EBACE Convention News

Airbus pilot tests TBM 850

 - November 28, 2006, 10:42 AM

“Handling is good in pitch but a little hard on bank. After a while you get used to it and Socata can easily correct it. The turboprop is comfortable and well equipped in terms of avionics, and pilot visibility is good at all times. It has a very efficient constant-speed propeller and a powerful engine. But it seems to me that the turbine exhaust temperatures were a little bit high at high altitudes and at maximum cruise speed. To spare the turbine, the ideal cruise speed should be around 280 ktas at FL250.”

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“The aircraft has a good range of speeds and, due to its Fowler-type flaps, is capable of flying at low speeds. I used the recommended speeds for takeoff, but my feeling was that the 850 was capable of being safely in the air 15 to 20 ktas earlier. The stall speeds are quite low according to the flight manual. The combination of this powerful engine and the constant-speed propeller enhances short runway takeoff capability.”

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“The main points in its favor are its beautiful design, its speed range, cost-savings on fuel, robust construction, good avionics and cabin comfort. The points on which I have questions are on bank control, the location of some avionics controls and indicators and the price.”