Socata TBM 850 HD Series
To Start Off
The newest add-on from Carenado has arrived in the FS Pilot Shop! Carenado has been well known to be the best in providing quality add-ons and their latest work is this TBM 850. In this review, we'll take a look at many aspects of the aircraft, which will hopefully give you a better understanding of this new product. Let's begin!
Background Information On The Aircraft
In the early 1980s, the Mooney Airplane Company of Kerrville, Texas designed a six-seat pressurised light aircraft powered by a single 360 hp piston engine, the Mooney 301, which made its maiden flight on 7 April 1983. Mooney was purchased by French owners in 1985, which resulted in talks between Mooney and the French company Socata to build a turboprop derivative of the 301. The result of these discussions was the TBM 700, which was much heavier than the 301 with more than twice the power, with a joint venture, TBM International, being set up in June 1987 between Mooney and Socata's parent company Aerospatiale to design and build the new aircraft. In the designation TBM, "TB" stands for Tarbes, the city in France in which Socata is located, the "M" stands for Mooney.
The TBM 700 is a single engine, turboprop powered, six to seven seat low-wing monoplane of mainly aluminium and steel construction, but with the tail surfaces built of Nomex honeycomb. It has a retractable tricycle landing gear and is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-64 engine delivering 700 shp. The first prototype TBM 700 made its maiden flight on 14 July 1988 with French certification following on 31 January 1990 and US Federal Aviation Administration certification achieved on 28 August 1990. The TBM 850 was the production name for the TBM 700N.
|Engine||Pratt & Whitney Canada|
|Fuselage Length||35 feet (10.65 meters)|
|Max Speed||320 kt|
|Cruising Speed||252 kt|
|Service Ceiling||31,000 feet|
Carenado definitely did well with the add-on, and in more than one single aspect. The textures are of high quality, the model is highly detailed, and more importantly, the flying dynamics seem believable. We'll cover more of this as we progress into the review.
The exterior may not be the first thing you see when you load the simulator (apart from the preview pane), but is definitely what plenty of flight simmers look for. Developers do not make quality aircraft just because their work has good systems, and accurate dynamics, but lack the visual quality and feel. As such, I would like to compliment Carenado for making a high quality exterior, with some animations, and extremely high quality textures, which are indeed in high definition. You would notice later on that I'll split the topics I have to say for each section into separate paragraphs for your easy reading. However, I would like to show you a few screen shots now:
Firstly, the model. The model is very detailed, and if you look at the development shots of the model without the textures, you'll be blown away by the detail put into the model, at least on the exterior. You'll find the details being given a lot of attention, and it is this attention to detail that truly gives this add-on a good impression not only to me, but to perhaps anyone and everyone that sees it. I do think that perhaps not everyone would agree with this point, so if you have a differing opinion, please share it in the comments below, so that we can discuss more on it. After all, a review is something that gives the buyer a more informed choice, so exploiting some of the flaws is all right in my opinion.