AIN has learned that Dassault has reduced the size of the Falcon 7X-dedicated facility extension the company plans to build at its Bordeaux-Mérignac plant. In September, Dassault announced plans for an 18-position assembly hall. The plant was to be built in two phases for a total area of 290,000 sq ft (excluding offices).
Dassault Falcon 7X
The first Falcon business jet with the EASy (enhanced avionics) flight deck from Honeywell took off February 21 from Bordeaux-Mérignac (France) Airport for its maiden flight. The EASy-equipped Dassault Falcon 900EX, S/N 97, is now in the development test phase.
At its Saint-Cloud headquarters near Paris, Dassault began presenting its 2001 results with military precision at 9 a.m. sharp on March 6. This was almost ironic as the manufacturer, still famous for its Mirage and Rafale fighters, confirmed its main business is now Falcon business jets, which accounted for 76 percent of last year’s revenues.
Dassault has settled on a new, smaller version of the Rockwell Collins Flight Dynamics HGS 4000 head-up display as an option for its 5,700-nm Falcon 7X trijet. The 7X HGS will provide a wider field of view and larger glass for better viewing during crosswind landings and circling approaches, said Rockwell Collins.
Phoenix-based Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS) has been named the standard TCAS supplier for Dassault’s in-development Falcon 7X, a 5,700-nm trijet, which the French firm plans to fly for the first time in 2005. Owned jointly by L-3 Communications of New York and Thales of Paris, ACSS builds a number of surveillance products that Honeywell was forced to divest after its merger with AlliedSignal.
Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne is “satisfied” with the business and military aircraft manufacturer’s financial performance for the first half of this year.
Independent cabin completion and refurbishment specialist Duncan Aviation recently signed a long-term contract with Dassault Aviation to complete green Falcon 7Xs. According to a spokesman for Duncan, the first 7X arrived last Saturday at its Lincoln, Neb. facility and is due to emerge as a finished airplane in the first quarter of next year.
Midcoast Aviation of St. Louis has been named EADS Socata’s western hemisphere repair center. Under the terms of the agreement, Midcoast becomes the authorized repair center for the structures built by EADS Socata for the Falcon 7X.
In December, delivery delays of Dassault’s new Falcon 7X trijet were “in some cases” as long as six months. Since then, the manufacturer has temporarily moved cabin completion work for early NetJets Europe Falcon 7Xs to its manufacturing assembly plant in Merignac, France. The main completion center in Little Rock, Ark., has begun using subcontractors to assist in handling cabinet manufacturing and some assembly work.
Considering the circumstances, NBAA, its membership and participants in the association’s 2001 convention in New Orleans were generally satisfied, despite the reduced numbers of attendees and exhibitors. This year, despite a struggling U.S. economy, show organizers for the Orlando event expect a show equal in scale to what had originally been anticipated in New Orleans.