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.
French aerostructure specialist Daher-Socata appears determined to reduce lead times in an effort to accommodate demand from OEMs. It predicts its ongoing production rate increases will contribute to a major jump in revenues, as outlined in Daher’s recently announced Performance 2017 strategic plan. Performance 2017 calls for a turnover increase from €925 million ($1.2 billion) in 2012 to €1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) in 2017. Aerospace and defense activities, under the Daher-Socata brand, account for 60 percent of the group revenues.
Daher-Socata’s latest TBM 850 Elite version of its turboprop single includes an L-3 Avionics Trilogy ESI-2000 electronic standby instrument, which replaces an electromechanical instrument found on previous versions. The TBM 850 Elite, which debuted last year, also includes further improvements, such as two new interior leather colors, perforated seat backs for better comfort and an optional special package with a deluxe leather interior and a storage cabinet. The aircraft’s comprehensive maintenance program has also been enhanced.
Daher-Socata delivered 38 TBM 850s last year, representing the fourth best year for the company’s TBM aircraft line since 1990. The 2012 deliveries bring the number of TBMs–including the 700, 800 and 850 models–to 622 aircraft, of which 298 are TBM 850s. Citing the GAMA year-end shipment and billings figures released on Tuesday, Daher-Socata said the TBM 850 had an 18-percent share of its market segment.
Eric Hinson, most recently executive vice president of training provider FlightSafety International, has been named president of SimCom. The Fla.-based privately owned company has 56 simulators at its training centers in Glendale and Scottsdale, Ariz.; Dallas; and its Orlando, Fla. headquarters. SimCom is a factory-authorized training provider for various business aircraft, among them Cessna Citations, Hawkers, the Eclipse EA-500, Pilatus PC-12, Daher-Socata TBM, Mitsubishi MU-2 and Piper Meridian.
As well as its day-to-day task of catering for business aviation in Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen Executive Airport is getting ready for the second Abu Dhabi Air Expo (March 5-7, 2013), billed as “the only general aviation exhibition in the Middle East.” Organizers appear to be attempting to incorporate light and sport aviation, whereas MEBA is mainly a business aviation show, otherwise its claim to be the “only” show might suggest a strategy to
Aircraft maintenance labor charges will be largely exempt from Florida state taxes effective January 1, according to the Florida Aviation Trades Association (FATA). Airplanes with an mtow of more than 2,000 pounds and rotorcraft with an mtow of more than 10,000 pounds are covered under legislation introduced and passed in mid-March during the 2012 Florida Legislative Session.
FATA worked with the Florida Airports Council and AOPA to change the language of the statute to clarify that FBOs and MROs are exempt from the “intangible tax.”
Daher Socata (Booth No. 3973) is displaying its $3.368 million TBM 850 turboprop single with the new Elite interior for the first time here at NBAA. The TBM 850 is parked at the convention center static display.
The new interior’s main feature is its ability to be quickly converted from the conventional six-seat layout to a configuration with four forward-facing seats, with the remainder of the cabin used for expanded baggage capacity. Seats can be removed and repositioned in less than 30 minutes, according to the manufacturer.
After years of rumors about development of a fast, low-wing, single-engine turboprop, Cessna unveiled an aircraft interior mock-up in July to solicit prospective customer interest and opinion, gathering more than 350 detailed surveys during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. While Cessna has not decided if it will move forward with the aircraft, spokesman Andy Woodward said the company was “very encouraged” by the positive feedback the concept has received to date.