Daher took the wraps off its latest-generation TBM turboprop single—the TBM 960—today at the Sun ’n Fun Aerospace Expo in Lakeland, Florida, where it is also displaying the first production example. Replacing the TBM 940 in the company’s lineup, the approximately $4.57 million aircraft sports a more efficient Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6E-66XT engine with a five-blade composite propeller and digital e-throttle.
With the new aircraft’s launch, Daher’s TBM family is now offered in two versions—the TBM 910 and 960. Daher said EASA certification of the 960 is already in hand, while FAA approval is pending. Deliveries of the new model are expected to begin by July.
An optional Prestige cabin package ups the price to about $4.8 million and adds a new environmental control system (ECS), LED ambience lighting, and electronically-dimmable windows. This premium cabin also includes a passenger comfort display for control of the ECS, LED lights, and dimmable windows and other enhancements such as new ergonomically enhanced seats, USB-A and USB-C power plugs, cupholders, and headset hangers at each of the airplane’s six seats.
“The TBM 960 is the quintessential TBM, representing the fifth evolution of our very fast turboprop aircraft family since the TBM 900-series’ introduction in 2014,” said Nicolas Chabbert, senior v-p of Daher’s aircraft division. “It takes the maximum advantage of today’s turboprop technology to provide digital control of the engine and the propeller.”
According to Daher, the PT6E-66XT’s startup is fully automated after a single-switch activation. Further, the e-throttle power lever uses a single forward position from takeoff to landing, with the dual-channel digital engine and propeller electronic control system optimizing powerplant performance throughout the flight envelope, reducing pilot workload, and increasing the engine life.
Fully integrated into the propulsion system, the Hartzell Raptor five-blade propeller is specifically designed to reduce overall weight and improve the TBM 960’s takeoff distance, climb, and cruise speed, in addition to limiting noise and vibration. Its sound level during takeoff is 76.4 decibels, meeting stringent international noise standards.
Performance is roughly the same as the TBM 940, including a 330-knot top speed at FL280 and max range of 1,730 nm at 252 knots. The Model 960 does have a 221-pound increase in mtow, to 7,615 pounds, to help offset the 140-pound heavier Prestige interior.
On the flight deck, the new TBM retains the 940’s Garmin G3000 avionics suite with electronic stability and protection, underspeed protection, emergency descent mode, and HomeSafe autoland functions, but adds Garmin GWX 8000 doppler weather radar with lightning and hail prediction and turbulence detection. It is also the first application for the Garmin GDL 60 data transmitter, which allows automatic database uploads and links with mobile devices.
A fifth TBM paint scheme—Sirocco, "based on the creativity of French designer Alexandre Echasseriau," according to Daher—has also been added for the TBM 960.