TBM 900 Series Marks 500 Deliveries for Daher

The Daher TBM 900-series single-engine turboprop has gained even more traction in the market after the introduction of the TBM 960 last year.

The delivery of the 500th TBM 900 series came in October 2023, and Daher currently has more than 100 TBM 960s on order. [Courtesy of Daher]

Daher celebrated the 500th delivery of its TBM 900 series turboprops with the latest model, the TBM 960, which went to a private owner in the U.S.

TBM 900-series aircraft are the best selling single-engine turboprops in the 33-year history of the TBM 700 program. Total deliveries now exceed all the previous TBM 700- and TBM 800-series aircraft produced from 1990 to 2014. Daher has a 100-plus aircraft backlog for TBM 960, representing more than two years of production.

Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president  of Daher’s aircraft division, says that the firm constantly looks for product improvements, seeks to enhance operational efficiency, and listens to customers’ concerns. “We are constantly listening to our customers feedback,” said Chabbert in a press briefing at the National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Conference and Expo, “and thanks to our major suppliers and any of the vendors that are following this program, we are in constant evolution, and we are able to make step changes on the aircraft—some are minor, some are major,” like the Pratt & Whitney PT6E-66XT on the TBM 960.

To this end, TBM 900-series aircraft incorporate several aero upgrades, including a ram recovery engine air inlet that boosts power output in climb and cruise, stability enhancements, winglets to cut induced drag, and a Hartzell five-blade scimitar prop that improves takeoff performance and reduces noise.

The TBM 960 is powered by a 850 shp, EPECS (FADEC)-equipped PT6E-66XT that provides carefree handling by means of a single power lever that controls both prop and engine. Chabbert quipped in the briefing that no longer can jet operators boast that turbofan aircraft are easier to fly than turboprops. “A lot of our customers—as you can see, 92 of them—are super happy to have this edition, which basically makes them equal to all of their friends who are flying jets,” said Chabbert. “So now, turboprops first!” The 960’s touchscreen GTC-controlled Garmin G3000 avionics system features an autothrottle, upset recovery function, emergency descent mode, and HomeSafe emergency safe return auto landing system.

TBM Speed, Efficiency—and SAF

Top speed is 330 ktas, endowing the TBM 960 with light jet-like block times on everyday 300 nm missions, but with 40- to 50-percent fuel savings. Daher is striving to provide sustainable aviation solutions, including starting flight tests of its Ecopulse TBM hybrid-electric aircraft, developed jointly with Airbus and Safran, in 2024. Chabbert also is a strong proponent of switching from fossil-based jet fuel to sustainable aviation fuel as the most promising short-term means of achieving zero net aircraft emissions by 2050. 

Nicolas Chabbert, SVP of Daher's Aircraft Division, updated on the company's TBM and Kodiak programs along with CEO Didier Kayat at NBAA 2023. [Credit: Stephen Yeates]

“We need people to invest and to trust the future and to make that aviation fuel available on a large scale,” said Chabbert. “We just cannot go neutral on a very small portion; we need major investment from petroleum companies first but we also have to have all of the users adopt SAF—this is the key to success.”

Fred George has flown in the left seat of nearly every business jet produced in the last 30 years, encompassing more than 195 aircraft models total over his career. He reports on the business aviation industry for FLYING, returning to the senior editor position after first contributing to the magazine in the 1980s and 90s.

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