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The Best of the Best 2003: Personal Aircraft - Socata TBM 700

Matthew Stibbe

If a Porsche 911 Turbo had wings, it would be the Socata TBM 700. The sporty four-seat turboprop, which holds world records for the fastest single-engine transatlantic and around-the-world flights, cruises at 345 mph at 26,000 feet. Its Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine gives the $2.5 million Socata a range of nearly 2,000 miles and a ceiling of 31,000 feet.

While the 911 is technically a 2+2 coupe, backseat passengers might feel their legs throbbing during long-distance drives. Conversely, the Socata’s cabin is roomy enough for each passenger to experience relaxed cruising, and the interior features Alcantara leather and polished burlwood.

While passengers can enjoy the comfort of the Socata, the TBM 700 is first and foremost a pilot’s plane. The view from the spacious cockpit is exceptional, while the latest avionics, including a combined weather, traffic, and terrain avoidance system, are easily within reach. Best of all, congested roads never slow the Socata’s progress.

Socata, 954.893.1400, www.socataaircraft.com

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