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).
Of some 3,572 TFE731-2 and -3 engines on U.S.-registered business jets that would have to get their low-pressure turbine stage 1 disks repetitively checked for fatigue cracks, it is estimated that about 1,900 would need to replace the disks, if the FAA adopts a proposed AD. The directive would essentially mandate compliance with a two-year-old Honeywell Service Bulletin that addresses possible fatigue cracking in the disks.
Bombardier received FAA approval last month of the Honeywell TFE731-20BR upgrade for the Learjet 45 and has started delivering upgraded aircraft–known as the Learjet 45XR–about one year later than originally planned.
Premier Turbines, a division of Dallas Airmotive, has added -20, -40 and -60 models to its TFE731 Core Zone Inspections (CZI) program. As a result, the company now offers CZIs on all TFE731 turbofan engines. Neosho, Mo.-based Premier, a Honeywell authorized heavy maintenance facility since 1996, has also modified an engine test cell to support this program.
Landmark Aviation last month joined the ranks of installation centers that are busy turning around upgraded avionics systems for operators of Gulfstream IIIs and Falcon 50s. Landmark workers in Springfield, Mo., installed a Honeywell Primus Epic CDS/R display retrofit in a customer’s GIII, adding terrain and runway awareness while keeping the airplane’s original FMS and Pro Line II radios.
Premier Aircraft received supplemental type certification of its engine upgrade program for the Falcon 50, designed to improve performance and fuel specifics. The East Alton, Ill. company–formed by Premier Air Center in East Alton and Yankee Pacific Aerospace, a Rye, N.H., aviation investment and business development company–launched the Falcon 50 Dash 4 program in May 2005, originally expecting to receive the STC one year ago.
Stevens Aviation Denver has received FAA approval to add new airframe and powerplant ratings to its repair station certificate. Under the amended certificate Stevens is now authorized to perform airframe maintenance on the Raytheon Premier I; Hawker 600A, 600B, 700A, 700B, 800, 800A, 800B, 800XP and 1000; Dassault Falcon 50, 50EX, 900, 900EX and 2000; and Learjet 31, 31A, 35, 35A, 36 and 36A.
While all eyes were on the Falcon 7X last month for its public unveiling, Dassault’s new Falcon 900DX was quietly making its way down the assembly line in Mérignac, France. The $31.95 million trijet, launched last May at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, replaces the Falcon 900C. First flight is scheduled for June, with certification and deliveries expected by year-end.
Premier Aircraft of East Alton, Ill., received an STC for its engine upgrade program for the Falcon 50, expected to result in improved performance and better fuel specifics. The program will convert the original Falcon 50 TFE731-3 engine to a TFE731-4 to provide the “Falcon 50-4” with longer range, increased hot-and-high performance, better climb capability and higher cruise thrust than the basic aircraft, according to Premier Aircraft.
Barry Eccleston wants to take Honeywell back into the commercial helicopter business in a big way, while at the same time finding another airframe on which to hang the company’s newly renamed HTF7000 turbofan, which now powers only the Bombardier Challenger 300.