Daher Socata Looks At SPn Jet
The TBM 850 single-engine turboprop and TBGT piston singles produced by Daher Socata may get a stablemate if the company's evaluation of what was Grob Aerospace's SPn business jet grows roots. The SPn had earned more than 100 orders before development stopped, and before a 2006 crash killed Grob's chief SPn test pilot, Gerard Guillaumaud, during a demonstration flight of a prototype. The project continued after that episode, but Grob Aerospace announced its insolvency in 2008 following repeated delays in the jet's flight-test program. Socata's interest in the jet reportedly could evolve into an all-composite twin-engine business jet program for itself, derived from the SPn platform.
Currently, Allied Aviation Technologies owns the assets of the SPn program, including three advanced-stage SPn prototypes. Arrangements with Socata have been made through Niall Olver, former Grob Aerospace CEO and present chief executive of ExecuJet. Olver believes the program could have been within two years of full certification when work was shut down and that the design itself had almost been frozen in preparation for certification testing.