Incorporated in California in 1957, TBM, Inc. began as a group of aerial firefighters with World War II vintage Navy TBM Grumman torpedo bombers modified as air tankers, hence the company’s name. Based in the Tulare-Visalia area of the central San Joaquin Valley, the company grew and moved up to aircraft with different capabilities: the list includes TBM, F7F, F-15(P61), B-17’s, DC-4/6/7s, C-117, C-123s, and in 1990, the rugged C-130 Hercules, readily converted from its military mission of tactical airlift and low-level operations. TBM, Inc. is a veteran-owned small business dedicated to upgrading and employing the venerable Hercules in a variety of niche markets for which it is ideally suited.
TBM, Inc. operates under FAA Part 91 (General Aviation) rules. As such, the company is normally limited to contract flights for aeronautical research and development, agricultural and fish and wildlife support, and similar niche markets not in competition with civil air carriers.
TBM, Inc. maintains a fleet of three (3) C-130s, two of which could still be configured as fully capable air tankers with state-of-the-art computer controlled tank and gating systems to conduct fire suppression operations with precision accuracy. The company, however, now focuses on airborne flight test, engineering, evaluation, research and development flights for aerospace and technology firms requiring flight test platforms for proof of concept and development programs. TBM, Inc. also supplies logistical operations for federal, state, and other governmental agencies.
The C-130, still in production today, began life in the 1950’s as a medium-sized troop carrier and has since become a legendary multi-role aircraft. TBM’s aircraft retain their full roll-on/roll-off, airdrop, paratroop, and short-field delivery capabilities; they can transport 20,000 to 30,000 pounds of cargo 2,000-plus nautical miles. The large cargo compartment 41x10x9 feet in dimension can accommodate vehicles, civilian or military-style cargo pallets, or floor loaded cargo and equipment; it is also ideal for odd-sized prototype equipment, avionics racks, or aerial delivery packages, complete with space for onboard engineering workstations for test and evaluation at all altitudes.
With sister company, Tulare Aircraft Service (TASCO), an FAA-certificated repair station #CL3R427L, TBM, Inc. offers one-stop shopping for C-130 customers in need of logistics or flight test support, aircrew training, repair or overhaul, modification and engineering services.
California Tax I.D.