Sales of TBM 850 turboprop singles were steady last year, Daher-Socata senior vice president and Socata North America president Nicholas Chabbert said today at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. “Our backlog is now much stronger than it was at this time last year, and we expected the 500th TBM 700/850 to enter service in North America by early next year,” he added. There are 461 TBM 700s and 850s currently operating in this region.
“The tremendous customer interest in our TBM 850 Elite version following its debut last year is confirmed in 2013 with a backlog for 30 aircraft,” he said. The company is showcasing the 2013 version of its TBM 850 Elite at the airshow.
Notably, the 2013 version includes an L-3 Avionics Systems Trilogy ESI-2000 electronic standby instrument, replacing the previous electro-mechanical backup instrument. This solid-state integrated standby system has an internal battery and four- by three-inch active-matrix liquid crystal display.
The selection of interior colors for the TBM 850 Elite has also been expanded to include Mocha dark brown leather and River Stone, a medium gray. The aircraft’s seat backs are also perforated to improve comfort on hot days.
Additional safety options in the 2013 Elite package are a GPS-linked emergency locator transmitter, as well as a pulsed light system that alternately flashes the landing, taxi and recognition lights to increase the aircraft’s visibility.
Daher-Socata is also offering a special package with deluxe leather interior, a storage cabinet, wooden or carbon-fiber fittings and 14-volt DC power plugs. This package also includes the company’s “highly extended exclusive maintenance program”–a tip-to-tail scheduled maintenance program for five years or 1,000 hours, whichever comes first.
For 2013, Daher-Socata has also introduced a new maintenance program (NMP), with recommended maintenance intervals of 200 hours–instead of the previous 100 hours–or 12 months, whichever occurs first. NMP is available on new-production TBM 850s, though in-service models of this aircraft can be added to the program during their annual inspection. This program is enabled by using a Camp maintenance tracking system.