Dassault Falcon yesterday announced the long-anticipated upgrade to the Honeywell Primus Epic-based EASy (Enhanced Avionics System) flight deck: the EASy Phase II system with synthetic-vision system (SVS) technology.
Incorporating a hardware and software upgrade, EASy Phase II certification is expected by the end of next year for the Falcon 900 series and by mid-2010 for the Falcon 2000 and 7X models. The SVS will be an option for new Falcons and available as a retrofit on all EASy-equipped jets. Dassault Falcon has not yet released pricing information for the Phase II upgrade.
For pilots, the EASy Phase II upgrade offers a number of improvements. The SVS will display a three-dimensional synthesized representation of the outside view on both pilots’ primary flight displays, with terrain and obstacle data provided by Honeywell’s EGPWS. EASy Phase II also supports RNP SAAAR (required navigation performance–special aircraft and aircrew authorization required) 0.1 and offers ADS-B Out capability.
Honeywell’s Runway Awareness and Advisory System is also included, and other options bring the latest avionics capabilities to the EASy flight deck. These include XM graphical weather, paperless charts, the ability to fly WAAS LPV approaches, future air navigation system (FANS) 1A capability using CPDLC for pilot-controller communication via datalink, VHF datalink mode-2 and takeoff/go-around improvements. The FANS 1A capability will not be available for the Falcon 900 until 2010.
Dassault also announced yesterday that it will open its newest factory-owned service center at Nevada’s Reno-Tahoe Airport by the end of the first quarter
of next year. Complementing the Reno service center is Dassault Falcon’s newest spares distribution center in San Jose, Calif., which will house $34 million worth of high-demand parts.
According to John Rosanvallon, president and CEO of Dassault Falcon, the economic situation is starting to have an effect. “[The year] 2008 is relatively good,” he said, and that is after the company experienced three record years of orders totaling nearly 500 jets.
In the first half of 2008, customers ordered 87 jets. “During the third quarter, we have certainly started to see some sign of a slowdown all over, but particularly in the U.S. and Western Europe.” However, “the CIS and rest of the world remain robust and resilient,” he said.
As of the end of June, Dassault Falcon’s backlog was nearly 500 airplanes, Rosanvallon said, and the book-to-bill ratio is still more than one. “That’s still a strong situation,” he said. “Cancellations are staying even for 2008, in the 1 to 2 percent type of figure, which is really not higher than what we have known in the past.”
Charles Edelstenne, president and CEO of Dassault Aviation, revealed a delay in the certification plans for the 2000LX, which will feature Aviation Partners winglets. Originally scheduled to occur this year, the 2000LX’s certification is now planned by the end of next year’s first quarter. Dassault had to make design changes, including a new slat adjustment and reinforcement of trailing edges, due to a problem discovered during testing to limit load conditions. Although the problem had no impact on performance or aerodynamics, it did cause local areas of high stress on the slats and small permanent deformations, according to Edelstenne.