French aircraft manufacturer Daher announced May 6 that its new HomeSafe emergency landing system will be available to owners of 2019 and 2020 TBM 940 models.
The $85,000 retrofit will apply to 27 of the G3000-equipped aircraft built in 2019. All 2020 TBM 940s will have HomeSafe included as standard equipment in the $4.505 million airplane.
Daher and Garmin began work on HomeSafe in 2017 and conducted flight tests in 2018 and 2019. Daher officials said that 180 landings using HomeSafe had been completed, as well as tests using nonpilots in a ground mockup. Certification of the system could come as early as June, Daher said.
The Daher manufacturing plant in Tarbes, France, has been operating on a “slowdown, not shutdown” basis since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a spokesman. The company reported sales of four TBM 940s in the first quarter of 2020. A delivery forecast for the remainder of 2020 is not possible given the circumstances, an official said.
HomeSafe requires the Garmin G3000 avionics package, so it’s not available on the G1000 NXi-equipped TBM 910.
Daher purchased the Sandpoint, Idaho-based Quest Aircraft Co. in 2019, and added Quest’s Kodiak 100 turboprop single to its product line. When questioned whether HomeSafe would be offered in the Kodiak 100, Phil Straub, Garmin’s vice president and managing director for aviation, said “if it flies, it should be on it,” and “there’s a path for other aircraft,” while telling Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher’s airplane business unit, “when you’re ready, let’s talk.”
Six Kodiak 100s were sold in the first quarter of 2020. Approximately 15 more are expected to be delivered by the end of the year. As for TBMs, Chabbert said that he “wants to deliver 50 airplanes, but we’ve lost weeks,” while adding that he’s confident of receiving 50 orders.