After years of rumors about development of a fast, low-wing, single-engine turboprop, Cessna unveiled an aircraft interior mock-up in July to solicit prospective customer interest and opinion, gathering more than 350 detailed surveys during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. While Cessna has not decided if it will move forward with the aircraft, spokesman Andy Woodward said the company was “very encouraged” by the positive feedback the concept has received to date.
A Daher-Socata TBM 850 with the new Elite interior is now on a demonstration tour in the UK and Ireland. The tour began following the turboprop single’s appearance at AeroExpo UK 2012, which ended Sunday at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire. As of late April, more than 266 TBM 850s had been delivered to customers. The combined TBM 700 and TBM 850 fleet now stands at 590 aircraft worldwide.
Pilatus (Stand 7031) and Daher-Socata (Stand 1439), both manufacturers of business turboprop singles, seem to be having trouble defining time frames for producing larger, twin-engine airplanes, respectively dubbed the PC-24 and the NTX. Both designs are still being worked out on but few details have emerged to date.
The PC-24 was to be unveiled in 2012, according to a Pilatus annual report released earlier this year. This has changed, the company told AIN on Tuesday at the EBACE show and now an announcement is to be made at the EBACE 2013 show–in a year.
Here at EBACE 2012, Daher-Socata is exhibiting the TBM 850 Elite, the latest version of its single-turboprop business/utility aircraft. Its main feature is the “quick-change” capability from the conventional six-seat arrangement to a configuration with four forward-facing seats, with the rest of the volume being made available for more luggage. Other improvements can be found in the avionics suite.
Preliminary Report: Eng Helo Crashes in Australia
Eurocopter AS355F2 Ecureuil II, Lake Eyre, Australia, Aug. 18, 2011–The light twin helicopter, operated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, was destroyed when it crashed and burned shortly after takeoff. The pilot and two passengers, including a well-known Australian journalist, were killed. Weather at the time of the accident was reportedly fine and clear. The accident is under investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive for the Socata TBM 700 electrical system.
Daher-Socata rolled out its 600th series-production TBM turboprop single–a TBM 850–from its Tarbes, France production facility on Thursday. The milestone aircraft went to an unnamed private customer from the U.S. Northwest. In 1990, the TBM 700 became the first production pressurized single-engine aircraft to be certified.
Owners of Daher-Socata TBM 700 turboprops can now retrofit their panels with Garmin’s G1000 integrated flight deck. The retrofit, available for both A and B models of the TBM 700, includes two 10.4-inch PFDs and one 15-inch MFD and GFC 700 automatic flight control system. Buyers can opt for Garmin’s synthetic vision technology. The retrofit received supplemental type certification from the EASA and FAA validation of the EASA STC.
Engine: 1,825-shp PWC PT6A-66D
Cruise (max) 320 ktas at 26,000 feet
Cruise at long-range settings 252 ktas
Range 1,585 nm
Kaman and Lockheed Martin continue to expand the missions being flown by the unmanned K-Max helicopter at the Army’s Yuma, Ariz., Proving Ground. The helicopter recently made multiple guided airdrops at 10,000 feet msl. The 16 payloads airdropped included medical equipment, food, simulated leaflets and bulk cargo and were programmed by the GPS-guided Joint Precision Delivery System (JPADS) or triggered from a remote ground control station.