Daher begins TBM 960 deliveries to U.S. customers, bringing the advantages of digital power with this latest version of its very fast turboprop aircraft
Pompano Beach, Florida, USA, July 5th, 2022 – The start-up of TBM 960 customer deliveries to the United States has introduced this latest TBM version into North America, which is the largest single market region for Daher’s very fast turboprop aircraft family – providing the benefits of digital power for enhanced sustainability, a superior piloting experience and increased cabin comfort.
The start-up of deliveries followed certification of the TBM 960 by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness authority, joining the previous certification approval by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
“I want to recognize the collaborative work of EASA and the FAA that resulted in the TBM 960’s certification,” explained Nicolas Chabbert, the Senior Vice President of Daher’s Aircraft Division. “I also want to express my thanks to our U.S. customers for their patience during the certification process. We’ve had an exceptional response overall to the TBM 960 since its launch, with more than 60 orders now logged worldwide for this latest version.”
The initial two TBM 960s for U.S. customers departed June 25 from the Tarbes, France headquarters of Daher’s Aircraft Division on their ferry flights, arriving at separate TBM authorized distributors in the Midwest and U.S. West Coast for the handovers to their owners.
One of the aircraft landed at Elliott Jets in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while the other was welcomed at California’s Camarillo Airport by AVEX.
Chabbert added that the initial TBM 960’s long-distance delivery flights from Europe to the U.S. were an excellent opportunity to highlight the enhanced precision of the aircraft’s digital systems, with benefits in terms of safety, efficiency, reliability and comfort.
Key new features of the TBM 960 are its advanced Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6E-66XT engine and Hartzell Propeller’s five-blade Raptor™ composite propeller, both of which are linked to the dual-channel digital Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System (EPECS).
With the EPECS, the PT6E-66XT’s startup is fully automated after a single-switch activation. The cockpit’s power lever becomes an e-throttle, using a single forward position from takeoff to landing – with the EPECS optimizing powerplant performance throughout the flight envelope while reducing pilot workload by integrating all functions and protecting the engine’s life.
The Raptor™ propeller is fully integrated into the propulsion system. Turning at 1,925 rpm during maximum power output, the Raptor™ contributes to limiting noise and vibration. Its sound level during takeoff is just 76.4 decibels, meeting the most stringent international noise standards.
In retaining the performance of Daher’s TBM 900-series aircraft, the TBM 960’s digital control enables the pilot to fly with more precise settings. At Daher’s recommended cruise setting of 308 kts., the fuel consumption is only 57 U.S. gallons per hour – a 10 percent fuel economy compared to the maximum cruise setting for more sustainability.
Daher’s use of digital power for the TBM 960 extends into the aircraft’s Prestige cabin, featuring an all-new environmental control system produced by Enviro Systems Inc. Other enhancements include LED ambience strip lighting integrated into both sides of the overhead ceiling panel, and electronically-dimmable windows – all controlled by a Passenger Comfort Display (PCD). Enhancements in the cabin’s style and comfort also include new ergonomically enhanced seats, USB-A and USB-C power plugs, along with individual cupholders and headset hangers for each occupant.
The TBM 960 retains safety features that have contributed to the TBM 940’s commercial success. Notably, the G3000® integrated flight deck enables the TBM’s e-copilot® functions: icing protection system; flight envelope monitoring through the Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP) and the Under-speed Protection (USP) systems; the Emergency Descent Mode (EDM) function; as well as the game-changing HomeSafe™ emergency autoland system.
To date, Daher has delivered more than 1,080 TBMs in the aircraft’s twelve different versions, with approximately 80 percent of them acquired by North American customers – a majority of which are based in the United States. Daher’s Aircraft Division coordinates its presence in the market through the North American headquarters and support facility at Pompano Beach, Florida.