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Daher TBM

Posted on June 09 2021

Daher TBM user+1@localho… Tue, 05/17/2022 - 21:17

The TBM is a series of single-engine turboprop airplanes that are produced by French manufacturer Daher. The airplane that is now known as the TBM700 type originated with the Mooney 301, a pressurized single-engine piston airframe. However, following the purchase of Mooney Aircraft by a group of French investors, they were partnered with Socata—a French light-aircraft manufacturer—to create a high-speed turboprop. Out of that partnership, TBM s.a. was created as a joint venture between Socata—which was based in Tarbes, France hence the (TB) letters of the company name—and Mooney (M), with those manufacturers holding 70% and 30% of the joint company, respectively. Described by the manufacturer as being the first “fully pressurized, single-engine turboprop aircraft in the world,” the program was launched in 1987 and the first variant of the series—the TBM 700A—received approval from the French Civil Aviation Authority [Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC)] in January 1990. Beyond the origins of the TBM portion of the company name and commercial designation, the “700” portion was derived from the 700 hp that was able to be produced by the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-64 engine that powered the TBM700 A, B, C1 and C2 variants. Subsequent to the TBM700 A variant, a further four variants of the airframe were certified—the TBM 700 B, C1, C2 and N—with the certification of the B, C1 and C2 taking place between November 1998 and July 2004. Despite being represented in the type and commercial designations of the airframe to this day, Mooney’s 30% interest in the program was purchased by Socata.

The TBM700 N variant, which was first certified in November 2005, serves as the basis for a number of TBM commercial designations. Specifically, it is marketed as the TBM 850, TBM 900, TBM 910, TBM 930, TBM 940 and TBM 960. Beyond the initial TBM700 N certification date, modifications that were incorporated into that variant were approved by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) between September 2007 and March 2022. Regardless of any differences between the variants of the TBM700 type, they share a common type certificate which is held by Daher Aerospace of Saint Julien de Chedon, France.  

Certification Dates (DGAC/EASA)

TBM700 A

Jan. 31, 1990 (DGAC)

TBM 700 B

Nov. 13, 1998 (DGAC)

TBM700 C1

Dec. 3, 2002 (DGAC)

TBM700 C2

July 14, 2004 (EASA)

TBM700 N (TBM850)

Nov.  28, 2005 (EASA)

TBM700 N (TBM850 G1000)

Sept. 26, 2007 (EASA)

TBM700 N (TBM900)

Dec. 2, 2013 (EASA)

TBM700 N (TBM930)

Feb. 18, 2016 (EASA)

TBN700 N (TBM910)

March 24, 2017 (EASA)

TBM700 N (TBM930 2018)

March 5, 2018 (EASA)

TBM700 N (TBM910 2019)

Jan. 3 and 14, 2019 (EASA)

TBM700 N (TBM940)

May 14 and 17, 2019/July 17, 2020 (EASA)

TBM700N (TBM960)

March 2022 (EASA)

Cabin Information and Passenger/Baggage Capacity

In addition to the single required pilot, the five or six passengers of the TBM700 A and B variants—dependent upon whether modification OPT70-25-002 is made—are accommodated in a cabin that has a maximum height, length and width of 4 ft., 13 ft. 3.45 in. and 3 ft. 11.64 in., respectively. The TBM700 A’s single cabin entry has a height of 3 ft. 10.85 in. and width of 2 ft. 1.59 in., while the TBM700 B and C increase the width of the entry door to 3 ft. 6.52 in., a dimension that is retained by the TBM900 N commercial designations. Supplementing the standard cabin door on the TBM700 B, C1/C2 and N variants is an optional pilot door that has a mean height of 3 ft. 2.16 in. and a mean width 2 ft. 3.6 in. As new TBM700 variants were introduced, cabin upgrades were also made to increase baggage space and passenger comfort, with the TBM 700 B incorporating the large cabin door and an updated seat design. Certified in December 2002, the TBM700 C included an environmental control system and luggage compartment that were both new, the latter of which is located aft of the passenger cabin. According to Daher’s pilot’s information manuals for the TBM700 A and B, those variants have a non-pressurized forward baggage compartment and a pressurized aft baggage compartment that are able to accommodate 110 lb. and 220 lb. of baggage, respectively. On the TBM 700C, 220 lb. can be accommodated in the rear of the pressurized cabin, while the aft compartment is limited to a capacity of 77 lb. Daher commercial materials further state that the maximum freight volume in the TBM 700 cabin is 123.6 ft.3, while the freight floor area occupies 33.9 ft.2

The benefits of the optional pilot entry door that was introduced on the TBM700 B include that it allows the pilot(s) to board simultaneously with passengers through the separate doors—the pilot door also features a folding airstair—while also allowing for the loading of freight and large luggage. Although that door was formerly an option, it became a standard feature of TBM airframes with the TBM 900.

In spite of the changes made to the TBM700 N, it retains the same cabin dimensions and size of the main and pilot cabin-entry doors, with the cabin volume of the TBM 900, 910, 940 and 960 noted as being 123 ft.3 Starting in 2012, the TBM 850’s cabin could be outfitted with what the manufacturer describes as the “Elite Interior,” which enables operators to quickly reconfigure the cabin from a six-seat layout to a four-seat one, with the latter configuration also featuring an “extended luggage” area.

