F100EJ brings bizliner role to retired Fokker 100 twinjets

 - October 4, 2007, 9:46 AM

Name a business jet that has standup headroom, seating for a crowd or luxurious expanses for a dozen, range of up to 3,200 nm and costs about $12 million fully completed.

Answer: Fokker F100EJ.

Faced with 160 F100s on the market early this decade and plummeting values as American Airlines, US Airways and TAM phased out their fleets, Fokker Services decided to acquire and remarket them as business jets or bargain equipment for low-fare startups. The company is planning on breathing new life into some of them by tearing out the workaday interior, refurbishing the airframe, installing an interior that would do any bizliner proud and hanging on the finished airplane
a price tag that, when spent on a factory-new airplane, would buy a comparatively cramped Gulfstream 100 or Learjet 60.

Fokker Services is promoting the F100EJ as a “very low cost,” albeit shorter-range, alternative to the BBJ and ACJ, with a price one-quarter of the Boeing and Airbus airplanes’ and, in simple dollar figures, about 60 percent of the price tag it carried when last offered new to airlines in 1996. (The Fokker twinjet is actually not new to the role of business jet, since Ford Motor has operated two F70s and the Queen of the Netherlands rides in an F100.)

During initial press briefings on the airplane, the F100EJ’s price tag was pegged at about $10 million. But more recently company officials are placing it at between $11 and $12.5 million, depending on the amount of work necessary to bring a retired airliner up to snuff for its new “EJ” role. This price excludes in-flight entertainment and satcom equipment. “Of course, a very ostentatious interior, complete with IFE and satcom, would add significantly to the price,” Peter van Oostrum, Fokker Services business development manager, told AIN.

Brochure configurations show three seating capacities for the F100EJ, varying from 19 to 31–all with galleys, two with shower-equipped master suites. With standard fuel capacity, the payload-range chart shows a max-payload (22,870 pounds) range of about 1,150 nm, but the long-range airplanes (with an mtow of either 98,000 or 101,000 pounds and carrying, respectively, a maximum fuel load of either 34,160 or 35,160 pounds) can carry a payload of 8,470 pounds 3,200 or 3,300 nm. Time to climb (ISA) to the 35,000-foot ceiling is shown as 29 minutes for the 98,000-pound airplane and 31 minutes for the heavier one. With an Mmo of Mach 0.77, F100EJ passengers and pilots will have a little extra time to savor, respectively, the comforts of the new cabin or the screens of the Collins avionics held over from the airplane’s airline career. Fokker Services asserts that obtaining RVSM compliance is “not difficult.” Fokker Services plans on not only designing the interiors but also fabricating and installing them, as well as applying new exterior paint.

The company further asserts that at an mtow of 101,000 pounds, the airplane’s Rolls-Royce Tay 650 engines already meet upcoming Stage 4 noise standards by a cumulative margin of 5.6 EPNdB. Their cumulative margin is 15.6 EPNdB inside Stage 3 limits. The belly tanks that boost range beyond 3,000 nm occupy two-thirds of one of the three baggage bays.

Fokker Services officials said that the American Airlines and US Airways F100s have typically logged between 20,000 and 30,000 cycles/hours, far short of the certified life of 90,000 cycles/hours–particularly when viewed in the context of a business
jet, which would have to log the unlikely tally of 2,000 cycles/hours a year for 30 years to reach the limit.

Will it fit in the hangar? At 116.6 feet long, spanning 92.1 feet and 27.9 feet high, the F100EJ is smaller than a BBJ in every dimension except length. The Dutch airplane is six feet longer than the Boeing, 13 feet lower at the top of the tail and 25 feet narrower in wingspan. The U.S. airplane (offering almost twice the range) is 35 tons heavier when fully loaded, with an mtow of 171,000 pounds versus the Fokker’s 101,000 pounds. Inside, the Fokker’s cabin offers a maximum width of 10.16 feet (11.6 feet in the BBJ) and max height of 6.6 feet (7.1 feet in the Boeing).
To fly the full 3,200 nm with 10 passengers, the F100EJ needs 5,742 feet of runway to take off (sl, ISA), stretching to 7,382 feet at 2,000 feet elevation and ISA+20.

Block time for a max-range flight would be 8.2 hours to cover 3,200 nm at long-range cruise (Mach 0.70 to 0.72) or 7.3 hours to cover 3,000 nm at high-speed cruise (Mach 0.76). According to Fokker, city pairs that can be served in either direction by the F100EJ include London and Riyadh; New York and Shannon; Moscow and Yakutsk; Paris and Libreville; and Caracas and Buenos Aires.

Fokker Services in Holland is located in Hoogerheide, and in the U.S. in Atlan