Socata's popular "Caribbean" TB series of light singles spans from the basic fixed gear Tampico Club to the turbocharged 315km/h (170kt) cruise Trinidad TC.
Design work on the TB singles began in the mid 1970s, in part as a replacement for Socata's successful Rallye family. The first prototype, a TB-10 but powered by a 120kW (160hp) Lycoming O-320, flew for the first time on February 23 1977. Production began in 1979.
Three distinct versions of the TB series have been built. The TB-9 Tampico is marketed as a trainer and is powered by a four cylinder 120kW (160hp) Lycoming O-320. Until the late 1980s it was available with a fixed pitch propeller as the Tampico FP, or with a constant speed prop as the Tampico CS. Both the Tampico FP and CS had a more up market interior than the current TB-9 Tampico Club which has a two blade fixed pitch Sensenich propeller. The Tampico Sprint meanwhile was launched in 1997 and introduced faired, trailing link undercarriage and a new prop, increasing cruising speed by 18km/h (10kt).
The TB-10 Tobago and TB-200 Tobago XL feature faired undercarriage, higher weights, a higher level of interior equipment, more powerful engines and constant speed props. The Tobago is powered by a 135kW (180hp) O-360, the TB-200 Tobago XL a 150kW (200hp) fuel injected IO-360.
The top of the range models are the retractable undercarriage TB-20 Trinidad and TB-21 Trinidad TC. The Trinidad is powered by a 185kW (250hp) IO-540, the Trinidad TC a similarly rated turbocharged TIO-540. The TB-20C has a port side freight door.
In early 2000 Socata switched production to the improved GT (Generation Two) series of all four models. The GTs feature the slightly enlarged cabin developed for the MR series, a curved dorsal fin fairing, upturned wingtips, larger baggage door, and other improvements.
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