In March, Socata appointed Stéphane Jacques as its new chief test pilot. The 44-year-old pilot succeeded Christian Briand, who retired after a 40-year career, 19 of them as a Socata test pilot, logging more than 19,000 flight hours.
EADS Socata’s latest TBM 850 business/utility aircraft is now available with an upgraded cockpit, based on a Garmin G1000 avionics suite. Pilots should benefit from uncluttered information display and better situational awareness. The TBM 850’s panel looks like that of the Cessna Citation Mustang very light jet, which is also based on the G1000, but Socata has customized the system to its six-seater.
EADS Socata, in a bid to enter the growing small corporate flight department and air taxi market, is evaluating the case for developing a new turboprop or business jet that would be bigger than its six-seat TBM 850 but would not replace it. The French company is seeking financial and/or industrial partnerships for the $390 million project. It expects to make a decision on the new aircraft by early 2009 and fly it within five years.
First shown as a model at a 1990 Moscow exhibition, the single-turboprop M-101T Gzhel is nearing Russian certification, expected by the end of the year, following a major airframe refinement program that was launched two years ago after tests on the first prototype. A product of the Myasishchev Experimental Design Bureau, the program was delayed for a year by the crash of one aircraft after a loss of lateral control.
The resilience of general aviation was never more in evidence than at EAA’s AirVenture in late July, when an estimated 750,000 airplane buffs made the annual pilgrimage to east central Wisconsin for the 50th time.
At this year’s Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis., Socata introduced the TBM 700C2, a follow-on to the successful TBM 700B turboprop single. The big change is an mtow increase of 815 lb, to 7,394 lb from 6,579 lb, giving operators improved payload/range performance. CEO Philippe Debrun called the new variant “a business-like version” of its current TBM 700.
UK block-charter firm European Skytime has introduced a new “First Step” alternative to its Flight Commitment program. The new option offers lower flight-hour rates for companies willing to nominate a local airport as their home base for all trips. Initially, 25 UK airports are being targeted for the program, including Gloucestershire Staverton (where European Skytime is based), Cambridge and Norwich.
Midcoast Aviation of St. Louis has been named EADS Socata’s western hemisphere repair center. Under the terms of the agreement, Midcoast becomes the authorized repair center for the structures built by EADS Socata for the Falcon 7X.
European aerospace consortium EADS is believed to be close to selling its Tarbes, France-based Socata subsidiary–the manufacturer of the TBM 850 turboprop single–to Daher, an aerospace, defense, nuclear and automotive group headquartered in Wissous, France.
According to several newspaper reports, European aerospace consortium EADS is close to selling its Tarbes, France-based Socata division to Daher, an aerospace, defense, nuclear and automotive group headquartered in Wissous, France. An industry source close to the deal told AIN that Daher has completed the due diligence process, with the sale apparently hinging on Airbus awarding a contract for A350 work to Socata.