There is some real aviation pedigree gathered in Las Vegas for the 2011 NBAA show, but you won’t find a company with a richer heritage than France’s Daher-Socata, which this year marks its 100th anniversary in aircraft manufacturing. The company’s ancestor Morane-Saulnier was established in 1911–eight years after the Wright brothers took to the air for the first time. French family-run industrial group Daher, Socata’s current owner, is 150 years old itself. At the end of 2008, it acquired a 70-percent stake in Socata from the EADS group. The anniversary has been marked with a series of special events throughout 2011, but most notably by the introduction of a special centenary edition of its TBM 850 single turboprop business and utility aircraft.
Business aircraft traffic at the recently rebranded Munich Executive Airport has been growing. According to Rheinland Air Service (RAS), which operates an FBO at the former Oberpfaffenhofen airfield, average monthly traffic levels have grown from 28 to 54 aircraft over the past 12 months.
Owners of Daher-Socata TBM 700 turboprops can now retrofit their panels with Garmin’s G1000 integrated flight deck. The retrofit, available for both A and B models of the TBM 700, includes two 10.4-inch PFDs and one 15-inch MFD and GFC 700 automatic flight control system. Buyers can opt for Garmin’s synthetic vision technology. The retrofit received supplemental type certification from the EASA and FAA validation of the EASA STC.
Daher-Socata is targeting the end of the year for a decision on whether to resurrect the defunct Grob SPn light business jet. The approval or rejection of the program restart will be based on “ongoing technical, cost and market analyses,” a Daher spokesperson told AIN. The manufacturer of the TBM850 turboprop has transferred two SPns to its Tarbes, France base, where one of them is flying.
Daher-Socata (Hall 2B C186, Static C63) has been selected by ENAC (Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile), France’s national aviation school, for the avionics modernization of 37 Daher-Socata TB 20 Trinidad light aircraft in the ENAC training fleet.
Daher-Socata has delivered a TMA-MMA, a multi-mission version of the TBM850 turboprop single, to Argentina’s airport security agency. The airplane will be operated by the Policía de Seguridad, which is tasked with guarding the nation’s public airports. The agency’s airplane can be quickly converted to medical evacuation use.
Spain’s Aviastec has joined Daher- Socata’s sales network. The Oviedo company will market the TBM850 in Spain and Portugal. Aviastec also has a maintenance facility at Madrid Cuatro Vientos airport. In Argentina, Socata delivered the first multi-mission version of the TBM850, to the country’s airport security police.
Business aviation is now a global business but it is being held back by the lack of a global regulatory structure, according to leading industry lobbyist speaking on the eve of this week’s EBACE show.
With Europe’s economy facing another year of uncertainty, the 2011 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (Ebace) will open to a business aviation community that is increasingly impatient for signs of a lasting recovery. At face value, some indicators since last year’s event are encouraging, with traffic levels climbing in an intermittent way.
Kaman and Lockheed Martin continue to expand the missions being flown by the unmanned K-Max helicopter at the Army’s Yuma, Ariz., Proving Ground. The helicopter recently made multiple guided airdrops at 10,000 feet msl. The 16 payloads airdropped included medical equipment, food, simulated leaflets and bulk cargo and were programmed by the GPS-guided Joint Precision Delivery System (JPADS) or triggered from a remote ground control station.