TBM 900 Debuts At Sun 'n Fun

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Daher-Socata brought its new TBM 900 single-engine turboprop, which debuted just a few weeks ago, to Sun 'n Fun this week. The 900 is an upgrade of the 850, which it replaces, with winglets and a five-blade composite propeller, plus numerous tweaks to enhance the aerodynamic design, pilot interface and passenger comfort. "We're happy with the show so far, and seeing very good reception to the new airplane," Socata North America spokesman Michel Adam de Villiers told AVweb. Buyers like the 15 knots of extra airspeed, he said, as well as the climb performance and added range. "And the five-blade prop not only looks cool -- it's much quieter," he said.

Socata plans to build about 50 of the 900s this year, de Villiers said. "It's definitely an improving market," he said. The airplane sells for $3.5 million with standard equipment, or $3.7 million with the elite package. The TBM 900 also will be on display at Aero Friedrichshafen next week, and at EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh, coming up July 28-Aug. 3. De Villiers added that he will have one of the TBM 900 airplanes available as a demonstrator at his base at North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines, Fla.