Daher expects to deliver 50 of its TBM series 900 and 20 of its Kodiak single-engine turboprops this year, Nicolas Chabbert, senior v-p of Daher's Aircraft division and CEO of Daher Aircraft and Kodiak Aircraft, said during EAA AirVenture this week. Chabbert said the company’s TBM 940 and 910 models were already sold out for 2021, calling the milestone “remarkable” and predicting that 2021 would be a “record year” for the company.
“The market is extremely good,” he said, despite the fact that Daher, like most aerospace companies, is facing a supply chain struggling to keep up. “We don’t have a unified supply chain,” Chabbert acknowledged. Nevertheless, Daher has delivered 22 TBM 900 series to date in 2021 and more than 400 since 2014. Daher celebrated the delivery of the 1,000th TBM last September. Daher also recently released Version 5 of its “Me & My TBM” app, which aids with aircraft management and analytics and contains a safety monitoring tool.
Chabbert said the HomeSafe technology—which lands the aircraft automatically in the event of pilot incapacitation—continues to be a popular feature. More than 60 new TBM 940s have been delivered with the system, which is based on Garmin's Autoland, and it has been retrofitted to another 13 aircraft. Chabbert said the system adds a mere 15 pounds to the aircraft.
Daher sees a wider role and market appeal for its Kodiak utility turboprop single, including government special missions and air ambulance, Chabbert said. It recently sold two of the aircraft to an Arkansas air ambulance company. Daher, which added the aircraft to its product line when it acquired Quest in 2019, recently introduced the Kodiak Series III, on display at AirVenture this year. The model incorporates a host of improvements including Garmin GWX 75 weather radar, Garmin GFC 700 autopilot with digital, dual-channel flight controls, larger 29-inch tires, increased landing weight to 7,255 pounds, plug and play fittings for Aerocet floats, Bluetooth audio panels, and a four-year “Kodiak Care” maintenance program. Daher also is offering an “Executive Edition” for the aircraft that features a luxury interior with club seating for eight passengers, dual one cabin climate controls, and increased oxygen capacity.
To date, more than 294 Kodiaks have been delivered and the in-service fleet has accrued more than 277,000 flight hours. The aircraft is supported by 24 authorized service centers. Fifty percent of all deliveries to date have been to U.S. customers.
Chabbert said Daher has weathered the pandemic well, posting revenues of $1.23 billion in 2020, 80 percent of which was from its aerospace activities that included not just production of the TBM and Kodiak but also of critical substructures for other manufacturers such Airbus, Gulfstream, and Rolls-Royce.