Daher-Socata is still mulling a new eight- to 10-seat twin-engine aircraft to enter the market segment above its extremely popular TBM 850 turboprop single, but a decision could come by the end of the year.
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification manager for general aviation Roger Hardy said VLJs are classified as high-performance aircraft (HPA). However, he admitted that the Part 23 rules are “frankly not geared to HPAs the way Part 25 is. It was drafted in the 1960s and has barely kept pace, with special conditions used to supplement the code to cover new technology such as FADECs and composite structures.”
Daher, the French family-run firm that now owns Socata, is pressing ahead with investments to ensure the maker of the TBM 850 single turboprop is well-placed when the business aviation market emerges from the current financial crisis–a recovery it believes could be 12 to 18 months away.
Daher-Socata early next month at EBACE will formally announce plans to invest almost $330 million to develop a new eight- to 10-seat twin-engine aircraft to offer in the market segment above its TBM 850 turboprop single. The so-called NTx program was launched at the NBAA Convention in October, but Socata still has not decided whether the new airplane will be a turboprop or a turbofan.
Daher Socata launched a TBM 850 co-ownership program dubbed “Fly And Share your TBM” (Fast), with guaranteed operational availability for owner-pilots. For each one-third share of the turboprop single, 100 days of availability per year are guaranteed. Devised for two or three co-owners, the program calls for the partners to agree on time sharing. There is no management fee and no commitment for a number of flight hours.
Daher Socata is launching a TBM 850 co-ownership program dubbed, “Fly And Share your TBM” (Fast), with guaranteed operational availability for owner-pilots. For each one-third share of the single-turboprop business aircraft, 100 days of availability (meaning a maximum of 22 days of maintenance downtime) per year is guaranteed. Devised for two or three co-owners, the program calls for the partners to agree on time sharing.
nounced an exclusive agreement with EADS Socata to distribute TBM technical publications.
“We are excited about the ability for our customers to automatically download the most current airframe, engine and propeller technical information for the TBM 700, A, B, C1 and C2 and TBM 850 using NavigatorV. This helps our customers improve safety and efficiency,” said Raphael Maitre, Socata vice president of customer service.
France-based Daher Group last month confirmed that French and German antitrust authorities have approved its taking over 70 percent of Socata, with EADS retaining the remaining 30-percent share. Combined, Daher and Socata have 7,500 employees and ?1 billion ($1.4 billion) revenues in aerostructures and business aircraft. Socata delivered a record 60 TBM 850 turboprops last year.
Organizers of the third annual Eur-Avia Cannes show say that, despite worsening economic conditions in Europe, the private aviation event will be twice the size of last year’s. As of mid-January, 90 percent of the 2008 exhibitors had committed to this year’s event (April 30 to May 2) and with new exhibitors joining them, these companies will fill nearly 600,000 sq ft of exhibition space.
EADS Socata last month broke ground for a factory to be operated by Socaero, the company’s Moroccan subsidiary at Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport. Socaero, which already employs 90 people, will work on subassemblies for the TBM 850 turboprop single and for Socata’s aerostructure business. This includes elements for the Eurocopter AS 350/355 and Dassault Falcon 7X.