Where do you go for innovation when you’ve already built one of the most capable single-engine turboprop aircraft—as well as the fastest, at 330 knots?
You go where you gotta go, to put it discreetly. As any light aircraft passenger knows, a leading source of discomfort is lack of viable lavatories. At best, there’s a belted potty seat with a pull-around curtain. At worst, there’s “hold it until we get there.”
Onboard an aircraft like Daher’s TBM series, capable of ultra-long legs over, say, the North Atlantic Ocean, that trade-off between embarrassment and mounting pain can be excruciating. Literally.
“We’re not in the 1950s,” said Nicolas Chabbert, Senior Vice President of Daher’s airplane business unit, at an Oshkosh press conference to share the company’s latest thinking about passenger amenities for the TBM 900 and 930 lines. “We’re in 2016, so we have to have some comfort.”
Chappert debuted some 21st-century TBM relief. The Daher TBM lav is called Elite Privacy, and it should have a lot of pilot families clamoring for an upgrade. The new option transforms the last cabin row into a single, side-facing, non-belted seat. Assume your place, push a button, and a set of electric sliding panels swing out to completely enclose that aft area in sound-proofed isolation. Think Transformers or a potty deployed by Inspector Gadget.
Yet, the TBM’s Elite Privacy pod is anything but a light-plane trade-off. Its seat lifts to reveal a full-flush commode. Lighted vanity mirrors appear on the ultra-leather sidewalls. Another button push, and all is back to normal, open flight mode.
Ah, but aren’t you trading away a whole row of seating—two passengers’ worth—for the luxury loo? Not at all. TBMs will be able to swap configurations on the fly. For shorter journeys, opt to fly with six seats; on those bio-endurance trips, the cabin can be switched to four seats, plus the Elite Privacy pod. The changeover takes only about 30 minutes and can be performed by any A&P mechanic.
Daher will offer Elite Privacy as a $36,000 option on all TBM 900s and 930s beginning with 2017 deliveries. Against an overall aircraft sales price between $3.5 million and $4 million, we predict that’ll be an easy option to check on the order form.
Learn more at Daher.