Daher-Socata has introduced the latest incarnation of its TBM 850 to its European customers as it seeks to widen the appeal and stimulate demand for the single-engine turboprop.

Among the key attributes of the high-speed aircraft - called the Elite - is the capability of the middle seats to be put in a forward-facing position, while the rear seats can be removed.

"In about 30 minutes, the TBM 850 can be reconfigured in a four-seat cabin, increasing the luggage volume capacity from 13 cubic feet [0.36 cubic metres] to 30 cubic feet," said Daher-Socata's director of product marketing, Philippe de Segovia.

"Most TBM owners fly with three people on board. Making these changes to the cabin gives customers more choice," he adds.

The TBM 850 Elite also features carbon fibre edging in the central upper panel, table cover exterior insert and cabinet door cover, and gold and brush metal treatment on interior fittings.

Two new avionics options also are available - a long-range KHF 1050 HF radio and Garmin's full-featured GSR 56 Iridium satellite transceiver. "Customers keep us on our toes," de Segovia adds. "Upgrades are an important way of justifying to existing and new customers why they should purchase the TBM 850."

Deliveries of the $3.2 million Elite are set to begin in the third quarter.

Since its launch in 2005, more than 260 TBM 850s have been delivered out of a total TBM fleet of 585 units worldwide.

Deliveries of the eight-seat aircraft - dubbed the fastest pressurised, certificated single-engine turboprop - have remained static for the past two years, at 38. A similar tally is expected this year.

Source: Flight International