Daher-Socata says the introduction of its TBM 900 last year and the decline in the TBM used aircraft inventory has resulted its strongest annual performance since the market peak of 2008.
The French airframer shipped 51 TBM 900s in 2014. Although this is nine aircraft fewer than in 2008, the delivery tally is 22% higher than in 2013, and up by 25% on 2012. The airframer received 64 orders last year for the high-speed, single-engined turboprop – the latest evolution of the 25-year-old TBM design – marking its “best sales year ever”.
“2014 was one of the best years in the history of our TBM programme, bolstered by the TBM 900’s launch and its generation of new sales,” says Daher-Socata president and chief executive Stephane Mayer.
More than three-quarters of last year’s orders came from customers in North America. The rest were received from South America, Europe and Asia.
Over 700 TBMs have been delivered since the first iteration – the TBM 700 – entered service in 1990. The $3.7 million, Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D-powered TBM 900 was introduced following a clandestine three-year development effort. It replaced the eight-year-old TBM 850.
The new version retains considerable commonality with its predecessor, including the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D powerplant. However, it offers improved efficiency and performance thanks to aerodynamic modifications including winglets, a vertical tail-fin strake and a new tail cone. Top cruise speed is increased by 10kt to 330kt (611km/h) at 28,000ft, and maximum range is extended by more than 300nm (560km).