Pilot Report: Falcon 2000LX
The recently certified Falcon 2000LX claims a 5-percent performance advantage over its predecessor, the Falcon 2000EX, and Dassault Falcon was looking for an opportunity to prove it. As a result, the company let me fly a new green aircraft from the factory in Bordeaux, France, across the Atlantic to Teterboro, N.J., a flight of about seven or eight hours.
The Falcon 2000LX is the next evolutionary airplane in the 2000 line, which first took to the sky in 1994. Evolutionary usually translates into larger and faster, but the 2000 is an exception. The interior cabin dimensions of a completed 2000LX are precisely the same as those of the original 2000, offering a comfortable fit for as many as eight passengers and a slightly tighter cabin for 10. Dassault believes the 2000LX shines because it does more with less, as in offering more overall range on less fuel than a 2000EX, thanks to Aviation Partners winglets that add about 3.5 feet of wingspan to each side and clearly define the LX to Falcon aficionados.
The Falcon 2000’s cabin offers some interesting comparisons to other large-cabin business jets. The Gulfstream 450, for example, has a slightly lower cabin height than the 2000 (72 inches versus 74 on the Falcon), and the 450’s cabin is considerably narrower than the 2000’s, (65 inches versus 75). However, the 450’s cabin is longer (45.1 feet versus 26.3 feet) and boasts a volume of 1,525 cu ft, some 285 cu ft more than the 2000’s 1,240 cu ft.
The powerplant on the 2000LX–a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C turbofans developing 7,000 pounds of thrust each at sea level–is an upgrade from the original 2000 classic motors. The new winglets considerably reduce overall drag on the LX, translating into better performance for the same fuel burn. An original Falcon 2000 with its 3,250-nm range would have found a nonstop leap from the factory in France to Teterboro–a distance of about 3,500 nm–impossible. The 2000LX claims a range of 4,000 nm (with six passengers and their bags), more than enough to make the trip with room to spare. Another LX advantage is its maximum landing weight that is only about 2,000 pounds less than its maximum takeoff weight; pilots can tanker fuel and plan for intermediate stops near their departure point.
In the front office, pilots will find the Falcon version of the Honeywell Primus Epic system–called the EASy flight deck–tied to four 14-inch LCD screens that are now standard on all Falcons. The EASy system has truly integrated the idea that each pilot should be aware of what the other is doing. EASy uses a single center map and data display that makes it simple to understand which pilot is adding data at any point.