Dassault Aviation has filed a lawsuit seeking $60 million from Honeywell International over delivery delays of the EASy flight deck, Dassault and Honeywell officials confirmed here at NBAA. The suit contends that Honeywell misled Dassault by claiming that the EASy integrated avionics system, which is based on the Honeywell Primus Epic platform, was ready when in fact it needed more time for development.
Enhanced Avionics System
Dassault Aviation has reached a settlement with Honeywell over a $60 million lawsuit filed against the avionics manufacturer by the French business jet builder in October. The complaint stemmed from software integration delays with Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics platform, the baseline system behind the EASy cockpits in the Falcon 900EX and 2000EX, as well as several in-development Falcons.
Dassault Falcon Jet’s Little Rock, Ark., completion center on December 12 accepted the first Falcon 7X (S/N 05) for completion. The world’s first purpose-built fly-by-wire business jet is slated for delivery to its European-based customer in the second quarter.
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.
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.
“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.”
The first Dassault Falcon 7X is earmarked for delivery to the French group’s patriach Serge Dassault at the beginning of April 2007 in time for his 82nd birthday. The French senator will take delivery of the first of the “more than 85” trijets currently on order–not on behalf of Dassault Aviation, the group of which he is the main shareholder–but as a private customer.
The industry’s fortunes have changed dramatically in the last three years, swinging wildly from the lowest of lows to almost unimaginable heights. For business aircraft makers, the current “cycle” likely will be remembered as one of the biggest roller-coaster rides in the industry’s history. Perhaps no company is more illustrative of the rapid turnaround than Dassault Falcon Jet.
Dassault president Charles Edelstenne yesterday made note of the rapidly growing business aviation industry, saying that Dassault’s own sales are exploding no less rapidly.
Certification of Dassault’s 69,000-pound (maximum takeoff weight) 7X remains on track for early next year. Although the 7X has yet to be certified, more than 40 of the $39.2 million long-range trijets are already in various stages of production.