On Feb. 5, Daher-Socata delivered the 500th TBM-series airplane to American Dr. Ian Fries and his wife Susan in Tarbes, France. The new TBM 850 replaces a TBM 700 that Fries owned previously.
“The sadness at leaving our faithful TBM 700 is compensated by our pride and pleasure in the new TBM 850, with its improvements that include gross weight and performance increases, and the new avionics,” Fries said at the ceremony at the Tarbes factory.
Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher-Socata General Aviation and President of Socata North America said, “When the TBM program was launched more than 20 years ago, attaining serial number 500 was an ambition—now it’s a reality.”
Fries is a senior Aviation Medical Examiner with 5,000 hours and an ATP and certified flight instructor. He chairs the AOPA Medical Advisory Panel and sits on the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Board of Visitors.