Daher's newest member of its TBM family, the 940, has received EASA certification, the French airframer announced on Monday at EBACE 2019. According to Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of the OEM’s airplane business unit, the first delivery will take place on or about June 3 to a European customer.
He acknowledged that the vast majority of the to-date orders for the TBM 940 are from customers in from North America. “The next step for us is to get the validation from the FAA, and this is a process which is a little bit delayed," Chabbert said. “So our customers with the American registry are waiting a little bit longer than we anticipated for this FAA validation, but it is coming.” He told AIN that the aircraft will be flown to the U.S. in the coming weeks for evaluation.
The 940, which replaces the 930 in the company’s line-up, features enhanced flight management, including autothrottle and an intuitive smart single engine gauge, making it the world’s first production turboprop under 12,500 pounds with an autothrottle. Daher claims the improved performance gives the 940 about 15 percent better fuel economy than its TBM 850 from 2006.
It also has new functionality through its Garmin GWX 70 radar, including turbulence detection. The airplane, along with its sibling TBM 910, is additionally equipped with a new automatic icing detection system. “Once you have this auto switch on, basically you don’t need to care about anything since the ice detector is going to be picking up any ice and turning on all of your deicing systems for you,” explained Chabbert. “That is definitely a safety device for a single pilot. You forget, you just don’t pay attention. Well, the system is there to supplement you nicely.”
Both aircraft now offer upgraded cabin amenities, including new personal tablet storage, two additional USB power outlets, a universal 115V power outlet, and insulation foam on all panels. For the 910, the company continues to offer upgrades with the latest being the Garmin G100NXi package for the G1000 avionics suite, which offers Surface Watch to help pilots maintain situational awareness in the airport environment, visual approach procedures, and Baro V-Nav, which allows precision approaches to be flown with vertical guidance. Chabbert expects more than 120 customers will choose the upgrade.
Daher has made 274 deliveries of the 900-series, including the TBM 900, 910, and 930 models. As of April 30, it had received total orders for 304 of the TBM 900 series. As it anticipates the first delivery of the 940, Daher has delivered 936 TBMs dating back to the TBM700A, which have amassed more than 1.6 million flight hours. North America has accounted for the majority, with 716 deliveries, while 159 of the speedy turboprop singles have been delivered in Europe. In 2018, the European TBM fleet made more than 16,000 flights, accounting for 10 percent of all turboprop usage in the region.
Chabbert noted the company continues to improve its Me and My TBM application, which is now in its third iteration since its launch last year. It monitors aircraft health and serves as a communication platform for the TBM community. It also provides instant access to the manufacturer’s care and AOG teams.
Daher participated in the sustainable alternative jet fuel fly-in ahead of EBACE, with its TBM910 refueling at Caen-Carpiquet Airport (one of three in Europe that received shipments of the renewable fuel to support aircraft heading for the show) for the 318-nm flight to Geneva.
According to Didier Kayat, Daher’s CEO, 80 percent of the family-owned company’s overall business is now in aerospace and it is the only aircraft manufacturer that also serves as a Tier 1 aerostructure supplier. He noted that Daher sold 50 TBMs last year.