Daher-Socata (Tarbes, France) on March 14 unveiled the newest member in its TBM family of very fast, single-engine turboprop business aircraft – the TBM 900 – which offers improved efficiency, an enhanced environment for pilots and passengers, and superior performance without increased fuel consumption or additional engine power.
Developed during a more than three-year program involving 160,000 research and development hours, along with 200 hours of flight testing, the TBM 900 has been certified and will be ready for deliveries beginning this month.
Daher-Socata has integrated 26 modifications in the TBM 900, building on the solid basis of its TBM aircraft family, including:
- Aerodynamic optimization through the addition of winglets and a vertical tailfin strake, as well as a new tail cone
- The use of a five-blade composite propeller and redesigned spinner
- A complete nose-to-firewall redesign for improved engine airflow circulation – featuring a banana-shaped air intake, carbon fiber cowlings and new exhaust stacks
- Enhanced human-machine interface features, ranging from an ergonomic control yoke with new functions to the restyled cockpit panel for increased visibility and interaction with secondary system controls
- A revised cockpit center pedestal that incorporates a single-control throttle operation, associated with a new torque limiter that enables the use of 850 hp engine power at takeoff
- A revamped electrical system with 300-amp starter generator that allows new avionics and electronic devices to be incorporated on the aircraft. Its new electric core enables a semi-automatic start-up, while the new-generation 100-amp stand-by alternator provides electrical input in case of power supply loss;
- Increased passenger comfort, benefitting from lower cabin noise levels, an automated pressurization system and redesigned seats.
Retaining primary airframe commonality with the predecessor TBM 850 – including its Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A- 66D powerplant – the enhanced TBM 900 version ensures a proven airframe/engine combination.
The TBM 900's top cruise speed is increased to 330 KTAS at 28,000 ft., and its maximum range is extended to 1,730 nautical miles with five adult passengers as a result of the fuel consumption reduction to 37 U.S. gallons per hour.
By using the available 850 shp. engine power from takeoff, the aircraft's ground roll is reduced – even in hot-and-high conditions – while its improved climb rate enables the 31,000-ft. ceiling to be reached in 18 minutes, 45 seconds.
Some of the TBM 900's new elements are manufactured at Daher-Socata's aerostructures and systems production sites in France for composite components and piping.
The optimization of this latest TBM family member was achieved through major efforts in modeling, including the use of computational fluid dynamics – enabling detailed assessments of airflow around the aircraft that replaced traditional wind tunnel testing.
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