Daher-Socata reported improved deliveries of its TBM 850 single turboprop in 2013, and is hoping the program will continued to expand as Europe considers permitting single turbine-engine commercial operations in instrument meteorological conditions.
The French manufacturer delivered 40 TBM 850s in 2013, up 5% from 2012 deliveries. Daher-Socata says 2013 became the fourth best year for the TBM family since its introduction in 1990.
In 2013, the total number of TBM 850s eclipsed those of its predecessor TBM 700. The company has delivered a total of 662 units in the TBM family. The TBM 850 accounts for 338 of those.
The U.S. market was the strongest for the 850, accounting for 72% of the sales. Another 10% went to European operators, particularly in France. Latin America was the third largest market (7.5%), with deliveries to Brazil, Chile and Mexico. The TBM also entered operations in the Middle East for the first time with a delivery to a customer in Saudi Arabia.
Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of the Daher-Socata Airplane business unit, credited the introduction of the TBM 850 Elite version in 2012 with helping to improve last year’s numbers. He also noted that the development of its international network has been spurring sales.
Chabbert believes the program is well positioned with the consideration by Europe to permit the single turbine-engine commercial operations in IMC. Anotice of proposed amendment is expected shortly on the issue. Different European countries, including France, have begun issuing individual exemptions to operators to open the door to the operations in the interim.