Falcon 50 engine upgrade under way

 - November 1, 2006, 3:42 AM

Premier Aircraft of East Alton, Ill., said it passed the first engineering milestone for its program to upgrade the original Falcon 50 engine (the Honeywell TFE731-3) to a TFE731-4, to provide the “Falcon 50-4” with longer range, increased hot and high performance, better climb and higher cruise thrust than the basic aircraft, according to the company.

The program in March successfully tested the integration of the existing nacelle and new engine nozzle at Honeywell’s facilities in Phoenix. Premier Aircraft said the test results “validate the engineering predictions for the first phase of the new nozzle development and verify the Honeywell estimates of thrust and thrust-specific fuel consumption that support Premier’s performance estimates for the Falcon 50-4.”

The company is offering the first 10 customers $50,000 off the $2.305 million upgrade. In addition, a special MSP rate and engine warranty is provided, as is an extended CZI interval. Supplemental type certification of the upgrade is expected in the fourth quarter.

The turnaround time is about six weeks for removal of the engines, installation of the new nozzles by Honeywell and re-installation of the engines.

As an alternative, loaner engines are available. About four days downtime is required to remove the operator’s engines and install the loaners. Re-installation of the upgraded engines requires about 10 days’ downtime.