Aircraft sales numbers often catch the big headlines, but it is the delivery figures that matter most to aircraft manufacturers. The unpredictable nature of economic cycles, customers’ needs and desires and a company’s many suppliers often cause a disconnect between reported sales and the number of airplanes that actually end up in customers’ hands.
Dassault Falcon 50
Dassault revealed a new Falcon 2000 with winglets at EBACE in Geneva yesterday. The new 2000LX, which is based on the company’s popular 2000EX, will provide 200 nm more range than its sibling. According to Aviation Partners chairman and CEO Joe Clark, whose company will be providing the blended winglets, the aircraft will be able to fly 4,000 nm at Mach 0.80 at 41,000 feet.
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.
Dassault Aviation will decide by early next year whether to launch a smaller jet, chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne said recently. Since production of the small, sleek Falcon 10 ended in 1983, Dassault has concentrated on building larger business jets. The apparently twin-engine jet now being considered would be priced below $20 million and would be about the size of the Falcon 50 trijet but have a shorter range.
On June 17 Dassault Falcon Jet held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new paint hangar at the company’s Little Rock, Ark. facility. The 46,000-sq-ft building will accommodate the new Falcon 7X, expected to be certified in late 2006. The shop is already working on other Falcons.
CAE SimuFlite is set to begin offering Citation X technical training by this fall. Initial training duration is 10 days, while the recurrent program lasts five days. The company’s Citation X level-D-qualified flight simulator allows hands-on operations during training, including engine run-up, taxi and systems operation.
An impasse in negotiations by unionized workers and the Dassault Falcon Jet Wilmington, Del. facility remained unresolved at press time, leaving some 100 workers on strike. Contract negotiations broke down between the company and United Auto Workers Local 1542 on March 8, but they were scheduled to reopen on March 23 (for the latest, see “As We Go To Press” on page 3).
Falcon business jet orders and deliveries last year decreased by 44 percent and 26 percent, respectively, according to Dassault chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne. At the company’s headquarters in Saint-Cloud, France, in mid-February, Edelstenne said orders for 40 Falcons were received last year, down from 72 in 2002. Deliveries fell last year to 49 Falcons, from 66 in 2002.
Dassault Falcon Service (DFS) on April 1 officially began operations from Farnborough Airport, the main European business airport rival to Paris Le Bourget, which serves as DFS’s headquarters. DFS president Christian Sasso told AIN that his company has taken an office at Farnborough and that DFS already has a Falcon 900EX registered in the UK.
Dassault Falcon Jet has completed the approval process to certify CAE SimuFlite’s Falcon 2000 maintenance program. CAE SimuFlite is the first training partner to meet Dassault’s expanded instructor and training program requirements for the aircraft, contained in the Dassault Falcon Training Policy Manual (FTPM). CAE SimuFlite intends
to expand the FTPM process to other Falcon types this year.