In The Works: Socata TBM 850
The Socata TBM 850, a faster, more powerful derivative of the TBM 700 turboprop single, received FAA approval on January 23, six weeks after the EASA certified the airplane. On the same day, the first production TBM 850 made its maiden flight with EADS Socata chief pilot Christian Briand at the controls accompanied by flight-test engineer Alain Arnaud.
Building on the TBM 700 platform, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D-powered TBM 850 offers a higher maximum cruising speed (320 ktas) than its predecessor, as well as a 31,000-foot ceiling. Socata said it has orders for 29 copies of the $2.8 million airplane, with deliveries scheduled to start before the beginning of this month.