Some 20 new aircraft, including the world’s largest–such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777-200 Long Range–are among the 200 types on display here, making the Paris Air Show an exceptional showcase of flying hardware. Also making their first appearances are the Dassault Falcon 7X and Gulfstream G450 and G550 business jets, Embraer’s new 195 regional aircraft and Kazan Helicopters’ Mi-38.
Dassault Falcon 7X
The Dassault Falcon 7X business jet last Tuesday flew for the 100th time. It took off from the French manufacturer’s flight test center in Istres, in the southeast of the country. Meanwhile, Dassault has released the first photo showing the 5,700-nm-range trijet fitted with winglets. They are part of design enhancements that are under test and could boost range to 6,000 nm.
The Dassault Falcon 7X business jet has passed the 70-sale bar, John Rosanvallon, president of Dassault Falcon Jet, told Aviation International News yesterday here at the Dubai airshow.
Negotiations are under way for more orders in the region. Separately, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia-based National Air Services (NAS) is thinking of buying some Falcon 2000EXs for its NetJets Middle East operation.
“Landmark Aviation is pleased to celebrate a milestone that demonstrates our commitment to Dassault service and Falcon operators,” said company president Shawn Vick. “Along with VF Corp., whose aircraft is number 50,000 in terms of Landmark Aviation and legacy Landmark service events, we celebrate the Falcon and look forward to an enduring collaboration with Dassault and our customers.”
Dassault Aviation had mixed fortunes in 2005 with a slight fall in revenue and net result, balanced by a record 123 firm orders for Falcon jets, up from 69 the previous year and 40 in 2003. At a press conference in Paris on Thursday, chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne said he does not expect the same level of sales to be maintained this year.
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.
Aviation Communications & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), a joint L-3 Communications and Thales company, has announced that Cessna has selected the TCAS 2000 traffic alert and collision avoidance system as standard for the Citation X, XLS and Sovereign. Launched in 1997 by Honeywell, TCAS 2000 was the industry’s first TCAS II system. In 1999 when AlliedSignal and Honeywell merged, ACSS was formed to buy the product.
Dassault and CAE have held the first meetings of the Falcon 7X training advisory board in Burgess Hill, UK, and Dallas, Texas. This follows the French airframer’s appointment of CAE SimuFlite in July 2004 as the exclusive training provider for pilots and technicians on the new trijet.
CAE (Booth No. 1344), which established a beachhead into business aviation simulator training by buying SimuFlite in December 2001, is bolstering its presence in Europe with the expansion of its facility in Burgess Hill, about 20 minutes south of London Gatwick Airport in southern England.
“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.”