- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Socata TB9 Tampico

The Socata TB are a series light single engine piston aircraft manufactured by Socata and designed in the late 1970s. All aircraft (with the exception of the TB9) have a variable pitch propeller. The TB series have become widely used instruction and touring aircraft and are often used for instrument training.

The letters TB in the name stand for Tarbes, a city in the south of France where the aircraft is manufactured.

Development

Design work on the TB series began in the mid 1970s to replace Socata's successful Rallye series of aircraft. The TB20 model was certified in France on December 18, 1980. The first delivery to a customer happened in March 1981 in Germany. All aircraft in the series were modernised in 2000 and as a result the letters GT were added (GT standing for Generation Two). The GT versions have a bigger cabin and aerodynamic improvements. The most noticeable differences between the first and second generation models are the wing tips, which are rounder on the older models, and the vertical stabilizer, which is curved on the lower front on the GT models. The looks of the rear windows have also changed, being more blended with the fuselage on the GT models.

Plans were to move the production of the TB20 and TB21 models, together with a new model only known as the TB2X, to Romania. TB2X was the working name of a new model that would most likely be similar to the TB20 Trinidad, but with a diesel engine. According to a Dutch news site, it was decided in 2006 that the production of the TB series will be halted. However, there has been no official statement from EADS Socata indicating this, though the current orderbook of EADS Socata does not include any more aircraft of the TB series, with the last three ordered TB aircraft having been delivered in 2006. As of 2008, the TB GT Series is built to order only.

Design

The aircraft are all very similar looking both inside and out but only the TB20 and TB21 have a retractable gear. Probably the biggest difference between the models is the engine power which increases from 160 hp for the TB9, 180 hp for the TB10, 200 hp for the TB200 and to 250 hp on the TB20 and 21. The only difference between the TB20 and the TB21 is that the latter is turbocharged, hence the letters TC. All models have a constant-speed propeller except for the TB9, which has a fixed pitch propeller. On the fixed gear models, the landing gear fairings are optional.

Variants

The TB series consists of five aircraft:

  Powerplant Horsepower Max Cruise Useful Load* Ldg Gear
TB21 TC Trinidad TIO-540 250 187 KTAS 1100 lbs Retract
TB20 Trinidad IO-540 250 163 KTAS 1200 lbs Retract
TB200 Tobago XL IO-360 200 130 KTAS 825 bs Fixed
TB10 Tobago O-360 180 127 KTAS 890 lbs Fixed
TB9 Tampico O-320 160 115 KTAS 817 lbs Fixed

Minor Variants:

  • TB11 - Powered by a 134-kW (180-hp) engine.
  • TB15 - Proposed version. Not built.
  • TB16 - Proposed version. Not built.

Specifications (TB9 Tampico)

General characteristics
Crew: one, pilot
Capacity: 3 or 4 passengers
Length: 7.72 m (25 ft 4 in)
Wingspan: 9.89 m (32 ft 5 in)
Height: 3.02 m (9 ft 11 in)
Wing area: 11.90 m² (128.04 ft²)
Empty weight: 647 kg (1,426 lb)
Useful load: 413 kg (926 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 1,060 kg (2,337 lb)
Powerplant: 1× Lycoming O-320-D2A 4-cylinder horizontally-opposed direct drive, air-cooled piston engine, with carburetor, 119 kW (160 hp)

Performance
Never exceed speed: 309 km/h (165 kts)
Cruise speed: 196 km/h (105 kts)
Stall speed: 108 km/h (58 kts)
Range: 985 km (532 nm, 609 mi)
Service ceiling: 3,960 m (13,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 3.0 m/s (600 ft/min)
Wing loading: 89.1 kg/m² (18.2 lb/ft²)

Specifications (TB10 Tobago)

General characteristics
Crew: one, pilot
Capacity: 3 or 4 passengers
Length: 7.75 m (25 ft 5.1 in)
Wingspan: 9.89 m (32 ft 5.2 in)
Height: 3.02 m (9 ft 10.9 in)
Wing area: 11.90 m² (128.04 ft²)
Empty weight: 727 kg (1,602 lb)
Useful load: 423 kg (937 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 1,150 kg (2,535 lb)
Powerplant: 1× Lycoming O-360-A1AD 4-cylinder horizontally-opposed direct drive, air-cooled piston engine, with carburetor, 134 kW (180 hp)

Performance
Never exceed speed: 309 km/h (165 kts)
Cruise speed: 185 km/h (100 kts)
Stall speed: 98 km/h (60 kts)
Range: 985 km (634 mi)
Service ceiling: 3,960 m (13,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 3.0 m/s (600 ft/min)
Wing loading: 89.1 kg/m² (18.2 lb/ft²)

Specifications (TB20 Trinidad)

General characteristics
Crew: one, pilot
Capacity: 3 or 4 passengers
Length: 7.75 m (25 ft 5 in)
Wingspan: 9.97 m (32 ft 8 in)
Height: 2.85 m (9 ft 4 in)
Wing area: 11.90 m² (128.04 ft²)
Empty weight: 900 kg (1,980 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 1,400 kg (3,080 lb)
Powerplant: 1× Lycoming IO-540 6-cylinder horizontally-opposed piston engine, with fuel injection, 186 kW (250 hp)

Performance
Cruise speed: 260 km/h (140 kts ias)
Range: 1,290 km (697 nm, 796 mi)
Service ceiling: 6,100 m (20,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 6.1 m/s (1,200 ft/min)

Last updated August 31, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Socata TB".
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