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Thu, Feb 03, 2005

SMA Diesel Powerplant Program 'Insolvent'

The battle to get an industry to accept a new engine, especially one that doesn't fit the molds that preceded it, is a vicious process. The saga of the SMA Diesel engine program is one such example.

ANN has learned that the primary SMA operation (the "Societe de Motorisations Aeronautiques") has been declared insolvent and is in the process of undergoing a reorganization in the hopes that the project might eventually find some success. SMA seems to have a difficult road ahead of it. A number of STCs have been completed and even more are under development, but the retrofit market is seen as limited due to the expense and complexity of re-engining any existing airframe. Rumors of an OEM adoption have come and gone with no concrete announcements of a manufacturer making the extensive commitment necessary to bring a certified product to market.

An SMA spokesman has confirmed to ANN that "...SMA filed a voluntary petition on January 17th 2005 before the French Courts in order to benefit from reorganization relief under the French equivalent of Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. However, since that day, negotiations between SMA's shareholders have taken place and a solution has been found to ensure SMA's continuity. Today, SMA continues to operate its business and manage its activities. An official announcement of SMA new organization should be done within the next weeks..."

We'll have more info as soon as possible.



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