Daher continues to improve the TBM turboprop family, and today revealed the latest generation, the TBM 960 at the Sun‘nFun expo in Lakeland, Florida. The TBM 960 replaces the TBM 940 in the Daher line-up and offers multiple improvements over the prior model. These include a more efficient Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6E-66XT turboprop engine, a fully digital e-throttle, and a digitally controlled cabin incorporating an all-new environmental control system, LED ambiance lighting, and electrically-dimmable windows.
The TBM 960 is continuing the trend of increasing digitalization of the TBM fleet, as the digital engine controls and digital e-throttle provide an increase in performance. “The TBM 960 is the quintessential TBM, representing the fifth evolution of our very fast turboprop aircraft since the TBM 900 series introduction in 2014,” said Nicholas Chabbert, Sr. Vice President of Daher’s Aircraft Division. “It takes the maximum advantage of today’s turboprop technology to provide digital control of the engine and the propeller.”
Speed has been a differentiator for the TBM series when compared to its competition, and the TBM 960 is no exception. At Daher’s recommend cruise of 303 knots, the TBM 960 uses 57 gallons per hour, providing a 10% improvement in fuel economy versus maximum cruise speed.
Electronic controls differentiate the TMB 960 from prior versions. The dual-channel digital Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System (EPECS) integrate the intelligent PT6E-66XT powerplant with Hartzell’s five-blade Raptor™ composite propeller, making start-up fully automatic after activating a single switch. The cockpit’s power level is an e-throttle, using a single forward position from take-off to landing. The EPECS optimizes the performance of the powerplant throughout the entire flight regime, reducing pilot workloads while protecting the engine life through analysis of more than 100 smart data inputs.
The new Raptor™ propeller has been designed to reduce weight and improve take-off distance, climb, and cruising speeds. It turns at 1,925 rpm during maximum power, with a reduction in average take-off noise levels to 76.4 decibels for the TBM 960.
The flight deck has the latest Garmin G3000 integrated flight deck, and retains Daher’s “co-pilot” features, including an icing protection system, flight envelope monitoring through the Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP) system, and the Under-Speed Protection (USP) protection during the Emergency Descent Mode (EDM) function, as well as retaining the HomeSafe™ emergency autoland system.
The TBM 960 features the Garmin GWX 8000 doppler weather radar with advanced surveillance features such as lightning and hail prediction, turbulence detection, and ground clutter suppression. The aircraft also is the first to utilize Garmin’s next-generation data transmitter for automatic database upload and mobile device interconnection.
Interior improvements include an all-new environmental control system, LED ambient lighting, and electronically dimmed windows, all controlled by a Passenger Comfort Display (PCD). New seats, power plugs, and cup holders also enhance the functionality of the aircraft for passengers.
The TBM 960 is EASA certified and US FAA certification is underway. Deliveries will begin in the first half of 2022.