French manufacturer Daher rolled out the 1000th example of its TBM single-engined turbo-prop aircraft last Monday.
The milestone aircraft was a top-of-the-line TBM 940 destined for a customer in the USA.
“The Daher group and its employees take particular pride in reaching the TBM’s 1000 mark,” said Didier Kayat, the CEO of Daher. “We have made significant investment since integrating the TBM into Daher’s business portfolio, and now it is a major asset for our overall industrial activity.”
Nicolas Chabbert, the Senior Vice President of Daher’s Aircraft Division, added: “Looking ahead to the next 1000 TBMs, we maintain our firm commitment to continue delivering aircraft that provide the optimum combination of speed and operational efficiency for owners and operators, along with the highest levels of safety and protection for pilots, families and passengers.”
French conglomerate Daher bought the TBM production line from EADS Socata in 2014 having already held 70% of the company as DAHER-SOCATA. However, the origin of the TBM goes back to US company Mooney, who started work on the design as the Mooney 301. Mooney entered a joint venture with Socata to produce the aircraft in both Tarbes, France, and Kerrville, Texas, but financial problems forced Mooney to withdraw from the venture. The TBM designation was derived from the words Tarbes (TB) and Mooney (M).
The TBM 700 made its maiden flight in July 1988, and development has evolved the aircraft through the TBM 850 to the current TBM 900 series.
Daher will officially hand over the 1000th TBM to US owner/operator James A. Hislop in Florida later this week. Hislop is a PPL and co-founder and managing director of two private equity investment firms. He also is involved in charitable activities, serving as a volunteer pilot with Mercy Flights Southeast, Angel Flights Northeast and Patient Airlift Services.
“I looked at just about every airplane on the market that would fit my criteria in terms of safety, reliability, style and performance,” Hislop explained. “The TBM 940 topped the list in the areas of speed, range and payload, while also incorporating all of the safety features.
"It is built more to a commercial grade compared to general aviation standards; the cabin comfort is excellent, and the ‘ramp appeal’ is simply stunning.”