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Socata's TBM 850 aims to compete with VLJs
EADS Socata has added the six-seat TBM 850 to its business turboprop range. The aircraft has already been awarded EASA certification and deliveries are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2006. The list price of the aircraft is a little over $2.5 million. The company states that a 'typical' version with customer options such as RVSM fitted, will cost almost $2.8 million.

EADS Socata has added the six-seat TBM 850 to its business turboprop range. The aircraft has already been awarded EASA certification and deliveries are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2006.

The list price of the aircraft is a little over $2.5 million. The company states that a 'typical' version with customer options such as RVSM fitted, will cost almost $2.8 million.

"The TBM 850 is the fruit of our close relationship with TBM customers. We listened to their requests to make the fastest aircraft in its class even faster, and the result is the TBM 850 - which we believe is the ultimate personal aircraft," said EADS Socata Chairman and ceo Stephane Mayer.

The aircraft offers cruise speeds of up to 320 KTAS at FL260, which Socata says will enable it compete with the new breed of very light jets, yet with the operating costs of a single engine turboprop.

The company reports that the aircraft offers greater climb performance over its predecessor. The TBM 850 can climb to an altitude of FL260 in 15 minutes - almost 25 per cent faster than the TBM 700 C2.

"We believe the TBM 850 will help us to strengthen our market position in business and private aviation, and this is demonstrated by the fact that more than two-thirds of next year's production has been sold before the first TBM 850 aircraft leaves the production line."

The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada's PT6A-66D, which delivers 1,825 eshp flat-rated to 850 shp for the TBM 850.

The manufacturer states that hot and high performance is 'not an issue' for the aeroplane.

At an altitude of FL310 in ISA +200C conditions, it s cruise performance increases by more than 55 knots over the TBM 700C2.

The turboprop will be available vie EADS Socata's current direct sales and distribution network. Once deliveries commence, aeroplanes will be supported by the company's existing network of service centres.

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