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.
AIN understands that Daher-Socata has considered a twin turboprop option or a twinjet. Without referring specifically to one option or the other, Chabbert said Daher-Socata is not excluding any possibility. Resurrecting the Grob SPn program, nevertheless, has been ruled out after some in-depth evaluations, including flight tests of the SPn prototype.
Chabbert does not anticipate any Daher-Socata engineers resuming work on the NTX before late 2015. Such a program would use a lot of human resources. In the meantime, the company is very busy, Chabbert said, with aerostructure design and manufacturing for other OEMs such as Airbus, Dassault and Eurocopter.