LONDON – The latest offering from Daher – the TBM 960 very fast turboprop aircraft – is now being delivered to customers in the North American market.
The deliveries of the aircraft follow the recent certification of the new model by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This airworthiness approval by the FAA joins the previous certification by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Ferry flights from Daher France
Two TBM 960 aircraft commenced a ferry flight from the manufacturer’s France base in Tarbes late last month. They have now arrived at TBM dealerships in the US Midwest and West Coast, ready to be handed over to customers.
One aircraft landed at Elliott Jets in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while the other was welcomed at California’s Camarillo Airport by AVEX.
About the TBM 960 – EPECS & single-switch operation
The powertrain for the new single engine turboprop aircraft is the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6E-66XT engine. It drives a Hartzell Propeller five-blade Raptor™ composite propeller, both of which are linked to the dual-channel digital Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System (EPECS).
Effectively, the EPECS system allows an engine start-up with a single switch operation. The single throttle lever in the cockpit becomes what Daher describe as an e-Throttle.
A single throttle position is used from take-off to landing, and the EPECS system optimises engine performance throughout the flight envelope.
This means a substantially reduced workload for the pilot, with the automated system integrating all functions, which also potentially optimises engine life.
The Raptor™ propeller is fully integrated into the propulsion system. It turns at a relatively low 1,925 rpm during maximum power output. As a result the Raptor™ contributes to limiting noise and vibration.
Its sound level during take off is just 76.4 decibels, which is well below international standards.
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 a very respectable 57 U.S. gallons per hour.
Daher management statement
Nicolas Chabbert, Senior Vice President of Daher’s Aircraft Division, commented:
“I want to recognize the collaborative work of EASA and the FAA that resulted in the TBM 960’s certification. 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,” he concluded.
The North American market
The North American market is the largest regional market for Daher’s range of fast turboprop aircraft. 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.
The TBM 960 – a pressurised single turboprop with revolutionary full digital e-throttle systems – is the fifth generation in the TBM series introduced in 2014.
For the TBM 960, a fifth TBM paint scheme – called Sirocco, based on the creativity of French designer Alexandre Echasseriau – has been added to the aircraft’s style customization possibilities.
With the new aircraft’s launch, Daher’s TBM family is now offered in two versions: the TBM 960 and TBM 910.