|TBM 700 / TBM 850|
|Socata TBM 700 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 and TBM 850 are high performance single-engine turboprop light business and utility aircraft manufactured by SOCATA. The TBM 700 was offered until 2006, when the TBM 850 was introduced.
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 for 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 (based on Daher-Socata's press releases) as of January 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 700C1
- 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, produced as the TBM850
- TBM 850
- Production name for the TBM 700N.
- TBM 850 Elite
- An updated version of the TBM 850, priced at $3.2 million.
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.
Specifications (TBM 850)
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: 10.65m (34 ft 11 in)
- Wingspan: 12.68m (41 ft 7 in)
- Height: 4.36m (14 ft 3 in)
- Wing area: 18m² (193.7ft²)
- Empty weight: 2,081 kg (4,589 lb)
- Useful load: 654 kg (1,443 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 3,353 kg (7,394 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D turboprop, 634 kW (850 hp)
- Max payload full fuel: 385 kg (849 lb)
- Maximum speed: 593 km/h (320 knots, 368 mph)
- Cruise speed: 467 km/h (252 kts, 290 mph)
- Range: 2,935 km (1,585 nm, 1,824 mi)
- Service ceiling: 9,450 m (31,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 12.09 m/s (2,380 ft/min)
- Time to climb to 26,000 ft: 15 min
- Time to climb to 31,000 ft: 20 min
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- DAHER-SOCATA delivers 40 TBM 850s in 2013
- Manufacturer press release, page 3
- Simpson 2006, p. 28.
- Taylor 1988, p. 443.
- Taylor 1988, p. 135.
- Simpson 2006, p. 29.
- Jackson 2003, p. 150.
- News Release
- "AERO 2012: Daher-Socata makes TBM 850 an Elite". Flightglobal. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
- Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 39.
- 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.
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