TBM 900 cabin features that are promoted include the cabin’s lighting and temperature controls, as well as the cabin storage and seat options. With respect to the former, the cabin is lighted by access-stair, baggage compartment and dome lights, with individual reading lights also found at each seat. Passengers are able to control the cabin temperature, while the available cabinet options are available are promoted as “optimiz[ing] the storage space between the intermediate and pilot seats.” When configured with four seats, the maximum amount of luggage that can be placed in the airplane’s storage area is 507 lb., a figure that is decreased to 330 lb. when the number of seats is increased to six. When a large net is installed, the maximum luggage volume is 30.25 ft.3, with that figure—as well as maximum luggage weight for four and six-seat configurations—retained by the TBM 910, 930 and 940.

The entryway and cabin lighting of the TBM 910 and 940 remain largely the same as what is found on the TBM 900, with the exception that the dome lights are noted as being dimmable. Cabin temperature is once again able to be controlled by passengers, with the passengers entering the cabin through a new cabin entrance that features a carbon fiber floor. The cabin’s seats are of an “aerial” design, have the ability to recline and incorporate “adjustable backrests and folding armrests.” Those seats are also able to be heated, with the master control located in the cockpit—turning the system on and off—and passengers able to control whether their seat is heated and to what degree. As an option, an extended storage cabinet located behind the left pilot seat is available, a cabinet that is available in two versions: one version is for storage only, while the other features 115V and USB power plugs. The cabin itself is promoted is being a quick-change cabin—thanks to cabinets that allow operators to “optimize the storage space between the intermediate and pilot seats”—while a coat and headset hanger is located in the aft portion of the cabin. “New amenities” that are found in the cabins of both the TBM 910 and 940 which focus on giving passengers the ability to use electronic devices include a “central shelf for iPad storage,” nine total USB ports—six for passengers and three for the pilot(s)—and a 115V universal plug and 14V lighter socket. Cabin improvement that were introduced on the TBM 940 include added thermal insulation in the cabin’s sidewalls and an “additional 115V electrical outlet at the right seat panel,” changes to the seats and “a new central shelf” that has side storage. On the TBM 930, the 6.2-psi pressurization system allows for a 9,340-ft. cabin altitude at the airframe’s maximum operating altitude.

Although the TBM 960 retains the same five-passenger maximum seating capacity as the previous TBM700 N-based airframes, it is promoted as having a cabin that is “digitally controlled” and which incorporates an environmental control system that is new. Further marketed as the “Prestige” cabin, the Enviro Systems Inc.-provided environmental control system is activated using the “Passenger Control Display’s touchscreen.” Control of the “passenger cabin zone” is accomplished through that touchscreen display, with Daher also noting that “individual seats” in the TBM 960’s cabin are heated electrically. Another feature promoted by the airframe manufacturer are the cabin’s dimmable windows and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, with the former feature enabled through the use of an “electrically variable shading system.” With regard to cabin lighting, while the dimmable shades control ambient lighting during the day, at night the ”general illumination” of the cabin comes from “both sides of the overhead ceiling panel” in the form of LED strip lights, with those lights supplemented by reading lights.

Other TBM 960 cabin features include “14/24-volt power outlets” that can be connected to mobile devices using USB-A and USB-C interfaces, satellite music and radio provided by SiriusXM and a “lateral folding table.” Beyond the space and features of the TBM 960’s cabin, Daher states that the maximum luggage volume of the airframe is 35 ft.3 When configured with four seats, the maximum weight of luggage carried in the storage areas is limited to 507 lb., an amount that is reduced to 330 lb. when the airframe is outfitted with six seats. 

Avionics

Produced from 1991 to 2000, the TBM700 A was outfitted with Honeywell Bendix/King’s Silver Crown avionics, which featured a KLN90A GPS unit, KFC275 flight guidance system and an RDS 81 or 82 weather radar that is pod-mounted. Avionics upgrades found on the TBM700 B—which was in production from 1999-2002—include a KLN90B GPS and a multifunction display (MFD). The incorporation of Garmin’s G1000 avionics suite began with versions of TBM700 N type marketed as the TBM 850—beginning with Serial No. 434—with that G1000 installation being “nearly identical” to what is found on Textron’s Cessna Citation Mustang. Although the TBM850 was the first variant of the series to integrate Garmin’s G1000 avionics suite, it was not until nearly two years after the TBM850 was certified in November 2005 that the variant was approved to be equipped with the G1000 in September 2007. The features of the TBM850’s G1000 installation include a pair of 10.4-in. active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) primary flight displays (PFD), as well as a 15.1-in MFD. Although the TBM850 was the first version of the airframe to feature the G1000, it later became available as an upgrade for the TBM700, with the first upgrade—for a private operator—taking place in 2011.

