EBACE Convention News

With ground tests under way, 2000DX ready for flight tests

 - May 11, 2007, 7:24 AM

Dassault’s Falcon 2000DX is slated to fly next month. The new model is a shorter range derivative of the 2000EX and replaces the original Falcon 2000, which dates back to the mid-1990s. The program is almost on schedule, according to a company spokesman.

The first example of the new twinjet is currently in ground tests. With the flight test program expected to take just 50 hours, certification is pegged for September.

“Most of new system trials will be done on the ground,” a Dassault spokesman told EBACE Convention News. Basically, the 2000DX is a 2000EX with a smaller fuel tank. The main differences are in the simplification and structural optimization of the fuel tanks and associated systems.

The program was announced in October 2005. At that time, the French manufacturer was anticipating first deliveries late this year, but that date has slipped to early 2008. “We are on specification, on time and on budget. Development is over and we are beginning the test phase,” the spokesman said.

The 2000DX will be powered by a 7,000-pound-thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C–as is the 2000EX–rather than the 2000’s General Electric/Honeywell CFE738, which delivers 5,800 pounds of thrust. Asked if the new engine is somewhat oversized for the airframe, the spokesman said it has provided “optimal performance and impressive climb capabilities.” The 2000DX offers a 3,250-nm range.

The DX’s maximum landing weight is very close to its maximum takeoff weight (41,000 pounds and 39,300 pounds, respectively), affording operational flexibility. For example, the twinjet can fly from New York to Washington, D.C., and continue to San Francisco without taking on more fuel, according to Dassault. The aircraft also delivers strong climb performance–17 minutes to 41,000 feet. Its approach speed is 112 knots.

The manufacturer forecasts operating costs to be “very favorable.” At program launch time, Dassault estimated the 2000DX would beat the 2000’s operating costs by 5 percent.

Abandoning the CFE738 powerplant will certainly translate into more streamlined production at Dassault’s factory in Bordeaux. Operators with mixed fleets also benefit from the reduction in engine spare parts inventory. The Falcon 2000 was the only application for the General Electric/Honeywell joint project.

The 2000DX has the same EASy cockpit–based on the Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suite–as the other Falcons.

Selling price for the Falcon 2000DX is $25.55 million, compared to $26.65 million for the 3,800-nm 2000EX. The EX is scheduled for delivery next month and the DX in the first quarter of next year. Dassault (Booth No. 7514) would not disclose sales figures for its new model but said the next delivery slot is in 2010.

So Long, Falcon 50EX!

Dassault erased the Falcon 50EX from its product list last year and is scheduled to deliver the last example of the model in the fourth quarter of this year. In total, the airframer will have produced 352 Falcon 50s and 50EXs. The next super-midsize Falcon, being conceived through a project code-named SMS, is expected to be officially announced by the manufacturer later this year.