Dassault Aviation (Booth 7090) comes to EBACE this year with two newly certified business jets: the large-cabin Falcon 2000S and Falcon 2000LXS. Both received EASA and FAA approvals in March. Meanwhile, the new Falcon SMS program is still under wraps, but with the growing prospect of a launch for this long-anticipated development later this year.
The two certification milestones were met later and somewhat sooner than expected, respectively, as the manufacturer was previously predicting Falcon 2000S certification by late 2012, while EASA’s nod for the Falcon 2000LXS was anticipated for “the first half” of this year. The first Falcon 2000S was delivered in April to a Turkish customer. Deliveries of the 2000LXS, which replaces the 2000LX, are scheduled to begin in the second half of this year.
The Falcon 2000S is Dassault’s entry-level jet, with a 3,350-nm range, whereas its leggier sibling offers 4,000 nm. Both benefit from improvements in wing design–inboard slats and winglets–that cut landing and takeoff distances, as well as fuel burn. The two-year flight-test campaign for the two new models demonstrated short-field and low-speed performance “substantially better than targeted figures,” Dassault pointed out. Plans are for both models to be certified to operate at London City Airport, with its steep approaches.
Both aircraft have been certified with the EASy II flight deck. The improved cockpit, which has already been flying on the Falcon 900LX, was certified on the Falcon 7X in March.
The cabins on the two new iterations of the Falcon 2000 feature the FalconCabin HD+ entertainment system. A major difference lies in the interior layout: while the 2000LXS is, as with most business jets, customizable, the 2000S is available only in a standard-configuration cabin designed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA. The latter carries a reduced price tag, which Dassault claims is closer to that of the super midsize segment.
Both aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C turbofans. The Falcon 2000S was introduced at the 2011 EBACE convention and the Falcon 2000LXS at the 2012 NBAA convention.
Development of the SMS–a Falcon 900 replacement–is now gathering pace. Dassault’s new CEO Eric Trappier has hinted that the aircraft will be unveiled at NBAA 2013 in Las Vegas in October. The first flight is scheduled for “late in 2014” and the first deliveries “late in 2016.” A major challenge Dassault has set for SMS manufacturing is to cut production cycle times and simultaneously have a top-notch quality right from the first aircraft. No major change should be expected in the cockpit, but the passenger cabin is expected to be innovative.