Just three weeks after rolling off the Socata production line in Tarbes on the French-Spanish border, the 220th TBM 700 had been flown to Singapore for an airshow appearance. It is on static display for the duration of Asian Aerospace before taking off for Brisbane, Australia where it will become a demonstrator for EADS Australian Aerospace.
The journey to Singapore, 24 flying hours, took co-pilots Simon Mathews – an Australian – and Frenchman ‘Luigi' Biensant via Corfu, Luxor, Delhi, and Chiang Mai.
The type has been seen at previous Singapore airshows but for Mathews, who is EADS Australian Aerospace sales and distribution manager, it's a first visit.
The TBM 700 was the first civil single – engine turbine to be certified, leading the way for such subsequent aircraft as the Pilatus PC-12, also on show here this year.
The TBM 700 is still a first choice for many pilots upgrading from un-pressurised turbo-props and wanting something with a touch of comfort and style. At around $2.5 million, it's an affordable step up. There are currently three in operation in Australia.
Mathews believes that despite stagnation at the lower end of the GA market in Australia, there is demand for aircraft in the $2 million-plus bracket.
Source: Flight Daily News