Owner-operators who want the performance of a jet and the affordability of a turboprop will prize the Daher-Socata TBM 850 (954.893.1400, http://www.tbm850.com) single-engine turboprop. The $2.9 million TBM 850 carries six people, including the pilot and copilot, more than 1,600 miles at speeds up to 368 mph.
The aircraft also offers responsive handling, robust performance, and a powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6A engine. The latest 850 model features a Garmin G1000 integrated flight deck with optional synthetic-vision technology, which creates a three-dimensional depiction of terrain, traffic, and obstacles.
Since its founding in 1911, Socata has manufactured more than 17,000 airplanes and developed a solid worldwide service-and-support network. Last year, the venerable company merged with the French aerospace conglomerate Daher, which has made this network even more expansive. In March the new brand, Daher-Socata, launched an effort to entice piston owners to step into an 850 with a co-ownership program that offers 100 days of flying per year for about $1 million.