- June 16, 2009, 11:32 AM
Dassault Aviation CEO Charles Edelstenne on Friday made it clear that all design choices for its next Falcon business jet, a super-midsize aircraft codenamed SMS, have been reopened–including the engine. Rolls-Royce had been selected two years ago to supply 10,000-pound-thrust-class RB282s for the new Falcon. It now appears that even such a key decision is being questioned. “In our design process, Phase A is that of outlines and architecture. It was to end early this year. However, at this time, we saw we had not met our [economic and technical] goals. Therefore, I elected to prolong Phase A to the end of the year,” Edelstenne said. “Everything is open, including the choice of the engine. If you give yourself too many constraints, you cannot reach your targets.” A Rolls-Royce spokesman later insisted his company has a strong business partnership with Dassault. “We continue to work with them on future program requirements,” he said, adding that the RB282 concept is “sound” and that Rolls-Royce is satisfied with the engine’s developmental progress.