Daher-Socata has designated Atlantic Aero its newest authorized TBM service center in North America. Located on the East Coast, the company offers complete FBO and MRO services, including Pratt & Whitney Canada-authorized PT6A-64/66D line services, avionics repairs and installations, interior refurbishment and in-house engineering support.
Daher-Socata’s target of formally launching a new eight- to 10-seat or equivalent weight twin-engine business airplane sometime next year is still planned, but it depends on the company continuing to seek investment partners to fund the NTx New Twin program, unveiled at last year’s NBAA Convention.
Daher-Socata has selected North Carolina-based Atlantic Aero International as its newest North American authorized TBM service center. The addition of Atlantic Aero fulfills the company’s promise to have an authorized service center within a three-hour flight of the home airport of any U.S. TBM customer.
Daher has signed a contract with Eurocopter to design, develop and produce a “new generation” airframe for light helicopters. The airframe will offer “better tradeoff between performance and weight,” according to the company. Under the agreement, production will start in 2012 in Daher-Socata’s factory in Tarbes, southwest France.
Sometime in the next year or so, Daher-Socata is expected to announce the formal launch of a new eight- to 10-seat twin-engine turboprop or jet. Although the company mentioned the NTx at last year’s NBAA Convention, Daher-Socata has not chosen the powerplant or revealed any more details. The final choice on the NTx engine will depend
Looking back on European business aviation’s boom years of 2004 to 2008, new figures from the European General Aviation Manufacturers Association (EGAMA) show that during this period the value of its members’ combined deliveries climbed by 59 percent to peak at $12 billion last year. In 2008, almost 1,000 aircraft were delivered by an industry that directly supports 35,000 jobs in Europe.
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.
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.