The features of the G1000 installation on the TBM700 N-based TBM 900 that are promoted by Daher include the ergonomics of the yoke (which features remote command buttons), an “E-Copilot” that has safety and pilot workload benefits and a single power-control lever that is marketed as being the first in a single-engine turboprop. The remote-command buttons found on the yoke include the ability to respond to an ATC request to “ident,” communication frequency changes and control wheel steering, while the space in the center of the yoke is designed specifically for the mounting of a tablet. Promoted for its ergonomics, the TBM 900’s single power lever controls the engine condition and power, as well as the propeller. Specific characteristics of the G1000 avionics found on this variant include a 15-in. MFD which “integrates” information such as aircraft status, checklists, engine monitoring, “primary flight navigation,” terrain, traffic and weather. With reference to the monitoring of airplane systems, the electrical system parameters displayed on the MFD include battery levels and instruments. Weather information available through the G1000 installation includes that which is provided by XM data-link weather—which is described as giving the pilot(s) “on-demand satellite weather”—while a satellite data link is also available to provide crews with the ability to make phone calls and “receive e-mails and text messages during flight.” The airframe’s landing gear is controlled through use of the landing gear control box, which was redesigned in order to allow the pilot(s) to more easily determine the landing gear status and make troubleshooting gear issues easier. Additional safety and workload features incorporated into the TBM 900’s avionics are marketed as the “TBM e-copilot” and include an angle of attack (AOA) indicator, enhanced safety and under speed protections (ESP/USP) and an emergency-descent mode (EDM).

Located on the TBM 900’s panel are control panels for the automated pressurization control and environmental system, as well as for systems involved with deicing the airplane. According to Daher, those former systems—which are described as “dual-zone pressurization and air conditioning systems”—utilize bleed air from the engine to perform functions such as pressurizing the cabin, as well as to cool, heat and defog the windows in the cabin and cockpit. The other control panel, for deicing systems, is found in the lower left portion of the TBM 900’s panel and has the controls for airframe, propeller and windshield deice, as well as the ice light. Above the left PFD is a solid-state, integrated electronic standby instrument which is described as being the first “specifically created” for helicopters and general aviation aircraft. The integrated standby system provides the pilot(s) with backup indications of airspeed, attitude and coordination—slip and skid information—with heading information being optional. Found above the windshield is the TBM 900’s redesigned overhead panel, which has integrated switches and an abort position for the starter switch.

Although the TBM 910 has an updated version of the G1000 avionics suite—the G1000 NXi—it retains many of the same features that are found on the TBM 900’s G1000 installation, including a 15-in. MFD that allows pilot to monitor the same parameters of the flight. Other avionics and flight control features that are carried over include a control yoke that has “integrated push-buttons,” an electronic standby instrument, pressurization/environmental control and deicing control panels, the previously discussed single power-control lever and a redesigned landing gear control box. Despite those features which were carried over from the G1000 found on the TBM 900, a number of changes were made, such as with respect to the deicing system. On the TBM 910, the deicing system is automatic and “features a new preventative and redundant icing-condition detection solution for protection,” which helps pilots to detect ice accumulation or icing conditions, while also having the benefit of activating automatically “if a pilot fails to identify icing conditions or accumulation.” With respect to the latter feature, the system automatically engages deicing related to the airframe, propeller and windshield, as well as the ice protection of the engine’s inertial particle separator. Also installed in the TBM 910’s cockpit is a digital hour meter and USB power outlets, while a number of additional features are promoted as being integrated into the G1000 NXi avionics itself.

Features of the TBM 910’s avionics that improve safety include Garmin’s Surface Watch, which provides “aural and visual alerts” to improve a pilot’s situational awareness while operating in the airport environment, with a potential benefit being a reduced likelihood of utilizing the wrong runway. Supplementing the features of the “TBM e-copilot” noted above—an AOA indicator, ESP/USP systems and an EDM mode—is a stick shaker which provides the pilot with feedback when the airframe “attains the limits of its [flight] envelope.” According to Daher, the AOA indicator is shown on the PFD, while the ESP and USP systems—which are part of the TBM 910’s autopilot system and are described as being both monitoring and stability-augmentation systems—monitor where an airplane is operating in the flight envelope and assist with maintaining “a stable flight condition when flight parameters are exceeded.” Also part of the autopilot is the EDM, which monitors the cabin environment and can command an airplane to descend “to reach controllable environments for the pilot and passengers.”

At airports where satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS) such as the FAA’s wide area augmentation system (WAAS) are not available, the G1000 NXi’s barometric vertical navigation system (Baro-VNAV) provides operators with vertical guidance [lateral navigation (LNAV) + V] using the airplane’s barometric altitude. According to Daher, the Baro-VNAV system’s vertical path is “typically computed between two waypoints, or an angle from a single waypoint.” Supplementing the capabilities of the G1000 NXi’s Baro-VNAV system is the ability of the Garmin system to provide visual approach assistance using altimeter information from the airframe’s air-data computer and pitot-static system. Visual approach information provided by the G1000 NXi is “based on” the standard 3-deg. glidepath and terrain, with the goal of the information provided by the avionics suite—which can be “activated once [an airplane] is within five miles of the airport”—being to assist pilots flying a stabilized approach to the destination airport.

In comparison to the TBM 900 and 910, the TBM 930 replaces the G1000 avionics with Garmin’s G3000 avionics that features three 12-in. WXGA displays. Because of the increased size and pixel density of the G3000’s displays—the latter being 30% higher—they are able to be configured in both full and split-screen modes that are able to display an array of relevant information. From a functional perspective, when all three displays are functioning, the “normal mode” of the system shows “enhanced terrain imagery” on the “synthetic vision” PFDs and system information on the center MFD. The larger size of the three identical displays also enhances the G3000’s reversionary mode because it provides more space for the display of “essential information in the event that one unit fails.”  

