|TBM 700 / TBM 850 / TBM 900|
|A TBM700 of the French Army Light Aviation|
|Role||Executive transport and civil utility|
|First flight||14 July 1988|
|Status||In production Active service|
|Primary users||French Army
French Air Force
|Number built||662 (as of January 2014)
(324 TBM 700 / 338 TBM 850)
The SOCATA TBM 700 (also marketed as the TBM 850 and TBM 900) is a high performance single-engine turboprop light business and utility aircraft manufactured by DAHER-SOCATA. An aerodynamically refined version of the 700N is marketed as the TBM 900 from March 2014.
Design and development
In the early 1980s, the Mooney Airplane Company of Kerrville, Texas designed a six-seat pressurised light aircraft powered by a single 360 hp (268 kW) piston engine, the Mooney 301, which made its maiden flight on 7 April 1983. Mooney was purchased by French owners in 1985, which resulted in talks between Mooney and the French company SOCATA to build a turboprop derivative of the 301. The result of these discussions was the TBM 700, which was much heavier than the 301 with more than twice the power, with a joint venture, TBM International, being set up in June 1987 between Mooney and Socata's parent company Aérospatiale to design and build the new aircraft. In the designation TBM, "TB" stands for Tarbes, the city in France in which Socata is located, the "M" stands for Mooney.
The TBM 700 is a single-engined turboprop, six to seven-seat low-wing monoplane of mainly aluminium and steel construction, but with the tail surfaces built of Nomex honeycomb. It has a retractable tricycle landing gear and is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-64 engine delivering 700 shp (522 kW). The first prototype TBM 700 made its maiden flight on 14 July 1988, with French certification following on 31 January 1990 and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification achieved on 28 August 1990.
It was planned that two production lines be set up, one at Kerrville to cater to the American market and the other at SOCATA's factory at Tarbes to build aircraft for the rest of the world. A shortage of money resulted in Mooney withdrawing from the project in May 1991. The TBM 700 also comes in a cargo variant.
The TBM 850 is the production name for the TBM 700N, an improved version with the more powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6A-66D engine flat rated at 850 shp (634 kW). The TBM 850 is limited to 700 shp (522 kW) for takeoff and landing, but in cruise flight the engine power can be increased to 850 shp (634 kW). This extra power gives it a higher cruising speed than the TBM 700 models, especially at high altitudes (due to the flat-rating). The outside appearance of the TBM 850 has remained the same as that of the TBM 700. The TBM 850 has a typical range of 1,520 nautical miles (2,820 km).
Number of TBM 700 and TBM 850 delivered (including the TBM 900 starting in March of 2014):
35(Note: TBM 900 Deliveries began March 2014)
- TBM 700A
- Initial production version with one Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-64 turboprop engine.
- TBM 700B
- Variant with wide entrance door, increased maximum zero fuel weight and other improvements.
- TBM 700 C1
- Improved version with rear unpressurised cargo compartment, reinforced structure, new air conditioning system and other improvements.
- TBM 700C2
- C1 with increased maximum takeoff weight.
- TBM 700N
- Variant with increased maximum cruise/climb power, one Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D turboprop engine, marketed as the TBM 850 and with modifications as the TBM 850 G1000 and TBM 900.
- TBM 850
- Marketing name for the TBM 700N.
- TBM 850 G1000
- Marketing name for the 700N with a G1000 Integrated Flight Deck and a fuel tank extension modification.
- TBM 850 Elite
- An updated version of the TBM 850, priced at $3.46 million USD. This model includes a 4-place cabin forward-facing seating configuration, allowing for an increased cargo area aft of the cabin. 
- TBM 900
- Marketing name for the TBM 700N with improved version with aerodynamic inlet and performance optimization, priced at US$3.711M. Max cruise speed is increased to 330 kts at 64 gph. A range of 1,730 nm (with 45-minute standard IFR reserves) using long-range cruise speed is capable at 250 kts while burning 30 gph or 1,585 nm at 290 kts while burning 35 gph. The (previously optional) five-bladed carbon fiber Hartzell propeller is now standard, increasing performance and decreasing cabin noise.
This list does not include most operators.
- French Air Force – 15 in service December 2011.
- French Army Light Aviation (ALAT) – 11 in service December 2011.
Accidents and incidents
On 5 September 2014, a TBM 900 (tail number N900KN) was found to be flying with an apparently unconscious pilot over South Carolina. The flight originated from Rochester, NY with a flight plan filed to Naples, FL. Two F-15 aircraft were scrambled to trail the flight and saw that the windows were frosted over, leading to speculation that the two occupants (Larry Glazer, a Rochester real estate developer, and his wife Jane, both qualified pilots) had been incapacitated by hypoxia as a result of cabin depressurization. The aircraft reportedly crashed 14 miles northeast of Portland Parish, Jamaica, on the country's northeast coast. 
Specifications (TBM 900)
Data from manufacturer specification sheet
- Crew: one or two pilots
- Capacity: four to six (including pilot(s) and one passenger in the cockpit if there is no co-pilot)
- Length: 10.736m (35.223 ft)
- Wingspan: 12.833m (42.103 ft)
- Height: 4.36m (14.304 ft)
- Wing area: 18m² (193.7ft²)
- Empty weight: 2,097 kg (4,629 lb)
- Useful load: 654 kg (1,410 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 3,353 kg (7,394 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D turboprop, 634 kW (850 hp)
- Service ceiling: 9,450 m (31,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 12.09 m/s (2,380 ft/min)
- Time to climb to 8,000 m (26,000 ft): 15 min
- Time to climb to 9,450 m (31,000 ft): 20 min
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- DAHER-SOCATA delivers 40 TBM 850s in 2013
- Manufacturer press release, page 3
- Durden, Rick (12 March 2014). "DAHER-SOCATA Reveals New TBM 900". AVweb. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Simpson 2006, p. 28.
- Taylor 1988, p. 443.
- Taylor 1988, p. 135.
- Simpson 2006, p. 29.
- Jackson 2003, p. 150.
- News Release
- DAHER-SOCATA reveals the TBM 900 very fast turboprop aircraft
- "AERO 2012: Daher-Socata makes TBM 850 an Elite". Flightglobal. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
- J. Mac McClellan (June 2014). "TBM900". Sport Aviation: 76.
- "TBM 900"
- Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 39.
- Botelho, Greg. "Pilot of unresponsive plane asked to descend before contact lost". CNN.com. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Whitefield, Mimi; Charles, Jacqueline. "Jamaica finds wreckage of runaway plane". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Hoyle, Craig. "World Air Forces Directory". Flight International, 13–19 December 2011. pp. 26–52.
- Jackson, Paul. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group, 2003. ISBN 0-7106-2537-5.
- Simpson, Rob. "TBM 850: EADS Socata challenges the Very Light Jets". Air International, February 2006, Vol 70 No 2, pp. 28–31. ISSN 0306-5634/
- Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988–89. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Defence Data, 1988. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Socata TBM.|
- TBM 900, TBM fleet official website
- TBM 850 official website
- EASA Type Certificate
- TBM Owners and Pilots Association