Daher Aircraft (Booth 3232, Static AD_510) is showcasing at the NBAA-BACE static display its two new flagship single-engine turboprops: the TBM 960, an upgraded replacement for the TBM 940; and the Kodiak 900, a faster, more comfortable complement to the Kodiak 100 Series III utility aircraft.

The TBM 960’s FAA and EASA certifications are in hand and dozens of the model have been delivered to customers in the U.S. and Europe. Meanwhile, the Kodiak 900, already FAA certified, is slated to start deliveries in January. Daher expects EASA validation for the 900 shortly.

France-based Daher is also highlighting its sustainability and innovation initiatives. This includes its purchase in July of the Triumph aerostructures business in Stuart, Florida, continuing its U.S. expansion, as well as the launch of the Aviator Marketplace e-commerce portal.

But the two new turboprop single airplanes draw most of the attention.

The TBM 960 represents the fifth evolution of Daher’s six-place “very fast turboprop” since the 900-series introduction in 2014. In a nod to the U.S. market’s role in its success, the 960 debuted at this year’s Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo in Lakeland, Florida, in April. Daher noted that more than 80 percent of some 1,100 TBMs delivered to date have gone to North America, the majority to U.S. customers.

Replacing the TBM 940 in the company’s lineup, the 960 features Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6E-66XT engine and five-blade composite propeller linked to a dual-channel digital engine and propeller electronic control system, or e-throttle. Engine start is fully automated after single-switch activation.

Performance is roughly the same as with the TBM 940—330-knot top speed at FL280, 308-knot cruise speed, and range of 1,730 nm at 252 knots—though mtow has increased by 221 pounds.

In the cockpit, the new TBM adds Garmin GWX 8000 doppler weather radar with lightning and hail prediction and turbulence detection to the Garmin G3000 avionics suite with HomeSafe autoland. In the cabin, an optional Prestige interior boasts a new environmental-control system, LED ambient lighting, and electronically dimmable windows, along with ergonomically enhanced seats, and USB-A and USB-C power plugs at all six seats.

The TBM 960 base price is $4.57 million; with the Prestige cabin it is $4.8 million. The more basic TBM 910 is available, though none are currently on order.

Unveiled at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in July, the Kodiak 900 is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-140A engine, delivering 900 shp—150 shp more than the Kodiak 100 Series III’s PT6A-34. The fuselage of the 10-seat 900 has been stretched 3.9 feet from its Model 100 predecessor, providing a roomier interior. Complementing the executive-style outfitting, aerodynamic improvements in the 900 include stylish wheel pants, which have been tested in rough-field conditions and are “absolutely bulletproof,” according to Daher.

But classy cabin aside, the 900 is ready for utility operations. With a climb rate of 1,724 fpm, in testing for skydiving operations the aircraft accomplished 11-minute cycles to 12,000 feet. For special-mission ops, it can loiter at 85 knots for more than nine hours, or throttle up to 210 knots when speed counts.

Daher, committed to the aviation industry’s goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, is highlighting some of its efforts this week at NBAA-BACE, including its EcoPulse hybrid propulsion demonstrator, aimed at developing key architectural principles for future hybrid airplanes. Created in partnership with Airbus and Safran, the EcoPulse platform is a stripped-down, standard TBM 900-series aircraft outfitted with six small, wing-mounted propellers, each driven by a 50-kW electric motor, augmenting the aircraft’s nose-mounted P&W PT6.

Using the electric engines in cruise eliminates greenhouse gas emissions en route. The turboprop engine is used for high-power operations, when it will also charge the electric motors’ batteries. Flight evaluations at the Daher aircraft division in Tarbes, France, are expected to be underway by year-end.

Also in its home country, Daher opened three innovation Techcenters dedicated to its three core businesses: aircraft manufacturing, aerospace structures, and logistics. The Aircraft Techcenter focuses on aircraft production developments, the Aerostructures Techcenter is developing composite structural components, and the Corlog logistics site’s goal is no less than transforming the industrial logistics industry.

In the U.S., Daher acquired Florida-based metallic and composite aerostructures manufacturer Triumph, whose sales are expected to double U.S. revenues to about $1 billion annually, equaling Daher’s European operations. The Triumph facility makes structures for aircraft, including the Boeing 767 and 777 and Gulfstream G650.

Other Daher sites in North America include the Kodiak factory in Sandpoint, Idaho; a service operation in Pompano Beach, Florida; an Airbus logistics support facility in Mobile, Alabama; and a composite parts manufacturing site in Nogales, Mexico.

On the internet, Daher launched the Aviator Marketplace, an e-commerce portal for parts, services, and merchandise for in-production and legacy Daher aircraft. Inventory is already available for the TBM family, while Kodiak parts are expected soon.

Source: ainonline.com

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