Although a significant number of avionics features are carried over from the TBM 900 and 910 into the TBM 940—including the previously mentioned features marketed as the TBM e-copilot, as well as Garmin’s Surface Watch, Baro-VNAV-enabled approaches and avionics-provided visual approaches—a number of significant changes were made, including the upgrade to the G3000 avionics suite, as well as an autothrottle system. The TBM 940’s G3000 installation includes three wide-format WXGA ultra-high-resolution displays that are each 12-in. in size and which also have the ability to operate in full and split-screen modes, the latter giving pilots side-by-side vertical pages appropriate for a particular phase of flight. Also displayed on the G3000 displays is what Daher describes as smart engine gauge, with the engine indications shown to pilots on a single indicator. The airframe manufacturer goes on to note that engine indications such as inter-turbine temperature (ITT) and torque are displayed using different “color codes.” Controlling the G3000’s displays are a pair of GTC 580 glass touchscreen controllers that allow pilots to easily access airplane systems; eliminating mechanical buttons, knobs and selector switches; and which allow for the incorporation of a more “streamlined menu structure.” Automation for the airframe’s anti-ice system is also further increased, with an amber message from the avionics’ crew alert system (CAS) alerting the pilot(s) that the automated icing system has been activated and to “revert to the manual control mode.” Another distinction between the avionics of the TBM 910 and 940 is the type of compass, with the whiskey compass replaced by a digital one.

While the TBM 940 retains the single power-control lever found on previous TBM700 N commercial designations, it takes that technology one step further by incorporating an autothrottle that is promoted as having engine protection, performance, pilot workload and safety benefits. The TBM 940’s autothrottle system is “fully integrated with the autopilot” so that it adjusts the airframe’s airspeed automatically “based on a preset flight profile,” while also being promoted as automating the power control and monitoring of the engine. The airframe is further promoted as being the first turboprop with a weight of less than 12,500 lb. to feature such a system, which also allows the TBM 940 “to be operated to the edge of approved power regimes for [the] PT6A-66D engine.” In terms of its overall autopilot system, Daher states that the TBM 940 is the first turboprop airplane to have “full autopilot integration.”

Another safety improvement included in the TBM 940’s e-copilot is the HomeSafe emergency autoland system—which is based on Garmin’s Emergency Autoland System for the G3000—the goal of which is allow the airplane to land the airplane safely should the pilot become incapacitated. While the development of the system for the TBM has been ongoing since 2017, the certification by EASA and the FAA was announced by Daher on July 24, 2020, with the approval of those authorities enabling the manufacturer to begin deliveries of new-build TBM 940’s that come equipped with the HomeSafe system. Daher states that the development of the system was comprised of a flight-test campaign that performed 200 automated landings, as well software implementation. HomeSafe’s software takes a number of factors into account including the range afforded by the current amount fuel on board, runway length, terrain and weather, with the system able to be activated manually by an orange button on top of the instrument panel or “semi-automatically” if the EDM is engaged. From a functional perspective, the system controls both the flight controls and engine power setting “through the touchdown phase” of flight, with the system engaging the braking system during the after-landing rollout and subsequently shutting off the engine. Daher also states that, should a pilot desire, the functions of HomeSafe can be interrupted by disconnecting the autopilot. In addition to utilizing the autopilot and autothrottle, features of the TBM e-Copilot are also used by the system, as is the airplane’s radar altimeter. Hardware installed on the TBM 940 to enable the functioning of the system includes an emergency automatic braking system, electrical relays and a fuel shut-off valve, the former of which is “activated by a Garmin servo control [and] compliments the standard braking system.” The electrical relays included as part of HomeSafe system allow for the “automatic activation of the flaps, landing gear and landing lights,” while the fuel shut-off valve shuts off the engine by controlling the fuel supply. Daher has stated that TBM 940s delivered prior in 2020 to the certification would be modified at the company’s service centers, while TBM 940s manufactured prior to 2020 could be retrofitted with the system at an “introductory” cost $85,000.

The TBM 960 retains a number of the avionics features of previous commercial designations of the TBM700 N, features such as the TBM 930 and 940’s G3000, as well as the latter’s emergency autoland system and the e-copilot’s functions and protections. Beyond those listed above for the e-copilot, the TBM 960’s installation features an ice protection system that is automatic and which includes an ice detector, in addition to having a “Level button” that holds the airplane’s altitude and rolls the wings level. The e-copilot also allows approaches such as LNAV/VNAV—“including Baro VNAV”—and localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) to be performed, while also providing LNAV, localized performance (LP) and visual approaches with “advisory vertical guidance.”

Avionics improvements incorporated into the TBM 960 include Garmin’s GWX 8000 StormOptix weather radar, hardware that Daher describes as being all digital and “a 16-color advanced Doppler radar” that has “automatic threat analysis.” Further described as having surveillance capabilities such as turbulence detection—as well as hail and lightning prediction—the GWX 8000 also has the ability to display close-in returns because of its “zero blind range,” while also being capable of suppressing ground clutter. The “accurate profil[ing] [of] weather cells” is enabled through the system’s ability to automatically change the antenna’s “sweep patterns,” with the G3000’s MFD able to display “smart gauges” which show to the pilot(s) the engine phase and “a zoom-in on the First-Limit Indicator mode.” Updating the G3000’s database can be accomplished through the system’s datalink capabilities from either a tablet or “Garmin servers,” with the former accomplished “via secured exchange systems with 4G/WiFi/Bluetooth data transmission.”

