Dassault is working on a significant performance improvement for its Falcon 7X business jet, currently in flight tests. On the eve of the Asian Aerospace show, the French-based manufacturer told Aviation International News how the new range target– 6,000 nm instead of 5,700 nm miles–could be reached. Dassault engineers have designed winglets, a modified vertical tailplane and an additional fuel tank.
Dassault Falcon 50
“Last year, we did not expect any new 7X sales since we thought that long lead times would slow down the sales activity,” said Charles Edelstenne, Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO. “However, the rate of sales has remained high until the first quarter of the year.”
The first Dassault Falcon 7X is earmarked for delivery to the French group’s patriach Serge Dassault at the beginning of April 2007 in time for his 82nd birthday. The French senator will take delivery of the first of the “more than 85” trijets currently on order–not on behalf of Dassault Aviation, the group of which he is the main shareholder–but as a private customer.
Dassault’s plans for a supersonic business jet are still pretty much alive. The French manufacturer is leading a European research project called Hisac, which stands for hi-speed aircraft. Three families are being studied. Shown on the pictures below are the three configurations partner Sukhoi is studying in the low-boom (differential pressure below 15 Pa) family.
Premier Aircraft of East Alton, Ill., continues to work with Honeywell on an engine upgrade program for the Falcon 50. Now that a launch customer–Samaritan’s Purse of Boone, N.C.–has been secured, an STC is expected to be completed by year-end.
The industry’s fortunes have changed dramatically in the last three years, swinging wildly from the lowest of lows to almost unimaginable heights. For business aircraft makers, the current “cycle” likely will be remembered as one of the biggest roller-coaster rides in the industry’s history. Perhaps no company is more illustrative of the rapid turnaround than Dassault Falcon Jet.
Duncan Aviation recently installed its 10th Duncan Design Shell Kit for the Falcon 50. As part of the program, Duncan guts a customer airplane and installs the shell, providing an upgraded interior in 10 to 12 weeks of downtime. Installation of the kit, said Duncan, increases headroom by two inches. The kit also includes new LED lighting, oxygen and ordinance signs.
Honeywell (Booth No. 1994) is celebrating certified installations of its Primus Epic control display system/retrofit (CDS/R) aboard a Dassault Falcon 50, Falcon 900B and Raytheon Hawker 800A.
Changes to the Dassault Falcon 7X, now in flight test, could increase its IFR range to as much as 6,000 nm at Mach 0.80, Dassault Aviation said at the NBAA Convention last month. The current guaranteed range of the 7X is 5,700 nm, but the French manufacturer is currently evaluating several range-boosting enhancements. Among the enhancements being considered are Dassault-designed winglets, which would be a first for Falcons.
Just 387 days after groundbreaking ceremonies last year, Dassault Falcon Jet officially opened a new 40,000-sq-ft aircraft paint facility at its Wilmington, Del. complex on July 29. The facility had actually been up and running long enough for the first airplane it painted to take center stage at the ceremonies.