NBAA Convention News

Premier Aircraft shows two Falcon 50 Dash4s

 - September 25, 2007, 11:40 AM

Premier Aircraft brought two of its newly certified Dassault Falcon 50 Dash4s to the NBAA static display, the first time the modified Falcon 50 has been shown at an NBAA show.

Falcon 50 S/N 094 belongs to Chick-fil-A and is on display at West Star Aviation’s Static Display No. 39. S/N 170 is at Space No. 18 and is for sale by owner Yankee Pacific Aerospace. Both Falcons feature a widebody interior and fresh paint. The Chick-fil-A Falcon 50 also includes new Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics with dual FMS and dual file server units.

The Falcon 50 Dash4 modification was developed by Premier Aircraft of East Alton, Ill., which is a joint venture between West Star Aviation and Yankee Pacific Aerospace. The FAA awarded the 50 Dash4 supplemental type certificate (STC) to Premier Aircraft in January. The modification includes conversion of the Honeywell TFE731-3/3D engines to TFE731-4-1C configuration, new exhaust nozzles and nacelle and engine instrument changes. Base price of the 50 Dash4 package is $2.305 million, although Honeywell will apply maintenance service plan payments to the engine conversion cost, according to Ken Goldsmith, managing director of Yankee Pacific Aerospace, reducing the cost to as low as $1.65 million.

Performance improvements include reduced time to climb, higher initial cruise altitude, lower specific fuel consumption, ICAO Chapter 4 noise compliance and extended engine maintenance intervals. At Mach 0.80, the modified Falcon 50 flies 300 to 600 nm farther than the unmodified jet, according to Goldsmith. Premier Aircraft has applied for EASA certification, expected later this year.

Goldsmith is spurring development of another modification program, a Premier Aircraft project to certify a Safe Flight Instrument AutoPower automatic throttle system on the Falcon 50 and Cessna CitationJet series. Goldsmith, who owns a CitationJet that will be the first one modified with the STC, believes that the business aviation market is ready for more widespread installation of autothrottle systems, especially with the rapid proliferation of single-pilot jets. “Reducing pilot workload, reducing fuel consumption and precise speed control in high-density control zones are the main drivers,” he said. “In today’s environment, where airspace, flight operations and costs have to be continuously optimized, having an AutoPower system on board is a real asset.”

Goldsmith said that the first six delivery positions for the CJ series and Falcon 50 autothrottle programs are being made available here at NBAA 2007 at special introductory prices of $149,000 for the CJ and $245,000 for the Falcon 50. To secure these positions will require a letter of intent and deposit of $25,000 for the Falcon 50 and $15,000 for the CJ. They may be exercised in the first 90 days after the award of the STCs for each program. Interested parties can make arrangements at the Premier/West Star booth (No. 7039) or Safe Flight booth (No. 2239) exhibits.

While Premier is working on AutoPower certification, West Star Aviation will do initial installations, then West Star will make kits available to other qualified maintenance providers. Certification of the AutoPower modification is expected in 12 months for the Falcon 50 and in the first quarter of 2009 for the CitationJet. West Star Aviation is also working on an Auto Power modification for the Hawker 800, under a separate agreement with Safe Flight Instrument.