Both the Hartzell propeller and Pratt & Whitney Canada engine are “linked” to an Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System (EPECS) that is dual channel, with the airframe’s power lever described as being an “e-throttle” that allows for there to be a “single forward position from takeoff to landing.” Another capability of the TBM 960’s EPECS is that it enables a start sequence for the PT6E-66XT engine to be “activated by a single switch,” with that system also providing full protection to the engine, “including automatic start abort” that ensures the interturbine temperature (ITT) will not be exceeded. Allowing for the engine’s performance to be “optimiz[ed]” across the airframe’s flight envelope, the EPECS also lowers the workload of the pilot(s) through the “integrat[ion] [of] all functions.”

Regardless of the equipped avionics, all variants of the TBM 700 are certified to be operated by a single pilot.

Mission and Performance

Although there are a number of single-engine turboprop airplanes—many of which are powered by a variant of the PT6A—the primary competition for the TBM series, at least from a performance standpoint, are Epic Aircraft’s E1000 GX and Piper’s M600. All three airframes are powered by a single PT6A engine, with the -64 and -66D engines certified for the TBM series, while -42A and -67A power the E1000 GX and M600, respectively. The E1000 GX’s PT6A-67A has the highest power limitation, with its maximum takeoff power noted as being 1,200 shp at 1,700 rpm, an increase of 350 in comparison to the TBM700 N’s PT6A-66D and twice the shp available from the M600’s -42A engine. With regard to maximum operating altitude and airspeed, the E1000 GX also has the highest limitations, with that airframe limited to a maximum operating altitude of flight level (FL) 340 and a maximum operating limit Mach and speed (MMO/VMO) of 0.60 Mach and 270 kt. calibrated airspeed (KCAS). The comparative figures for the M600—30,000 ft. maximum operating altitude and 0.55 Mach and 250 KCAS respective MMO and VMO—are slightly lower than the TBM series. Despite their differences in performance, both the E1000 GX and M600—the latter of which is the marketing designation for the PA-46-600TP—are able to accommodate a maximum of six seats, mirroring the maximum passenger capacity of the majority of the versions of the TBM airframe. In addition to competing with other single-engine turboprop airplanes, the introduction of the PT6A-66D engine on the TBM 850 is also marketed as providing operators with “jet-like performance,” while retaining the economy and efficiency that is characteristic of turboprop engines.

Comparison: TBM 910/940, Epic E1000 GX and Piper M600

TBM 910

TBM 960

E1000 GX

M600

Maximum Passenger Capacity

5

Maximum Range (nm)

1,730

1,560

1,658

Engine

Pratt & Whitney

PT6A-66D

PT6E-66XT

PT6A-67A

PT6A-42A

Takeoff and Maximum Continuous Power (shp)

850

895

1,200

600

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

7,394

7,615

8,000

6,000

Wingspan

42.1 ft.

43 ft.

43 ft.

Wing Area

193.7 ft.2

203 ft.2

209 ft.2

Length

35.2 ft.

35 ft. 10 in.

29 ft. 6 in.

Height

14.3 ft.

12 ft. 6 in.

11 ft. 3 in.

There are differences in the maximum operating airspeeds and altitudes of the various TBM700 variants, with all commercial designations based on the TBM700 C1, C2 and N limited a 31,000-ft. maximum operating altitude. The comparative limitation for the TBM700 A and B variants differs based upon how a particular airframe is equipped—whether it is equipped with OPT70-01-26—with unequipped airplanes limited to 30,000 ft. and those which are equipped increasing that limitation to 31,000 ft. Similarly, the maximum operating limit speed (VMO) is either 270 kt. calibrated airspeed (KCAS) or 271 KCAS, the former of which applies to the TBM700 A, B, C1 and C2, while the latter applies only to the commercial designations of the TBM700 N.

The TBM 700’s time to climb to 20,000 ft.—at the maximum weight—is promoted by Daher as being 11 min. 45 sec., while a climb to 30,000 ft. requires nearly twice as much time (20 min. 30 sec.). Based on standard conditions, the takeoff and landing distances of the TBM 700 are both 2,133 ft., with the latter distance able to be reduced to 1,640 ft. “with reverse.” Daher specifically promotes the TBM 700’s short-field performance, noting that variant’s ability to operate from 2,800-ft. runways and mountain airports. The range of the TBM 700 varies based on what the airframe is carrying—baggage, passengers and fuel—as well as whether the airframe is operated at the maximum or economical cruise speed. With regard to those airspeeds, Daher states that the maximum cruise speed at 26,000 ft. is 300 kt. true airspeed (KTAS), while the economic cruise speed at 30,000 ft. is 243 KTAS. When carrying full fuel, the range when operating at the maximum cruise speed is promoted as 1,350 nm, a distance that is increased to 1,550 nm when the speed is reduced to the economical cruise airspeed. In contrast to those higher range figures, when carrying six 198-lb. passengers and luggage, the TBM 700’s range is reduced to 900 nm at the maximum cruise speed and 1,080 nm at the economical cruise speed. 

