Grob Aerospace (Booth No. 1277) is showcasing a six-passenger fuselage mockup of the Grob SPn light business jet with a new cabin interior from the Porsche Design Studio. The mockup includes the aft lavatory configuration and the SPn cockpit, similarly created by Porsche Design.
Dassault Falcon 7X
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 comes to Geneva this week on a wave of exhilaration generated by having achieved simultaneous European and U.S. certification less than a month ago. The French manufacturer has completed the long, meticulous development of the world’s first fly-by-wire (FBW) business jet.
Dassault’s Falcon 2000DX is slated to fly next month. The new model is a shorter range derivative of the 2000EX and replaces the original Falcon 2000, which dates back to the mid-1990s. The program is almost on schedule, according to a company spokesman.
The first example of the new twinjet is currently in ground tests. With the flight test program expected to take just 50 hours, certification is pegged for September.
“Not everyone can or wants to own a private jet, and even the most affordable co-ownership or ad hoc chartering package is not always suitable,” Flying Group president and general manager Bernard Van Milders told EBACE Convention News.
Dassault is increasingly using tactile virtual reality (VR) to design its Falcon business jets. Haptic (from the Greek for sense of touch) interfaces, such as force-feedback arms, allow engineers to better check maintainability early in the design phase. Along with several partners, the French manufacturer (Booth No. 7514) is integrating these tools into its Catia v5 product lifecycle management (PLM) suite of software programs.
At a ceremony Friday in Bordeaux-Mérignac, France, Dassault Aviation received type certification for the Falcon 7X from the EASA and the FAA. Pilot training began the same day at the new CAE facility in Morristown, N.J. The trijet is expected to enter service before the end of next month, about a year later than targeted when the aircraft was unveiled in October 2001. The 5,950-nm Falcon 7X accomplished many firsts, according to Dassault.
The seventh annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) seems certain to be the largest event yet, with more than 10,000 visitors expected at Geneva’s Palais des Expositions convention center to view more than 300 exhibits and 50 aircraft. But the show (May 22 to 24) will also be an important forum for some big issues now facing the business aviation community in Europe.
Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne, addressing reporters on the eve of the Paris Air Show this week, said Falcon deliveries will reach between 50 and 55 this year. Although he said economic conditions have improved "measurably" since 2004, this figure is short of the 63 Falcons delivered last year. He cited two reasons for this.
Dassault plans to introduce an exceptionally quiet cabin in its new Falcon 7X business jet. The company announced at EBACE in May that it expects to create a cabin with noise levels in the 52-dB range, about four decibels less than in the Falcon 900EX. Normal cabin conversation is typically conducted in the 55- to 70-dB range.