring a special cabin equipment package. The Tarbes, France-based company sold 38 examples of the single-engine turboprop last year, while its specialist aerostructures activities mean that it is involved in still-under-wraps business jet programs.
Sales of TBM 850 turboprop singles were steady last year, Daher-Socata senior vice president and Socata North America president Nicholas Chabbert said today at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. “Our backlog is now much stronger than it was at this time last year, and we expected the 500th TBM 700/850 to enter service in North America by early next year,” he added. There are 461 TBM 700s and 850s currently operating in this region.
Oregon Aero (Booth No. A40-42), makers of comfort seat augmentation and custom upholstery for dozens of aircraft, is introducing its SoftSeat Posture cushions cut specifically for the Daher-Socata TBM 700 and 850 turboprop singles this week at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. The cushions, custom fit for pilot-right, pilot-left, forward- and rear-facing passenger positions, are available in every upholstery style and color that Daher-Socata offers for its aircraft interiors.