Since production ended more than 25 years ago of the small, sleek Falcon 10, Dassault has concentrated on building larger business jets. But, in answer to NBAA Convention News’ question at a media briefing here yesterday, Dassault Aviation chairman Charles Edelstenne disclosed that he has asked his engineers and marketers to “reopen the question” of developing a smaller jet.
Enhanced Avionics System
Last month, Dassault Aviation delivered its 1,500th Falcon, a Falcon 2000. Charles Edelstenne, chairman of Dassault Aviation and Dassault Falcon Jet, presented the Falcon 2000 to Kevin Russell, senior vice president of Executive Jet. The delivery is the 29th Falcon of the more than 100 Falcons ordered for the Executive Jet NetJets fractional aircraft owner program. The 1,500 Falcons include 42 for use in search and rescue with the U.S.
Midwest independent cabin completion and refurbishment specialist Duncan Aviation has signed a long-term agreement to do Falcon 7X green completion work under contract to French manufacturer Dassault Aviation. According to a spokesman for Duncan, the first 7X arrived May 2 at its Lincoln, Neb. facility and is due to emerge as a finished airplane in the first quarter of next year.
Many beyond the immediate Dassault Falcon Jet family mourned the April 25 passing of the company’s long-serving chief pilot and director of aviation, G. Edison Allen. The Georgia-born pilot–known to all as Ed–gave Dassault 30 years of his life and made numerous friends and admirers along the way.
Flight testing of the Falcon 2000EX, a Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C-powered version of the Falcon 2000, began on October 25. During its 1 hr 45 min first flight from Dassault’s facility in Merignac, France, the 2000EX reached 35,000 ft and Mach 0.82. In addition to its 3,800-nm range (a 25-percent improvement– nearly 900 nm–over the CFE738-powered Falcon 2000), the 2000EX is expected to climb to 41,000 ft in 21 min.
This year will be one of the best that Dassault has ever had with its Falcon business jets. As of late October, the French manufacturer had chalked up firm orders for 112 Falcons and taken options for another 101, smashing last year’s record of firm orders for 90 Falcons.
For the past four days, the skies over EBACE have been gray, but the overcast and rain have not dampened the spirits of John Rosanvallon. The Dassault Falcon president and CEO has been watching the French business jet manufacturer’s already fat order book grow fatter still here at EBACE and he is forecasting continued demand.
Honeywell officially launched its MyFlite.com e-commerce Internet site, a Web portal that is designed to serve business aircraft, regional airline and general aviation customers seeking to purchase avionics. Plans for the near future call for the site to be expanded to include flight planning, weather information for pilots, messaging and avionics database downloads.
With the exception of the Falcon 900C, deliveries in the first half of this year of the other three Falcon models increased significantly over the same period last year: 48 airplanes vs 38. Compared with deliveries through the first six months of last year (shown in parentheses), the French manufacturer said for this year it delivered: 23 Falcon 2000s (15); 12 Falcon 900EXs (11); nine Falcon 50EXs (eight) and four Falcon 900Cs (four).
Dassault’s rollout on July 19 of the first Falcon 2000EX was a relatively quiet event, with little more than the weather to provide any semblance of drama. There was no flashy new paint job or band to provide music. And the tiny crowd consisted of little more than several dozen employees and members of the media. Even Charles Edelstenne, Dassault Aviation’s chairman, had more pressing affairs.