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.
Dassault Falcon 50
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.
FBOs at Paris Le Bourget Airport, which makes a strong claim to be Europe’s biggest dedicated business aviation gateway, are experiencing growth with a steady increase in business aviation movements. At the same time competition is heating up, with the arrival of a new operator, a merger between two existing bases and the prospect of a completely new executive terminal.
Deliveries of business jets and turboprops in the first quarter of this year jumped about 20 percent compared with deliveries in the same period last year, despite mixed results by the major OEMs, according to statistics the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released recently.
Dassault will decide by early next year whether to launch a smaller Falcon, chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne said shortly before the Paris Air Show last month. Production of the small, sleek Falcon 10 ended in 1983. The apparently twin-engine jet Dassault is now considering would be priced at less than $20 million and would be about the size of the Falcon 50 trijet but have less range.
Dassault is about to flight-test production-conforming modifications that should boost the range of its new Falcon 7X. Officials at the French manufacturer last month revealed that the average customer is choosing options and cabin equipment that are raising aircraft weight beyond earlier expectations. On many aircraft the weight gain is cutting range to just short of the promised 5,700 nm.
Last month Dassault said its engineers have validated several improvements to the Falcon 7X– such as increased mtow, engine thrust, fuel capacity and winglets– that increase range to 5,950 nm from 5,700 nm. These improvements have nudged the type certification schedule into early next year.
Dassault Aviation highlighted its renewed emphasis on product support at this year’s Falcon Jet Maintenance and Operations meeting.
The Falcon 7X flight-test program is progressing on schedule, with four of the trijets logging more than 850 hours during 275 test flights. Certification flights with the EASA have begun and will be completed by year-end, to be followed by final certification and first deliveries early in the new year. As a further mark of progress, Falcon 7X S/N 04 joined the test fleet in late July.
TAG Aviation has yet to confirm whether it will appeal the Rushmoor Borough Council’s rejection of its application to increase weekend movements at the London-area Farnborough Airport. The company is entitled to appeal this ruling through the UK central government’s Department of the Environment and has previously indicated that it would be willing to use this option.
- Page 19