Socata 700 or Socata 850?


#1

Tail number N259GM. Interestingly, if you google the tail number, some of the hits are for a twin engine Beech. Flightaware has this tail number listed as a Socata 700, but websites showing the plane for sale show it as a Socata 850. Can someone clarify this confusion?

In any case, the plane flew just north of my house here in Austin today. I’ve never noticed one of these before, so it seemed somewhat unusual to me. At first it seemed like a run of the mill propeller plane, but the propeller diameter seemed small. Then, as it passed, I heard the jet, and I realized it was a turboprop.

EDIT:
P.S. It looks like the Beech was re-registered as N259G, used to be N259GM.

Wikipedia has this to say about model numbers:

TBM 700A
Initial production version with one Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-64 turboprop engine.
TBM 700B
Variant with wide entrance door, increased maximum zero fuel weight and other improvements.
TBM 700C1
Improved version with rear unpressurised cargo compartment, reinforced structure, new air conditioning system and other improvements.
TBM 700C2
C1 with increased maximum take off weight.
TBM 700N
Variant with increased maximum cruise/climb power, one Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D turboprop engine, produced as the TBM850
TBM 850
Production name for the TBM 700N.
TBM 850 Elite
An updated version of the TBM 850, priced at $3.2 million.

Since this particular plane was being sold for just over $3 million, I wonder if it is a TBM 850 Elite.


#2

You partly answered your own question. The TBM 700N is also marketed as the 850. This is quite common among manufacturers. They only have to certify the differences rather than certify a whole new airplane.
According to the sales data it is a 2011 model with only 85 hours on it although according to the FAA website the “last action date” was Feb. this year so it looks like it may have either been sold or re-registered with the new N#. It is obviously doing some flying so it is probably it now has more than 85 hours.