“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 Falcon 900
Dassault Aviation will decide by early next year whether to launch a smaller jet, chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne said recently. Since production of the small, sleek Falcon 10 ended in 1983, Dassault has concentrated on building larger business jets. The apparently twin-engine jet now being considered would be priced below $20 million and would be about the size of the Falcon 50 trijet but have a shorter range.
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.
In late May at the EBACE show in Geneva, Dassault unveiled a new version of the Falcon 900. Dubbed the Falcon 900DX, the trijet is a clone of the 900EX, except for its fuel tanks. Dassault salespeople, however, can arguably talk about value for money–the 900DX’s price is hardly higher than that of the 900C it replaces ($31.95 million versus $31.6 million).
Falcon business jet orders and deliveries last year decreased by 44 percent and 26 percent, respectively, according to Dassault chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne. At the company’s headquarters in Saint-Cloud, France, in mid-February, Edelstenne said orders for 40 Falcons were received last year, down from 72 in 2002. Deliveries fell last year to 49 Falcons, from 66 in 2002.
The pilot of the Greek government Falcon 900 that suffered an in-flight fatal upset (AIN, July 2002, page 59) is appealing his guilty conviction before the Athens Appeals Court. Pilot Yiannos Androulakis was sentenced by a lower court to a five-year prison sentence on the grounds that he was responsible for the sudden oscillations in the Sept. 14, 1999 accident, which killed seven passengers and injured two.
Dassault Falcon Service (DFS) on April 1 officially began operations from Farnborough Airport, the main European business airport rival to Paris Le Bourget, which serves as DFS’s headquarters. DFS president Christian Sasso told AIN that his company has taken an office at Farnborough and that DFS already has a Falcon 900EX registered in the UK.
A line technician died on February 14 after the tug he was driving backed into the wing of a Falcon 900EX at Naples Airport in Florida. Dave Biltz, 44, had been on the job two months, working for the Naples Airport Authority, the airport’s FBO. Biltz had been working as a spotter, but was asked to service the Falcon’s lavatory. While towing a lavatory cart, he backed toward the Falcon’s left wing, said a spokeswoman.
Dassault recently received Transport Canada type certification for the Falcon 900EX EASy, Falcon 900DX and Falcon 2000. The approval follows several months of simulator and flight testing by Canadian authorities and allows these aircraft to be registered in Canada.
Changes to the Dassault Falcon 7X, now in flight test, could increase its range to as much as 6,000 nm at Mach 0.80, Dassault Aviation said today. The current guaranteed range of the 7X is 5,700 nm, but Dassault is currently evaluating several range-boosting enhancements, including Dassault-designed winglets.