East Alton, Ill.-based Premier Aircraft, a joint venture between Premier Air Center (Booth No. 2262) and Yankee Pacific Aerospace, has a launch customer for its Falcon 50-4 performance upgrade program. The program is on track for December STC certification and, with support from Honeywell (Booth No. 1994), Premier will reconfigure the original TFE731-3/3D engines on the Falcon 50 to the new TFE731-4-1C specification, apply minor nacelle modifications and re-mark the cockpit engine gauges.
The unidentified launch customer will place its aircraft with Premier for the first customer engine upgrade, while S/N 094, owned by Premier Aircraft, will act as the testbed for certification. The total upgrade takes seven weeks, and customers can rent engines from Honeywell’s Dash 3 loaner pool until the original engines are upgraded to Dash 4 configuration. Using loaner engines reduces the aircraft downtime to approximately 10 days.
Flight Test Associates in Mojave, Calif., will undertake the airborne certification requirements for presentation to the FAA. These tests include establishment of the baseline performance characteristic of the unmodified aircraft with the TFE731-3 engines followed by flight tests with the TFE731-4 engines.
According to Jim Swehla, president of Premier Aircraft, major benefits include higher climb and cruise thrust, lower specific fuel consumption, up to 26 percent greater range due to enhanced hot-and-high performance, reduced time to climb and higher initial cruise altitude. The Falcon 50 Dash 4 conversion also increases durability, provides extended 2,500/5,000-hour MPI/CZI intervals and comes with a three-year/1,800-hour engine warranty and reduced MSP rates, according to Premier.
“With fuel prices escalating almost unabated, the 50 Dash 4 program is gaining unexpected attention,” Swehla said. The test aircraft owned by Premier Aircraft is available for purchase, with delivery upon completion of the certification program.