API Awarded Falcon 50 Winglet Certification
Aviation Partners (API) in September received FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) approval for its “high-mach blended winglets” on Dassault Falcon 50 series jets. EASA approval is expected to follow by year-end, according to Seattle, Wash.-based API (Booth No. 5035) .
Certification marked the end of an 18-month development program. API had displayed a wingletted Falcon 50 at the EBACE show last May in Geneva. Installation of winglets on the first customer Falcon 50EX is already underway, explained Gary Dunn, API’s vice president of sales and marketing. API had obtained similar certifications for the Falcon 2000 series in April 2009 and the Falcon 900 series in September 2011.
The winglets provide a drag reduction, and corresponding range increase, of 5 percent at Mach .80. This gain can be more than seven percent at long-range cruise speed, which is in the Mach 0.72 to Mach 0.75 range. According to Dunn, an owner may find it worth installing the winglets even when flying a Falcon 50 only for short hops. This is as opposed to long-haul missions, when the winglets offer their greatest benefit. “The aircraft will still climb faster and its residual value will be increased,” Dunn said.
The Falcon 50 winglets are the same as those added to the other two Falcon series, including the factory Falcon 900LX and 2000LX. “Fundamentally, the wings of the Falcon 50, 2000 and 900 series are the same,” Dunn explained.
Installation is available through API’s network of authorized installers in North America, Switzerland and Singapore. The kit sells for $575,000, Dunn told AIN. “Labor costs may vary, depending on where the job is performed,” he added.