Although all TBM variants have similar VMO, the performance of variants of the series based on the TBM700 N—those including and subsequent to the TBM850—was improved. That improved performance was enabled not only by the increased power provided by the TBM700 N’s PT6A-66D engine, but also a new bleed-air system that “allow[ed] pilot(s) to select the bleed setting based on flying conditions.” According to performance figures promoted by Daher, the TBM 900, 910, 940 and 960 are able to climb to 31,000 ft. in 18 min. 45 sec. In contrast to the figures noted above for the TBM 700, the maximum cruise speed of the TBM 900, 910, 940 and 960 at the long-range settings is 252 KTAS, while the maximum cruise speed at 28,000 ft. is 330 KTAS. The maximum range for all three variants is promoted as being 1,730 nm when operating at the 252-KTAS long-range cruise speed, a figure that is reduced to 1,585 nm when operating at 290 KTAS and 1,440 nm when flown at 326 KTAS. The takeoff distances of the TBM 900, 910 and 940—which assume the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), no wind, standard conditions and 50-ft. obstacle clearance—is 2,380 ft., while the landing distance is 2,430 ft. Assuming the same criteria, the TBM 960 has slightly greater takeoff and landing distances of 2,535 ft. and 2,430 ft., respectively. 

Variants

TBM700 A/B/C1/C2 Specifications

Type Designation

TBM700 A

TBM 700 B

TBM700 C1

TBM700 C2

Commercial Designation

TBM 700A

TBM 700B

TBM 700C1

TBM 700C2

Maximum Passenger Capacity

5/6*

5

Maximum Range

1,563

1,550

1,565

Engine (1x)

Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-64

Maximum Takeoff and Continuous Power (shp)

700

Standard Empty Weight (lb.)

4,050

4,167/4,211**

4,167/4,211**

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

6,579

7,394

Maximum Landing Weight (lb.)

6,250

7,024

Maximum Useful Load (lb.)

2,564

2,447

2,447/2,403**

Maximum Payload (lb.)

1,673

1,574

1,343

Usable Fuel Capacity (gal.)

281.6

Full-Fuel Payload (lb.)

399

300

854

Wingspan (ft.)

41.6

Wing Area (ft.2)

193.7

Length (ft.)

34.9

Height (ft.)

14.3

               

*Requires optional modification OPT70-25-002

** When equipped with pilot door

TBM700 N Specifications (TBM850)

Type Designation

TBM700 N

Commercial Designation

TBM850

TBM850 G1000

Maximum Passenger Capacity

5

Maximum Range (45 Min. Reserve) (nm)

1,585

Engine (1x)

Pratt & Whitney Canada

PT6A-66D

Maximum Takeoff and Continuous Power (shp)

700/850**

Standard Empty Weight (lb.)

4,762/4,806*

4,563/4,608*

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

7,394

Maximum Landing Weight (lb.)

7,024

Maximum Useful Load (lb.)

2,632/2,588*

2,831/2,787*

Maximum Payload (lb.)

1,333

1,453

Usable Fuel Capacity (gal.)

281.6

292

Full-Fuel Payload (lb.)

844

895

Wingspan (ft.)

41.6

Wing Area (ft.2)

193.7

Length (ft.)

34.9

Height (ft.)

14.3

                                 *When equipped with pilot door

                                 **Maximum continuous power

TBM700 N Specifications (TBM900/TBM910/TBM930/TBM940/TBM960)

Type Designation

TBM700 N

Commercial Designation

TBM900

TBM910

TBM930

TBM940

TBM960

Maximum Passenger Capacity

5

Maximum Range

1,730

Engine (1x)

Pratt & Whitney Canada

PT6A-66D

PT6E-66XT

Maximum Takeoff and Continuous Power (shp)

850

895

Empty Weight (lb.)

4,629 (Basic)

4,806 [Basic

(Prestige Cabin)]

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.)

7,394

7,615

Maximum Landing Weight (lb.)

7,024

7,110

Maximum Useful Load (lb.)

2,811

Maximum Payload (lb.)

1,403

1,446

Usable Fuel Capacity (gal.)

292

Full-Fuel Payload (lb.)

891

888

Wingspan (ft.)

42.1

Wing Area (ft.2)

193.7

Length (ft.)

35.2

Height (ft.)

14.3

PT6A Engine and Hartzell Propeller Variants

Classified in the “large” category of PT6A engines according to manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, the variants that power the TBM 700 are the -64 and -66D, with both engines described on the FAA type certificate data sheet (TCDS) as being a “free turbine turbo-propeller propulsion engine” in which the multi-stage compressor is “driven by a single-stage turbine.” Furthermore, the propeller shaft is driven by a two-stage free turbine “through planetary reduction gearing.” The FAA TCDS further states that the PT6A-64 is a “derivative of the PT6A-66 with the PT6A-61 reduction gearbox,” while PT6A-66D is noted as being derived from the PT6A-66A but featuring the PT6A-67A’s thermal rating. Although the engine’s horsepower ratings at 2,000 rpm differ—700 shp and 850 shp, respectively—based on information from TBM’s pilot information manuals, the compressor found in both engines has a single centrifugal stage as well as four axial stages, with the combustion chamber being annular. Those manuals further state that the turbines of both engine variants have a single gas generator turbine stage and two power turbine stages. Beyond the takeoff and maximum continuous power limitations of the TBM 700’s PT6A-64 engine which are noted above, Daher states that the engine’s thermodynamic power is 1,570 shp, a limitation that the company states is increased to 1,825 shp on the -66D.

