Daher-Socata has begun an evaluation of the all-composite Grob SPn business jet which could see the business turboprop manufacturer move into the jet market.
The SPn had earned more than 100 orders before one of the prototypes crashed in 2006, killing Grob chief test pilot Gerard Guillaumaud. Although the project continued after that, Grob fell into insolvency in 2008, which ended development of the type and saw all SPn assets transferred to Allied Aviation Technologies.
“Within the framework of current projects, Daher-Socata has signed an exclusive agreement under which it will be evaluating, over a period of several months, the performance and technical characteristics of a twin-engine prototype aircraft built entirely using composites,” the company said in a statement.
According to statements from former Grob Aerospace CEO Niall Olver, the SPn program could have been only two years from certification before it was shut down, with the design of the aircraft close to freezing. It is understood that there are three advanced-stage prototypes which will be involved in the evaluation by Daher-Socata.
Daher-Socata currently produced the TBM 850 business turboprop, while the company is also understood to be looking to develop a twin-turboprop business aircraft to compete against the Hawker Beechcraft King Air line.