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.
Daher-Socata’s NTX project, a new twin the company has been considering since 2008, “is in standby mode,” airplane division senior v-p Nicolas Chabbert told AIN this week at EBACE.
AIN understands that Daher-Socata has considered both a twin turboprop and a twinjet under the NTX project banner. Without referring specifically to one option or the other, Chabbert said Daher-Socata is not excluding any possibility. However, the company has already ruled out resurrecting the Grob SPn program after some in-depth evaluations, including flight tests of the SPn prototype.
Daher-Socata airplane division senior v-p Nicolas Chabbert gave an optimistic outlook at EBACE for sales of the French manufacturer’s TBM 850 turboprop single. At about 40 examples of the aircraft, deliveries this year will be close to last year’s 38–but this time the backlog is much stronger: “We have sold 95 percent of the planned production,” Chabbert said.
Daher-Socata is here at EBACE (Booth 1643) with its model year 2013 TBM 850 Elite, featuring a special cabin equipment package. The Tarbes, France-based company sold 38 examples of the single-engine turboprop last year, while its specialist aerostructures activities mean that it is involved in still-under-wraps business jet programs.
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 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.
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.