From a performance standpoint, the new model easily meets the mark. It gained exclusive early access to a development aircraft in mid-June at Pullman/Moscow Regional Airport in Pullman, Washington. With an additional 200 horsepower over 100 horsepower, 900 horsepower rolled off the runway, climbing nearly 1,800 frames per minute.
At 12,500 feet, it hits 205 knots while burning about 430 pounds of jet fuel per hour. Mark Brown, chief test pilot and director of sales and marketing for Kodiak in Daher, said he expects the latter aircraft to fly without the optional radar antenna at about 210 kt, about 35 knots faster than 100. Plus the change from the 700.-shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 to the 900-shp PT6A-140, the new model includes Harzl’s new five-blade propeller, wheel aerodynamics, flap track, and a host of airframe changes to increase speed.
In addition to the wheel glide, which is pilot-removable and adds about seven knots to speed, the most noticeable change to the airframe is in the nose section, which is all new and made of a composite material. Tapers down the engine bay to be quite fair in the cargo bay, which is now an integral part of the airframe. The cargo compartment is the same size as the optional on the Kodiak 100, but the second and third compartments are open to each other, allowing larger pieces of gears to be towed. Additionally, a hatch can be made at the lower rear end of the capsule to slide in long items, such as fishing rods and wood.
The speed increases come despite the fuselage being 37 inches longer. The company installed airframe plugs directly aft of the aircraft deck and just before the tail to increase cabin volume. While the fuselage is taller, it is the same width and height as the original model. The wings and tail section are basically the same between the two. However, the new model comfortably accommodates a double-club cabin configuration or up to 12 passengers in a country where this number can be carried in an aircraft of this class. Ten seats is the maximum allowed in the United States. Taking a nod from TBM’s premium line, each seat position includes a LEMO headphone jack, conventional headphone jacks, two USB ports, a phone holder, and a cup holder. Above the head, each has an air vent and a light. Cargo restraints are built into the floor, walls, and ceiling throughout, providing plenty of flexibility for equipment towing.
As with the Series III Kodiak 100, introduced two years ago, the 900 includes a full cockpit Garmin G1000 NXi and GFC 700 autopilot. The company expects deliveries of the new model to begin in early 2023 at a price of about $3.5 million, about $500,000 more than the Kodiak 100. For a full report on the new model, see our September cover story for AOPA pilot The magazine is online now.