The latest generation turboprop aircraft, the TBM 960, unveiled by French manufacturer Daher at the Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo in Lakeland, Florida, has replaced the TBM 940 in the company’s line-up. Priced at approximately $4.57 million, the new aircraft features a more efficient Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6E-66XT engine with a five-blade composite propeller and digital electronic thrust control.

With the launch of the new TBM family aircraft, two versions, the 910 and 960, are now available. According to Daher, EASA certification for the 960 has already been completed and FAA approval is pending. Deliveries of the new model are expected to start in July.

The optional Prestige saloon package raises the price to around $4.8m and adds a new Environmental Control System (ECS), LED lighting and electronically dimming windows. This premium cabin also includes upgrades such as new ergonomic seats, USB-A and C connectors, cup holders and headset hooks in each of the aircraft’s six seats.

“The TBM 960 is the quintessential TBM,” said Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher’s aviation division. – This model takes maximum advantage of modern turboprop technology, providing digital engine and propeller control.” Daher assures that the PT6E-66XT engine start-up is fully automatic after the activation of a single switch. In addition, the electronic throttle control lever uses a single forward position from take-off to landing and the dual-channel digital engine and propeller control system optimizes propulsion performance during all phases of flight, reducing pilot strain and increasing engine life.

The Hartzell Raptor five-blade propeller, which is fully integrated into the propulsion system, is specially designed to reduce overall weight and improve takeoff, climb and cruise performance, as well as to reduce noise and vibration. The takeoff noise level is 76.4 decibels, which meets stringent international standards.

The characteristics of the new aircraft are about the same as the TBM 940, including a top speed of 330 knots at an altitude of 280 knots and a maximum range of 1,730 nautical miles at 252 knots. The TBM 960’s take-off weight has been increased by 221 pounds to 7,615 pounds to compensate for the 140-pound heavier Prestige cabin.

The cockpit of the new TBM 960 retains the Garmin G3000 avionics suite from the 940 with electronic stabilization, anti-decline protection, emergency descent mode and HomeSafe automatic landing function, but adds the Garmin GWX 8000 Doppler weather radar with storm and hail forecasting and turbulence detection. The Garmin GDL 60 data transmitter is also used for the first time, allowing automatic database loading and communication with mobile devices.