Upgraded TBM 850 Makes Debut
An upgraded EADS Socata TBM 850 turboprop single was unveiled late last week during a “discovery show” held at the company’s factory in Tarbes, France. The latest version of the six-seat airplane includes an integrated glass flight deck based on the Garmin G1000 system, an update that was announced at the NBAA Convention in September, as well as other improvements. The new avionics integrate the turboprop’s primary flight, navigation, weather, traffic, ground proximity and technical information, along with a digital autopilot. In addition, the TBM 850’s new environmental control system now offers dual-zone temperature control and the cabin has been reconfigured for more comfort. Cockpit and cabin changes have reduced airframe weight, increasing the TBM 850’s useful load by 110 pounds. Meanwhile, fuel capacity was increased by 11 gallons, boosting range from 1,330 nm to 1,410 nm. EADS Socata sales and marketing vice president Nicolas Chabbert said the company sold 63 of the new TBM 850s since the order book was opened in September, swallowing the 60 aircraft allocated for production this year. The 2008 TBM 850 will make its U.S. debut Thursday in central Florida.