Daher-Socata unveiled the latest iteration of its turboprop single, the TBM 900, at company headquarters in Tarbes, France, on March 12. Derived from the TBM 850, itself a variant of the original TBM 700, the new version offers better efficiency and performance without an increase in fuel consumption or engine power, according to the company. The aircraft received both FAA and EASA approval before it was publicly unveiled.
Larry Glazer–CEO of Rochester, N.Y.-based commercial/industrial real-estate developer Buckingham Properties and president of the TBM Owners and Pilots Association–was handed the keys to TBM 900 S/N 1003, registered as N900KN, during the U.S. debut of the upgraded turboprop single late last week in Polk City, Fla.
Daher-Socata appointed Okayama Air Service (OAS) a TBM service center in Japan. OAS was founded in 1988 for the maintenance of business aircraft in Japan. Today, the company offers charters, maintenance, hangar storage, fleet management and interior completion at Chuba, Haneda, Kohnan and Okayama airports.
Daher-Socata deliveries rose by 5 percent last year, with 40 TBM 850s handed over to customers, the French aircraft manufacturer announced today. This represents a 20-percent share of the turboprop market, up from 18 percent in 2012, and marks the fourth-best year for the company’s TBM since it entered service in 1990. The 2013 deliveries bring the total number of TBM-series aircraft received by customers to 662, of which 338 are current-production TBM 850s.
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.