D'aviation Week :
In one of the first official acts since acquiring a majority interest in Socata from EADS earlier this month, the newly minted Daher-Socata reported today it the Tarbes, France-based manufacturer delivered 60 of TBM 850 turboprop singles in 2008.
The company has delivered 148 units total since the aircraft, with its more powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine and Garmin 1000 cockpit was introduced to the market in early 2006.
Most of the TBMs were delivered in the United States, the company said, but European deliveries in 2008 rose to a 20% share, and new sales were made in Australia, Bulgaria and Brazil.
Daher-Socata promotes the TBM 850 as the world's fastest single engine turboprop,
with a maximum cruising speed of 320 KTAS at 26,000 ft. (in ISA conditions).
"I am proud that a highly symbolic milestone for the TBM program was reached with another record year deliveries of 60 TBM 850s," said Daher-Socata CEO Jean-Michel Lýýonard in a statement. "This excellent result confirms that our TBM 850 is the right product at the right time, when a decline of the turboprop was predicted against Very Light Jets."
A French conglomerate, Daher now has a 70 percent stake in Socata and plans to become a "fully-fledged aerospace manufacturer as well as a Tier One equipment manufacturer." Socata executives said during National Business Aviation Association's annual meeting last October they hoped Daher's investment would help bring Socata closer to launch of its first all-new aircraft in two decades, the NTx, or New Twin turborprop.