At Sun ‘n Fun Socata unveiled a new model designation for its TBM 850 turboprop — dubbed the TMB 850 Elite — with a new convertible seating configuration for greatly improved cargo carrying capability. The configuration change, which takes only 15 minutes to make, takes the center seats, which normally face to the rear in a club-seating arrangement — and points them to the front while removing the rear seats altogether. This creates a four-seat airplane with a large baggage area in the rear. As part of the package, owners get a light yet sturdy net to safeguard the cargo, which can be loaded easily, directly through the large cabin door.
Socata also announced a few new avionics features, including Garmin Iridium satellite transceiver and HF radio options.