“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.
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.
Falcon 2000 and 2000EX/EASy owners now have the option of replacing their damaged OEM APU firewalls with a significantly strengthened APU firewall repairable for the life of the aircraft.
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.
On June 17 Dassault Falcon Jet held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new paint hangar at the company’s Little Rock, Ark. facility. The 46,000-sq-ft building will accommodate the new Falcon 7X, expected to be certified in late 2006. The shop is already working on other Falcons.
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).
An impasse in negotiations by unionized workers and the Dassault Falcon Jet Wilmington, Del. facility remained unresolved at press time, leaving some 100 workers on strike. Contract negotiations broke down between the company and United Auto Workers Local 1542 on March 8, but they were scheduled to reopen on March 23 (for the latest, see “As We Go To Press” on page 3).
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 FAA released proposals for several special conditions related to the certification of the Dassault Falcon 7X, which is expected in the second quarter. Special conditions usually pertain to newer technologies required to be approved but which fall outside the parameter of the FARs.
Organizers of the 2007 European Business Aviation Award, which is to be presented during the seventh annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva from May 22 to 24, have issued a call for nominations. The deadline is April 20. EBACE show promoters the European Business Aviation Association and NBAA jointly organize the award.