Daher Delivers First TBM 960

The EASA-certified new model goes to a German customer.

A German businessman plans to use the new TBM 960 in both personal and corporate travel around Europe. [Courtesy: Daher]

Just three weeks after debuting its new TBM 960 turboprop single in the U.S., Daher has delivered the first of the upgraded model to a customer in Germany. On the company’s Twitter feed, @flyTBM congratulated the new owner, a businessman completing his instrument training and looking forward to flying with his instructor as a mentor pilot.

The 960 was sold by Daher’s authorized dealer in Germany and Austria, Rheinland Air Service, GmbH, based at the Mönchengladbach airport (EDLN) near Dusseldorf, Germany. 

“I’ve always been impressed by the TBM aircraft family’s performance, along with its level of safety and the systems—especially the HomeSafe emergency autoland,” the customer said in a statement. “There are less expensive airplanes on the market, but none offers so many systems. And I was extremely pleased to learn that I’m the first customer to take delivery of the new TBM 960.”

“We thank our customer for his confidence in the TBM and the appreciation of our services,” said Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher’s Aircraft Division. “His acquisition confirms that the TBM 960’s efficiency and innovative safety systems match the expectations of our European customers at a time of sustainable development issues and stringent regulations.” 

The Pratt & Whitney PT6E-66XT powerplant. [Courtesy: Daher]

A New Powerplant Up Front

The TBM 960 features the Pratt & Whitney PT6E-66XT powerplant flat-rated at 895 shaft hp, driving a five-blade Hartzell Raptor composite prop and hub. The FADEC-style dual-channel digital engine and propeller electronic control system (EPECS) combined with the autothrottle—carried over from the 940 model as part of the HomeSafe autoland suite—allows for a nearly automated engine start sequence that should reduce the incidence of hot starts and other engine-life-shortening events.

All detected faults are sent to the avionics, recorded on the data collection and transmission unit (DCTU) and monitored through associated CAS messages on the Garmin G3000 integrated flight deck when triggered during any ground and flight operations. The collection of data enabled by the new powerplant system enables a longer TBO (5,000 hours) and may reduce overall operating costs.

At a recommended cruise setting to achieve 308 ktas at 28,000 feet, the 960 burns roughly 57 gph, at least a 10-percent reduction in fuel burn from max cruise at 326 ktas at 28,000 feet and roughly 64.9 gph (both assuming max gross weight at 7,300 lbs and ISA conditions).

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted type certificate approval on the model on March 2. FAA acceptance of the new turboprop’s EASA approval should come shortly, according to the company, with five units ready to deliver. 

Daher has the TBM 960 and the Kodiak utility turboprop on display at AERO Friedrichshafen this week at booth #305 in Hall A3.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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