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TBM 700 / TBM 850
Socata TBM 700 of the French Army Light Aviation
Role Executive transport and civil utility
National origin France
Manufacturer SOCATA
First flight 14 July 1988
Introduction 1990
Status In production Active service
Primary users French Army
French Air Force
Produced 1988-present

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.[1] Mooney was purchased by French owners in 1985,[2] 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.[1][3] In the designation TBM, "TB" stands for Tarbes, the city in France in which Socata is located, the "M" stands for Mooney.[1]

The TBM 700 is a single turboprop engined, 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).[4][5] The first prototype TBM 700 made its maiden flight on 14 July 1988,[3] with French certification following on 31 January 1990 and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification achieved on 28 August 1990.[1] 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.[1] The TBM 700 also comes in a cargo variant.

EADS Socata TBM 850 at the Paris Air Show 2007

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).

As of the summer of 2009, over 520 TBMs have been produced. The manufacturer expects to produce 450 units in the 2007–16 time period.[6]

Beginning with the 2008 model, the TBM 850 is equipped with the Garmin G1000 integrated flight deck as standard equipment.[7]


TBM 700 landing

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 take off 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.[8]


This list does not include most operators.


Specifications (TBM 850)[]

Data from

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General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2 pilots
  • Capacity: 4 to 6 (including 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: 2,132 kg (4,699 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 3,354 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: 2,813 km (1,519 nm, 1,784 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

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Simpson 2006, p. 28.
  2. Taylor 1988, p. 443.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Taylor 1988, p. 135.
  4. Simpson 2006, p. 29.
  5. Jackson 2003, p. 150.
  6. Aviation Week & Space Technology, 29 October 2007 issue, p. 66
  7. News Release
  8. "AERO 2012: Daher-Socata makes TBM 850 an Elite". Flightglobal. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 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.

External links[]

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