Daher has delivered its 80th TBM 960 to a private owner just over a year after Daher formally launched the aircraft version in April 2022.
“Owners and operators praise the TBM 960's outstanding flight experience and increased cabin comfort, as well as the enhanced efficiency and sustainability,” says senior vice president Nicolas Chabbert. “It takes the maximum advantage of today's technology to provide digital control for the engine and the propeller, extending into the digitally-controlled cabin.”
The TBM 960 marks Daher's fifth evolution of its TBM 900-series aircraft family; with a combined total of 488 aircraft to date in the TBM 900, TBM 910, TBM 930, TBM 940 and TBM 960 versions. This surpasses the delivery totals for the two previous-generation TBM aircraft types, with 324 TBM 700s and 338 TBM 850s provided to customers during their production runs.
In the TBM 960's model year 2023 configuration, its Garmin G3000 integrated flight deck is further enhanced with updated software. Additionally, Daher's continued focus on ergonomics for operational safety and situational awareness includes a control yoke activation button for the Garmin electronic checklists and a repositioning of the altimeter setting button.
Key features of the TBM 960 include the new PT6E-66XT turboprop engine, purpose-built by Pratt & Whitney Canada for this aircraft, and Hartzell Propeller's five-blade composite propeller with the Raptor lightweight hub. Both the engine and propeller system are linked to the TBM 960's dual-channel digital engine and propeller electronic control system (EPECS).
With EPECS, the PT6E-66XT engine'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 take off to landing, with the EPECS optimising powerplant performance throughout the flight envelope while reducing pilot workload by integrating all functions and protecting the engine's life.
The Hartzell propeller is fully integrated into the aircraft's propulsion system. It is specifically designed to reduce overall weight and improve the TBM 960's take off distance, climb and cruise speed. Turning at 1,925 rpm during maximum power output, the propeller contributes to limiting noise and vibration. Its sound level during take off 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 US gallons per hour, a 10 per cent 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. 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. Other enhancements are 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 commercial success of Daher's previous high-end TBM version, the TBM 940. 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.