Daher has detailed developments across its booming product line and championed the EBACE debut of its flagship TBM 960.
Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice-president for the French company’s aircraft division, describes the single-engined turboprop as “incredibly popular, quintessential TBM, representing the fifth evolution of our very fast turboprop aircraft family since the introduction of the TBM 900 in 2014”.
Unveiled in April 2022, the six-seat TBM 960 replaces the TBM 940 in Daher’s line-up. It features a more efficient Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6E-66XT turboprop, a “fully digital e-throttle”, digital engine and propeller control system, and a “digitally controlled cabin”, together with a five-bladed Hartzell propeller.
The aircraft also features Garmin’s G3000 cockpit and its Autoland system – branded Homesafe by Daher. “It’s the fastest-selling aircraft in the TBM family with over 100 aircraft on order – exceeding two years of production.” Chabbert says.
Similarly, Daher has secured a backlog of over two years of production for the Kodiak 900 since its launch in July 2022.
The 10-seat, PT6A-140A-powered aircraft is “gaining traction” with cargo, corporate, business, charter and medevac customers across the globe and “is increasingly regarded by some operators” as a potential replacement for the [Beechraft] King Air C90 and Cessna Caravan, says Chabbert.
Daher is offering the G1000NXi next-generation flightdeck as a retrofit for owners of the first-generation Kodiak 100. The NXi was introduced as standard on the second series of the short take-off and landing aircraft in 2018, says Chabbert but 260 examples do not have the upgraded avionics. “The replacement market is huge,” he adds.
Similarly, Daher is offering a five-blade Hartzell propeller as a retrofit for early generation Kodiak 100s. The feature is available as an option on Series III aircraft and will be standard equipment from 2024.
Meanwhile, Chabbert says the EcoPulse hybrid-electric demonstrator aircraft – which Daher is developing alongside Airbus and Safran with the support of the French government – will make its debut at the Paris air show next month. It will then return to Daher’s base in Tarbes, southwest France, for “several months” of flight testing.
The EcoPulse is a TBM 900-series turboprop with the PT6 engine augmented by six wing-mounted propellers each driven by a Safran-supplied 50kW electric motor. Chabbert describes the project as a “stepping-stone to a future sustainable aircraft in the Daher product line”.
The airframer will evaluate the market over the next six months to determine the demand for a hybrid-electric “or even fully electric” aircraft and to “assess what form that design will take”, Chabbert says.
“Our aim is to make a decision on a design by the middle of next year and bring the aircraft to market by the end of 2027,” he added.