Aérospatiale-Socata TB 10 Tobago
France, Four/five-seat All-metal Light Aircraft

Archive Photos 1

Aérospatiale Tobago, N25060, 1990 MCAS El Toro Airshow

Overview 2

The Socata TB are a series of light single engine piston aircraft manufactured by Socata and designed in the late 1970s. All aircraft (with the exception of the TB-9) have a constant speed propeller. The TB series have become widely used training and touring aircraft and are often used for instrument training.

The TB series planes have become to be known as the Caribbean Planes, due to their island names, though they are not often seen flown in that region. They are defined by their superior (and contemporary) fit and finish and interior size; compared to other four-seat single-engine aircraft, they are relatively roomy at 49 inches (124 cm) at the shoulder, plus or minus. In part this is due to the fuselage having a pronounced "round out" above the wing. Adding to the actual spaciousness, the side windows extend up well into the roof line, giving the Socata an airy feeling.

Due to the larger fuselage, and relatively heavy weights, TB series aircraft have lower performance figures than a similarly sized and powered but narrower aircraft, and the trade-off of in speed for comfort is often cited by TB owners.

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

Development 2

Design work on the TB series began in the mid 1970s to replace Socata’s successful Rallye series of aircraft. The TB-20 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 modernized 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 TB-20 and TB-21 models, together with a new model only known as the TB-2X, to Romania. TB-2X was the working name of a new model that would most likely be similar to the TB-20 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 had been no official statement from EADS Socata indicating this, though the order book of EADS Socata did not include any more aircraft of the TB series at this time, with the last three ordered TB aircraft having been delivered in 2006. In 2008 it was announced that the TB GT Series would be built to order only, by 2012 the TB GT series had disappeared as an order option all together. However, the aircraft type is still supported by the company, with a Garmin glass cockpit retrofit option having been made available.

Design 2

The aircraft are all very similar looking both inside and out but only the TB-20 and TB-21 have a retractable gear. Probably the biggest difference between the models is the engine power which increases from 160 horsepower (119 kW) for the TB-9, 180 horsepower (134 kW) for the TB-10, 200 horsepower (149 kW) for the TB-200 and to 250 horsepower (186 kW) on the TB-20 and 21. The only difference between the TB-20 and the TB-21 is that the latter is turbocharged, hence the letters TC. All models have a constant speed propeller, except for the TB-9, which has a fixed pitch propeller. On the fixed gear models, the landing gear fairings are optional.

Variants 2

Operators 2

Military Operators

Civil Operators

Specifications and Performance Data (TB-10 Tobago) 3




Tail Unit

Landing Gear

Power Plant



Avionics and Equipment

Dimensions, External

Dimensions, internal



Performance (at T-O weight)


  1. Shupek, John. Aérospatiale Socata TB 10 Tobago The Skytamer Archive, Copyright © 1990 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
  2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Socata TB family
  3. Taylor, John W.R., Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 1985-86. Jane’s Yearbooks, ISBN 0 7106-0821-7, 1985

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