Daher congratulates the success of two TBM pilot-owners – Dierk Reuter and Phil Bozek – in setting a new world speed record between New York and Paris aboard a TBM very fast turboprop aircraft.
Flying the TBM 930 owned by Reuter, they crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 8 hours and 38 minutes with an average speed of 364 kts., taking off from Westchester County Airport (KHPN) north of New York City, and landing at the historic Le Bourget Airport (LFPB) near Paris – where Charles Lindbergh landed after his pioneering transoceanic crossing.
The TBM 930 beat the previous 325.2-knot record in the C1e category (turboprop aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight under 13,200 lbs./6,000 kg. as established by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale), which was held since 1985 by the renowned test pilot, Chuck Yeager, on a twin-engine airplane.
“You are true trailblazers,” stated Daher CEO Didier Kayat, who greeted them at the airport. “With a spirit of true pioneering aviators, combined with extensive preparations, you demonstrated our TBM aircraft’s capabilities – and beat the previous record by nearly one hour. What a performance!”
Planning for the speed record attempt took the crew one year and included such elements as weather prediction over the Atlantic, definition of a route within commercial air traffic corridors, and technical aspects.
The weather analysis was facilitated by the use of custom-built software created by Reuter, which provided good estimation of favorable winds. His TBM 930 was equipped with a custom-made fuel tank to carry 300 U.S. gallons of jet fuel – bringing the aircraft’s total usable fuel quantity to 600 U.S. gallons, ensuring more than 10 hours of flight time.
The additional fuel increased the TBM 930’s 7,398-lb. maximum certified takeoff weight to 9,200 lbs., which required an approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA’s authorization was issued just a few days before the flight, which took off from Westchester County Airport at midnight on March 8.
For traffic management, Reuter and Bozek were assisted by air traffic control agencies, primarily from Canada’s NavCanada and the French DGAC civil aviation authority and its navigation services, to obtain the most direct routes. In addition, the TBM 930 was equipped for satellite communications and inflight tracking using an Iridium GO! device, and with dedicated support from Iridium Communications. This enabled them to stay in permanent contact with transoceanic control centers.
The two pilots said their flight went well, although the departure was delayed two hours by severe frost in New York area – requiring a full ground deicing at Westchester County Airport.
They landed at Le Bourget Airport 2:38 p.m. on March 9, having consumed a total of 520 U.S. gallons – near to the previsions – with sufficient fuel remaining to reach an alternate airport if needed.
Upon their arrival, they were welcomed at Luxaviation lounge, and its partner of the SkyValet handling agent. Greeting them were Daher executives, as well as Jacques Lemaigre du Breuil, a winner of the Lindbergh trophy who flew a similar New York-Paris trip 25 years ago in a TBM 700 at an average speed of 287 kts.