EADS Socata this week at EBACE outlined what its next product launch could be next year–a twin-engine business aircraft that is bigger than its TBM 850 turboprop single. “The future product will have two more seats than the [six-seat] TBM,” said Socata CEO Jean-Michel Léonard.
EADS Socata here on Monday outlined what its next product launch could be next year–a twin-engine business aircraft, bigger than the TBM 850 single turboprop. Some criteria, such as finding enough funding for development, still have to be met. French-based Daher taking a stake in Socata may help.
EADS Socata, in a bid to enter the growing small corporate flight department and air taxi market, is evaluating the case for developing a new turboprop or business jet that would be bigger than its six-seat TBM 850 but would not replace it. The French company is seeking financial and/or industrial partnerships for the $390 million project. It expects to make a decision on the new aircraft by early 2009 and fly it within five years.
Time is ticking, and Fairchild Dornier has only two months to find a strategic investor. In the hands of a court-appointed administrator since filing for insolvency on April 2, the company’s prospects may have grown even bleaker when one of its biggest customers–GE Capital Aviation Services–withdrew an order for fifty 728 regional jets last month.
With the arrival of its new CEO, American Eurocopter also revealed that it is expanding its “footprint” in the U.S. with the investment of $11.9 million in a new facility to be built at Golden Triangle Regional Airport near Columbus, Miss.
As receivers of bankrupt regional jet manufacturer Fairchild Dornier awaited a takeover bid from a partnership led by Russian conglomerate Basic Element last month, another group of investors that hopes to prove more palatable to aircraft program stakeholders and the German government suddenly surfaced.
Traditionally, Boeing and Airbus have used the Paris and Farnborough airshows to announce multimillion-dollar sales contracts, in the hope of one-upping the opposition. But at Farnborough this year–the first big post-September 11 air show–neither company had major announcements to make.
The defense facet of Farnborough 2002 was focused on new technology to be deployed in the war on terror. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)–once an obscure sideshow–moved to center stage. Though confined to the static display line, Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk surveillance platform–as proven in the recent Afghanistan conflict drew a lot of attention.
Midcoast Aviation of St. Louis has been named EADS Socata’s western hemisphere repair center. Under the terms of the agreement, Midcoast becomes the authorized repair center for the structures built by EADS Socata for the Falcon 7X.
European aerospace consortium EADS is believed to be close to selling its Tarbes, France-based Socata subsidiary–the manufacturer of the TBM 850 turboprop single–to Daher, an aerospace, defense, nuclear and automotive group headquartered in Wissous, France.