EADS Socata (Booth 4484) has confirmed it will build a new larger twin-engined general aviation airplane, codenamed the NTx.

EADS Socata North America president Nicholas Chabbert says the plan is to build a “much larger”, faster aircraft with a more useful payload and cabin space. And it could be a jet rather than a turboprop – no decision has yet been taken on powerplant or configuration.

NTx stands for ‘New Twin” with ‘x’ meaning the as-yet unspecified number of seats. “This will definitely be two more than the TBM 850, so at least six,” Chabbert says.
Although the launch date is not determined, the OEM expects to launch the program in 2009. French company Daher Aerospace will back the project to bring NTx to market. The company is under negotiations to buy Socata, a deal that Chabbert says is “almost finalized”.

Jean-Michel Leonard TBM

Socata has also brought the latest version of the TBM 850 at the show. It is equipped with the Garmin G1000 flight deck, plus a new interior and new pressurization and air conditioning control. French company Catherineau designed the “European style” interior. Chabbertsays: “We wanted to bring it up to date.”

More fuel in the wings brings the tank capacity to 292gal. The 11 extra gallons extend NBAA IFR reserves from 1,410nm from 1,320 nm. To cater for demand, Socata will increase production output to 70 TBM 850s by 2010, but says it is too early to say where it will build its new model.

TBM interior

Source: Flight Daily News