Surrounding the PT6A-66D that powers the TBM 900 is a redesigned cowling that incorporates a number of changes, with those changes benefiting the inlet (which is more efficient), plenum (which improves airflow) and inertial separator. Indeed, Daher states that while the TBM 900 retains that PT6A variant, the changes made give pilots “the equivalent of 80 more horsepower without increasing fuel consumption.” Furthermore, the incorporation of a new torque limiter allows the PT6A engine to generate its takeoff and maximum continuous thrust rating of 850 shp from the beginning “of the takeoff roll.” That engine is also flat-rated to 850 shp to 49C, allowing the TBM 900 and 930 to develop rated power to FL270 and 757 shp at the airframe’s previously noted maximum operating altitude. Comparatively, the PT6A-64 develops 511 shp at the maximum operating altitude. Starting with the TBM 900—and subsequently carried forward into the successor TBM 910—the airframe’s exhaust was also redesigned to improve efficiency, the result of which is the maximization of airflow through the engine, which in turn enhances high-altitude performance.

Both the PT6A-64 and -66D—which received FAA certification in April 1990 and November 2005—power a single Hartzell propeller, with both propeller models having a common diameter. In contrast to that common specification, the number of blades on those Hartzell propellers differs between the TBM airframes prior to Serial No. 1049 and those subsequent to it. The propeller found on the TBM700 A, B, C1 and C2—as well as TBM700 N airframes including and prior to MSN 1049—is the four-bladed HC-E4N-3 propeller, which has four blades and is an adjustable constant-speed propeller that can be feathered and has a “hydraulic-control reverse.” Beginning with the TBM700 N MSN 1050—marketed as the TBM900—the Hartzell propeller model is the HC-E5N-3C, which increases the number of blades to five but is the same type of propeller noted above. That five-bladed propeller is described by Daher as being designed to “integrate with the TBM 900’s new inlet,” while providing improved performance in the form of increased thrust and improved cruise speed, climb performance and takeoff distance. The company’s commercial materials for the TBM 940 also state that the Hartzell propeller has noise benefits, among them the sound level at takeoff of 76.4 dB, a level that meets “the latest international noise standards.”

As is noted above, the TBM 960 is certified to be equipped with a PT6E-66XT engine that has maximum takeoff and continuous engine limitations of 895 shp. Beyond that certified engine limitation, Daher also states that it has nominal and thermodynamic power of 850 hp and 1,844 hp, respectively. The Pratt & Whitney Canada engine powers a five-blade Hartzell Propeller—type 5D31-NK366B1/86DB01B—that is composite, has a diameter of 91 in., is described by as being “fully integrated into the [TBM 960’s] propulsion system” and which is marketed as the Raptor propeller. The airframe manufacturer further promotes the Raptor propeller as being designed to provide benefits such as enhancing the TBM 960’s performance—“takeoff distance, climb and cruise speed”—as well as having a lower “overall weight” and “limiting noise and vibration.” At the engine’s maximum power output, the propeller “turn[s] at 1,925 rpm,” while having a takeoff sound level of 76.4 decibels (db).   

TBM700 A/B/C1/C2

In addition to the weight limitations noted above, the airframe manufacturer states that the average empty weight of a TBM 700 is 4,100 lb.—the lowest empty weight of any variant in the series—while the useful load and maximum payload are 2,514 lb. and 1,764 lb., respectively. The design of the TBM’s wing represents a scaled-down version of the “high-lift, low-drag airfoil” found on the ATR 42 and ATR 72 turboprops, while the main and rear spars are machine-milled and the wing itself has 6.5 deg. of dihedral and 0 deg. of sweep.

While all variants that preceded the TBM700 N share a common set of exterior dimensions, the C1 and C2 incorporated reinforced wing spars. A change that was made between the C variants of the airframe involved an increase in the MTOW—from 6,579 lb. to 7,394 lb.—an increase that was enabled by an increase in the maximum stall speed from 61 kt. indicated airspeed (KIAS)—which is the limitation for the A, B and C1 variants—to 65 KIAS. In order to allow for those increases in MTOW and stall speed, the C2 had to be equipped with 26-g pilot seats and 20-g passenger seats, with other changes distinguishing the C1 and C2 variants of the TBM700 including reinforced landing gear. While those changes resulted in the airframe having an empty weight with typical equipment of 4,885 lb., they also enabled the airframe “to carry four occupants, plus baggage, with full fuel.”

