Daher Delivers First TBM 960 During Aero Show

 - April 29, 2022, 8:58 AM
On April 25 TBM made its first delivery of a TBM 960 to a customer in Tarbes, France. (Photo: TBM)

This week during the Aero Friedrichshafen show in Germany, Daher delivered the first of its new TBM 960 single-engine turboprops to a German businessman. The airplane was sold by Daher distributor Rheinland Air Service and will be used for corporate transport.

The delivery underscored a problem for Daher at the show: all of the inventory of 960s is spoken for, so the company was unable to bring one to its exhibit, which this year featured a TBM 940 and Kodiak 100 Series III utility turboprop.

Daher is sold out of TBMs through September 2023, according to Nicolas Chabbert, senior v-p of Daher's Aircraft Division and CEO of Daher Aircraft and Kodiak Aircraft. “We’re having incredible success,” he said, although adding, “We’re struggling to get parts for our supply chain. It’s a big challenge.” Chabbert expects Daher to deliver 60 TBM 960s this year, but if the supply chain wasn’t constrained the company could produce up to 75.

The next big task is FAA certification for the TBM 960 so deliveries can begin in the company’s largest market. “We’re ready for deliveries,” he said. Last year, Daher delivered 68 airplanes, including 49 TBM 940s, two TBM 910s, and 17 Kodiaks.

The TBM 960 replaces the 940 and adds a new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-66XT engine with full dual-channel digital engine and propeller control to make the pilot’s job easier and safer. Maintenance is simpler too, because there is no longer a need for complex rigging of mechanical controls, and automatic starting takes care of potential hot-start problems. Other new features include an upgraded pressurization system and ambient LED lighting in the cabin; both are controlled by a new passenger comfort display. USB-A and -C charging ports are installed at each seat.

Although only two 910s sold last year, Daher isn’t giving up on the model as it remains attractive for operators that prefer it for commercial operations. “This year we won’t make any 910s,” Chabbert said. “All production will be the 960. But we’re working to see if there is an evolution [possible] for the 910.”