Elliott Aviation has completed the retrofit of HomeSafe emergency autoland systems on those TBM 940 very fast turboprop aircraft that were delivered in the US market during 2019/2020 prior to airworthiness certification of this functionality.
The 29 turboprops had been sold in the US with HomeSafe included as part of the original system/equipment list, and the post-delivery installation work was performed by Elliott Aviation at its Moline, Illinois facility. Additional installations for aircraft on which HomeSafe was offered as a subsequent upgrade will be completed later this year, as approved by the individual TBM 940 owners.
“Partnering closely with Daher from the very beginning, the Elliott Aviation team of technicians did a great job of planning and executing the installation programme,” says Elliott president and CEO Greg Sahr. “We knew the timeline was going to be a push, but the joint effort with Daher allowed us to complete the programme as scheduled.”
HomeSafe is based on Garmin's emergency autoland technology and was tailored to the TBM 940 by Daher's aircraft division. It brings the TBM 940 to a runway touchdown if the pilot becomes incapacitated. When activated, the HomeSafe software integrates weather and terrain information to select the best airport for landing, taking into account fuel range and runway length. The system provides inputs to the aircraft's flight controls and adjusts engine power settings through the touchdown phase. During the landing rollout, HomeSafe simultaneously activates the landing gear brakes and shuts down the engine.
“This retrofit programme's seamless execution resulted from the expertise and capabilities of Elliott Aviation, backed by its close cooperation with Daher, as well as our coordination with TBM distributors and owners,” says Raphael Maitre, vice president of customer support for Daher's aircraft division.
The HomeSafe autoland system's retrofit involves such tasks as modification of the aircraft's braking system, along with wiring changes and integration of electrical relays to enable automatic activation of the flaps, landing gear and landing lights. A fuel shut-off valve is added to stop the engine by cutting off the fuel supply, while the cockpit's glareshield is modified to include the HomeSafe activation button.
Elliott Aviation has been a TBM authorised service centre since 2005 and is an aftermarket dealer for Garmin.
Daher has performed HomeSafe retrofits on TBM 940s from the rest of the world at its Tarbes, France headquarters and factory location.
For Daher's new TBM 960 version, which succeeds the TBM 940, all aircraft are delivered with the HomeSafe emergency autoland system factory installed.