TBM 850/900/910/930/940

As the designation implies, the changes made to the first commercial designation of the TBM700 N—the TBM 850, which began with Serial No. 346—was the installation of an updated version of the PT6A engine (the -66D) that increased the allowable maximum continuous power to 850 shp. Despite that increase in maximum continuous power, the maximum takeoff power is remains limited to 700 shp on TBM700 N airframes marketed as the TBM850 according to the type’s EASA TCDS. While all variants of the TBM700 N are powered by the PT6A-66D, those marketed at the TBM 850—Serial No. 346 to 687—retain the reduced takeoff power of the -64 because Socata, the manufacturer at the time, decided “not to recertify the airframe to the higher horsepower rating” in order to “expedite the certification of” this variant. However, beginning with the TBM900 the maximum takeoff power is increased to the maximum continuous power limitation of 850 shp, a limitation that is also shared by the TBM 910, 930 and 940.

In addition to the equipped engine, other specifications which are common to all commercial designations of the TBM700 N type include the MTOW and maximum landing weight. Additionally, the TBM 900, 910, 930 and 940 have a common standard empty weight of 4,583 lb., while the maximum payload is either 1,393 lb. (TBM 900/930) or 1,403 lb. (TBM 910/940). However, when carrying the full fuel capacity, that maximum payload of the TBM 900, 910 and 940 is decreased to 891 lb., with the TBM 930 decreasing it further to 835 lb. In comparison to versions of TBM700 N type marketed as the TBM 850 , the wingspan—but, according the EASA TCDS, not the wing area—and length of the fuselage are increased on the TBM 900, 910, 930 and 940. When compared to prior variants of the TBM, the TBM 900 incorporated, on the exterior of the airframe, the aforementioned five-blade composite propeller and a “new spinner,” carbon fiber cowlings, composite winglets, an air inlet that is deiced, a new inertial separator and improvements to tailcone lighting. Another change that was incorporated beginning with TBM700 N Serial No. 687 was an airframe electrical system that is both more redundant and more robust.

Daher states the designs of the TBM 900 and 910 are “essentially identical” to that of the TBM 700 and 850, with that design incorporating “a fail-safe airframe design, including the use of multiple load paths, a crack-stopper band and an optimized number of access panels to maximize structural life and sub-system reliability.” Another benefit of the TBM’s fail-safe design is that repair-cycle times are minimized. The materials used in those airframes include aluminum alloys and high-strength steel—“including titanium”—while, as is noted above, also incorporating composite materials, such as carbon fiber, into new components that include the cowling and winglets, the benefit of the latter being that they maximize durability and structural strength “while minimizing aircraft weight and both acquisition and lift-cycle support costs.” Drag is substantially reduced, while handling is improved at high AOA and low speeds, thanks to 2-ft.-high winglets, while aerodynamic improvements were also made to the ailerons, new inner gear doors and vertical stabilizer. The changes that were made to the inner landing gear doors were spurred by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis that showed a “significant amount of turbulence” was created around the airframe’s gear doors, with the changes made decreasing drag and allowing the cruise speed to be increased by 3-5 kt. Modifications made as a result of that analysis—the addition of an inner gear gear—increased aerodynamic efficiency and decreased the amount of turbulence created. Daher also promotes a number of improvements made to the airframe’s empennage, one of which involved “restructuring” the airframe’s tailcone, which also resulted in increased airframe efficiency and reduced drag. Another change to that portion of the TBM 900, 910 and 940 airframes added an additional light to the tip of the tail, a change that makes the airframe more visible in low-light conditions.

When compared to the TBM 900, the TBM 930 retains the same structure and systems. Indeed, from a design perspective, the TBM 930 features all of the modifications made to enhance the airspeed of the TBM 900, including the five-blade Hartzell propeller, as well as CFD-designed “ram-recovery engine air inlet [and] dozens of drag reduction changes.” The major and minor changes made to the TBM 900 and 930 amount to more modifications “than all five previous TBM models combined.”

Unveiled on March 7, 2019, at a meeting of the TBM Owners and Pilots Association in Pompano Beach, Florida, the TBM700 N airframe that is marketed as the TBM 940 incorporates a number of improvements, including the previously mentioned autothrottle and deicing system, as well as a number of upgrades to the cabin.

TBM960

Slightly more than three years after the TBM 940 was unveiled, Daher launched the TBM 960 at the 2022 Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo, a variant that increases a number of TBM700 N specifications in comparison to previous airframes. Those enhanced specifications include the limitations of the PT6 engine, empty weight, MTOW and maximum landing weight and full-fuel payload. Available from Serial No. 1408, the TBM 960’s 4,806-lb. basic empty weight is based on the airframe’s Prestige cabin, while the 1,446-lb. maximum payload is reduced by more than 500 lb. to 888 lb. when an airplane is carrying full fuel. According to the EASA TCDS, the 292-gal. usable fuel capacity is carried in a pair of structural wing tanks, with the airframe itself promoted for its fuel economy. Specifically, Daher states that when operated at the 308-kt. “recommended cruise setting,” 57 gal. of fuel are consumed per hour, an amount that is 10% lower than the fuel consumed at the maximum cruise setting.

Program Status

Daher produces the TBM series at the production facilities in Lourdes-Pyrnees Airport in Tarbes, France.

References

  • AWIN Article Archives
  • Daher and Pratt & Whitney Commercial Materials
  • EASA TCDS (TBM Series)
  • FAA TCDS (PT6A)

Channel
Business Aviation
Market Indicator Code
ALL
Article page size
-1
Profile page size
-1
Program Profile ID
10411