Daher Aircraft (Booth 3232, Static AD_510) is showcasing its two new flagship single-engine turboprops at the NBAA-BACE static exhibition: the TBM 960, an improved replacement for the TBM 940; and the Kodiak 900, a faster, more comfortable complement to the Kodiak 100 Series III utility aircraft.
FAA and EASA certifications of the TBM 960 are in progress and dozens of models have been delivered to customers in the United States and Europe. Meanwhile, the already FAA-certified Kodiak 900 is expected to begin deliveries in January. Daher expects EASA validation for the 900 shortly.
The French company Daher also highlights its initiatives in terms of sustainable development and innovation. This includes its July takeover of the Triumph aerostructures business in Stuart, Florida, continuing its US expansion, as well as the launch of the Aviator Marketplace e-commerce portal.
But it’s the two new single-turboprop planes that are attracting the most attention.
The TBM 960 represents the fifth evolution of Daher’s six-seat “very fast turboprop” since the introduction of the 900 series in 2014. In a nod to the role of the US market in its success, the 960 made its debut at Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo this year. in Lakeland, Florida in April. Daher noted that more than 80% of the approximately 1,100 TBMs delivered to date have gone to North America, the majority to US customers.
Replacing the TBM 940 in the company’s lineup, the 960 features Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6E-66XT engine and a five-blade composite propeller linked to a dual-channel digital electronic engine and control system. the propeller, or electronic throttle. Engine starting is fully automated after the activation of a single switch.
Performance is about the same as with the TBM 940 – top speed of 330 knots at FL280, cruise speed of 308 knots and range of 1,730 nm at 252 knots – although the mtow has increased by 221 lbs.
In the cockpit, the new TBM adds the Garmin GWX 8000 Doppler weather radar with lightning and hail prediction and turbulence detection to the Garmin G3000 avionics suite with HomeSafe auto-landing. In the cabin, an optional Prestige interior features a new environmental control system, LED ambient lighting and electronically dimmable windows, plus ergonomic seats and USB-A power outlets and USB-C on all six seats.
The base price of the TBM 960 is $4.57 million; with the Prestige cabin, it is $4.8 million. The more basic TBM 910 is available, but none are currently on order.
Unveiled at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in July, the Kodiak 900 is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-140A engine, delivering 900 shp, which is 150 shp more than the PT6A-34 in the Kodiak 100 Series III. The fuselage of the 10-seat 900 has been lengthened by 3.9 feet compared to its predecessor, the 100 model, providing a roomier interior. Complementing the executive-style equipment, the 900’s aero enhancements include sleek wheel pants, which have been tested in harsh conditions and are “absolutely bulletproof,” according to Daher.
But aside from the sleek cabin, the 900 is ready for utility operations. With a rate of climb of 1,724 ft/min, when tested for parachute operations, the aircraft completed cycles of 11 minutes at 12,000 feet. For special missions, she can cruise at 85 knots for over nine hours, or rev up to 210 knots when speed matters.
Daher, committed to the aviation industry’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, is highlighting some of its efforts this week at NBAA-BACE, including its EcoPulse hybrid propulsion demonstrator, aimed at developing principles key architectural features for future hybrid aircraft. Created in partnership with Airbus and Safran, the EcoPulse platform is a streamlined standard TBM 900 series aircraft fitted with six small wing-mounted propellers, each driven by a 50 kW electric motor, increasing nose-mounted P&W from the plane. PT6.
Using electric motors while cruising eliminates greenhouse gas emissions en route. The turboprop is used for high power operations, when it will also charge the batteries of the electric motors. Flight evaluations of the Daher aircraft division in Tarbes, France are expected to be underway by the end of the year.
Still in its country of origin, Daher has opened three innovation Techcenters dedicated to its three core businesses: aeronautics, aeronautical structures and logistics. The Techcenter Aéronautique focuses on developments in aeronautical production, the Techcenter Aérostructures develops composite structural components, and the Corlog logistics site has no other ambition than to transform industrial logistics.
In the United States, Daher acquired Florida-based metal and composite aerostructures maker Triumph, whose sales are expected to double US revenues to around $1 billion a year, equivalent to Daher’s European operations. The Triumph factory manufactures structures for aircraft, including the Boeing 767 and 777 and the Gulfstream G650.
Other Daher sites in North America include the Kodiak plant in Sandpoint, Idaho; a service operation in Pompano Beach, Florida; an Airbus logistics support facility in Mobile, Alabama; and a composite parts manufacturing site in Nogales, Mexico.
On the Internet, Daher launched Aviator Marketplace, an e-commerce portal for parts, services and merchandise for production and legacy Daher aircraft. Inventory is already available for the TBM family, while Kodiak parts are expected soon.