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.
Blackhawk Modifications president Jim Allmon announced the appointment of two new regional sales managers. Kevin Swash has responsibility for Southeast Asia and Oceania, bringing with him a wealth of experience in Australia and Indonesia in the fields of engineering and business development. Bill Cadow has been appointed to cover the eastern U.S., having formerly worked in various sales fields for Hawker Beechcraft.
Accompanied by stage smoke and theme music from the Superman movie, Pilatus Aircraft unveiled its long-awaited new twinjet project, the PC-24, today at EBACE. “The PC-24 is unique. It’s the only aircraft combining the versatility of a turboprop with the cabin size of a midsize jet and the field performance of a light jet,” said company chairman Oscar Schwenk.
Accompanied by plumes of dry ice pouring from the edges of a black-curtained mockup and the music from the Superman movie, chairman Oscar Schwenk called for the unveiling of Pilatus Aircraft’s long-awaited new twinjet project, the PC-24.
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.
Piaggio Aero announced a reduced maintenance program for Avanti I/IIs today at EBACE, extending the heavy inspection intervals for the twin turboprop. Under the new inspection schedule, C and D checks–previously due at 1,500 and 3,000 hours, respectively–have been stretched to 1,800 and 3,600 hours.
Since it exited a 10-month restructuring process and Chapter 11 protection in February, the rebranded Beechcraft (formerly Hawker Beechcraft) has performed well and is even looking at possible new models to bolster its turboprop line-up.
GE Aviation is no stranger to the business aviation world. Its CF34 engines have powered Challengers for 30 years, while its larger engines are used by Airbus Corporate Jets and Boeing Business Jets (through its CFM joint venture with France’s Snecma). It is currently bringing the HF120 turbofan (in the GE Honda Aero joint venture with Honda Aircraft) and Passport 20 (for Bombardier’s Global 7000/8000) to the marketplace.
The first quarter of 2013 was mixed for used business aircraft sales, according to the latest market update report from Amstat (Booth 931), although the good news is that inventories of used aircraft continue to drop from the 2009 highs.