Sales of turboprop aircraft are "holding up" worldwide, while Europe is growing in importance as a market for the TBM 850, according to manufacturer Daher-Socata (stand339).

"The 2009 EBACE is being held at a critical juncture for the business aviation sector, when owners and operators are seeking efficiency, capability, value and speed," says Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice-president of Daher-Socata's airplane division. "This is reflected by the latest General Aviation Manufacturers Association sales figures -which show overall turboprop aircraft sales are holding up during the current global crisis. Additionally, our own numbers reflect a strengthening of the European market for the TBM family, which now represents a 23% share of the worldwide fleet."

The latest demonstrator version of the single-engined TBM 850 turboprop, on display at EBACE, carries a new standard paint scheme, branded High Flyer, and deploys synthetic vision technology within a Garmin G1000 all-glass cockpit.

TBM 850

 © Daher Socata

The manufacturer is inviting prospective European customers to participate in a co-ownership programme offering the opportunity to purchase a one-third or two-thirds share of a brand-new TBM 850. The programme, named Fast("Fly and Share Your TBM"), was previously launched in North America. It provides customers with a minimum of 100 days of exclusive use of the aircraft per annum. Traditional fractional programmes require the purchase of annual flight hours thatare either used or lost.

Daher-Socata is also pursuing a range of service level enhancements via a "Customer Support Excellence"initiative. A new website,, is intended to improve communication with customers and provide them with easy access to technical documentation.

In a bid to enhance parts distribution, an automated online ordering system was introduced in 2008. Today it accounts for 85% of parts orders. Daher-Socata has also revised the maintenance programme to lower the cost of landing gear inspections and simplify the procedure for RVSM approvals.

Daher-Socata says it has sold more than 200 TBM 850s and delivered 158, close to half of them equipped with the Garmin G1000 cockpit, which is intended to reduce pilot workload and ease maintenance. The first G1000-equipped TBM 850 was rolled out in January 2008.

Named for its horsepower (850shp), the TBM 850 has a maximum cruise speed of 320kt (590km/h)at 26,000ft (7,930m) and a range of 2,610km (1,400nm). It represents an upgrade of the TBM 700, of which 323 were delivered.

In January, Daher completed the purchase of a 70% Socata stake from fellow French industrial group EADS. Subsequently Daher's aerospace activities were organised into a division named Daher-Socata, of which Socata represents the airplane subdivision.

See tomorrow's Flight Evening News for a full feature on Daher-Socata.

Source: Flight Daily News