EADS Socata expects to deliver the first TBM 850, the latest variant of its single-engine turboprop, to a European operator by July.
Stephane Mayer, ceo of EADS Socata, said: "Our order book has already topped 35 aircraft and soon we will be taking reservations for our 2007 production."
The July delivery, for a customer based in the UK, is one of five orders from Europe. The other 30 are from the US. The full order book has come despite the strong competition posed by Very Light Jets (VLJs).
Communications director Philippe de Segovia said: "We are expecting further orders from as far afield as Australia and South Africa."
The TBM 850 development project started in August 2004 after key research confirmed that a large segment of owners and operators tended to want aircraft suited to shorter journeys averaging around 90 minutes. A common requirement was for two to three passengers on the outward journey and perhaps only one on the return trip. Extra speed was a big priority.
Mayer said: "The huge interest from the aviation public clearly indicates that we were right that a 'faster TBM' would better address the owner-flown marketplace than building a whole new generation of aircraft."
EADS Socata has a target of making 42 TBM 850s in the first year with its production facility near Toulouse finishing four a month from the last quarter of this year.
It delivered the last of its TBM 700s to an Australian operator in January having sold a total of 320 to customers.