The three-engine, 5,950-nm-range Falcon 7X, certified on April 30, is Dassault Falcon’s proudest achievement (see story on page 6) and certainly it will be the Falcon model attracting the most visitors here at EBACE. But the French airframer also took time at its press conference yesterday to announce an upgraded version of the Falcon 2000, its popular twin-engine business jet.
“The Falcon 2000 in its EX version has been our best seller for several years,” said Charles Edelstenne, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, at the press conference. “That should not keep us from trying to make it better. That is what we have done with our EASy cockpit, and that is what we will do with the new model that I am introducing today, the Falcon 2000LX.”
The 2000LX will add 200 nm of range to the 2000EX with the not-so-simple addition of Aviation Partner blended winglets, bringing its range to 4,000 nm at Mach 0.8 and 41,000 feet. Said Joe Clark, founder, chairman and CEO of Aviation Partners, “These are blended winglets, but we had to make many design changes to achieve the performance required at Mach 0.8. We’ve never designed a winglet that performs so well, so high into the drag rise.”
Dassault expects certification of the 2000LX by the end of this year, or possibly early next year. It will replace the 2000EX starting with 2010 deliveries. Customers already holding 2000EX orders scheduled for delivery in 2008 and 2009 may choose the winglets as an option, for an additional cost of $550,000.
The new model comes standard with Dassault’s EASy flight deck, now in operation on 145 Falcons, and will be powered by the same 7,000-pound-thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C engines as the 2000EX.
The longer legs of the Falcon 2000LX puts more city-pairs within its range, including New York to Moscow, Paris to New Delhi and Hong Kong to Brisbane.
The 66-inch-tall winglets add 6 feet 9 inches to the wing span of the Falcon 2000 and 275 pounds to its empty weight. Mtow will remain the same, while range increases 5 percent and performance 7 percent. Ground and flight tests (128 hours on 35 flights) last August, proved the concept.
Aviation Partners will handle retrofit of older Falcon 2000s, back to serial number one. The cost will also be $550,000 and installation time is estimated at about 15 days, once some experience doing the modification has been obtained, said Clark.
On display in the Dassault static area is the Falcon 900DX demonstrator, Falcon 7X No. 3 and a Falcon 2000EX with the winglets attached, to show what the 2000LX will look like.