Daher has commenced deliveries of its very fast turboprop TBM 960. The aircraft brings the advantages of digital power for enhanced operational safety and efficiency, improved aviation sustainability, facilitated maintenance and increased cabin comfort.
The milestone TBM was received by a Germany-based businessman, who will operate it for corporate and private trips primarily in Europe.
This customer, who owned a non-pressurised single engine piston aircraft, is currently completing instrument training and will fly with his flight instructor as a mentor pilot until gaining experience in the type. Factors that influenced his acquisition included the flight instructor's recommendation, the aircraft's cost/performance ratio and the ability to operate from shorter airport runways.
“I've always been impressed by the TBM aircraft family's performance, along with its level of safety and the systems, especially the HomeSafe emergency autoland,” he explains. “There are less expensive airplanes on the market, but none offers so many systems. And I was extremely pleased to learn that I'm the first customer to take delivery of the new TBM 960.”
The aircraft was sold by Rheinland Air Service, the Daher Kodiak and TBM distributor and service centre for Germany and Austria.
Certification of the TBM 960 was issued on 2 March, 2022 by EASA. FAA certification is currently underway.
“We thank our customer for his confidence in the TBM and the appreciation of our services,” says senior vice president of Daher's aircraft division Nicolas Chabbert. “His acquisition confirms that the TBM 960's efficiency and innovative safety systems match the expectations of our European customers at a time of sustainable development issues and stringent regulations.”
The TBM 960 retains many features of the TBM 940, becoming the new high end version in Daher's TBM 900 series aircraft family. These features include Garmin's G3000 integrated flight deck that integrates TBM e-copilot functions such as icing protection, 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 HomeSafe.
Its primary differences are Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6E-66XT turboprop engine, combined with the Hartzell Propeller five-blade Raptor composite propeller and hub, which are linked to a dual-channel digital Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System (EPECS). Using this FADEC-type functionality, the cockpit's power lever is an e-throttle with the EPECS optimising the powerplant's performance throughout the flight envelope, reducing pilot workload by integrating all functions, and protecting the engine's life.
In retaining the TBM 900 series' recognised performance capabilities, the TBM 960's digital control also enables pilots to fly with more precise power settings. At Daher's recommended cruise setting of 308 kts, the fuel consumption is only 57 US gallons per hour, which is a 10 per cent fuel economy compared to the maximum cruise setting for more sustainability.
For comfort, the TBM 960's Prestige cabin extends Daher's use of digital power inside the aircraft, featuring an all-new environmental control system produced by Enviro Systems, LED ambience strip lighting integrated into both sides of the overhead ceiling panel and electronically-dimmable windows, all controlled by a Passenger Comfort Display. Enhancements in the cabin's style and comfort also include new ergonomically enhanced seats, USB-A and USB-C power plugs, individual cupholders and headset hangers for each occupant.