The EADS Socata TBM850 received its US certification yesterday, one month after European approval and its official launch.

The French general aviation division of EADS said that "after a slow start", the US Federal Aviation Administration certification process went smoothly, with a team from the FAA's Small Aircraft Directorate present at Socata's facilities in Tarbes, outside Bordeaux, to perform the last validation tasks and flights.

TBM 850

The TBM850 (pictured left), a more powerful version of the 15-year-old TBM700 family, was announced in early December (Flight International, 6-12 December 2005) and received its approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency shortly afterwards.

The Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D-powered TBM850, with a maximum cruise speed of 320kt (592km/h), is marketed as being a turboprop response to the growing interest in very light jets.

Deliveries will begin in the second quarter and the aircraft is being rolled-out on 23 February at Sanford airport, Florida ahead of delivery to the first US customer.

Source: Flight International