Daher, a manufacturer associated with France’s TBM, unveiled the Kodiac 900, its new single-engine utility turboprop in Oskhkosh on Monday.
The aircraft is derived from the Kodiac 100, however, it offers more interior space and improved performance capable of standing up to the successful Cessna Caravan.
Daher kept the development program out of the spotlight to the point that the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) certification was already granted on July 20th.
The first Kodiac 900 prototype flew on February 28, 2020, after a development period of about three years. According to Daher, three aircraft were used in more than 600 hours of flight and 800 hours of ground tests.
The Kodiac 900 received a fuselage extension of 1.19 m in addition to a new side window. The aircraft also uses a more powerful and economical version of the PT-6 engine, supplied by Pratt & Whitney Canada, with 900 hp.
Other changes include fixed landing gear fairings and a retractable ladder, which contribute to improved aerodynamics.
The high-wing turboprop also features Hartzell five-blade propellers. Thanks to this set, the aircraft can reach a cruising speed of 389 km/h, in addition to taking off and landing on very short runways.
Cessna Caravan competitor
Like its main opponent, the Caravan, the Kodiac 900 is conceived as a very versatile aircraft, capable of being used with an executive cabin or carrying loads or serving in aeromedical rescue missions.
Compared to the Cessna plane, Daher’s new turboprop offers less wing area but a longer, taller cabin. However, the Kodiac 900 can only carry up to 10 passengers against up to 14 for the Caravan.
Although they share the same maximum take-off weight (3,629 kg), the Kodiac 900 is faster (45 km/h more) and carries a higher payload. The range, however, is about 200 km shorter.
According to Daher, the first deliveries of the Kodiac 900 will take place in 2023. The aircraft is produced at the company’s plant in Sandpoint, Ohio, USA.