Dassault Aviation posted strong financial numbers for the first six months of this year thanks to a burgeoning market for its Falcon business jets. First-half consolidated sales for the French aircraft manufacturer jumped to $2.44 billion from $1.92 billion last year. Revenues from the Falcon division now account for 57 percent of the company’s income, on par with last year.
Dassault Falcon 20
Rolls-Royce revealed exclusively to AIN details of an entirely new series of two-shaft engines under development to power business jets and large regional aircraft. The UK company, fresh from its success in winning the competition to power Dassault’s next new business jet, said the aircraft is only the first in a series of potential applications.
Falcon 2000 and 2000EX/EASy owners now have the option of replacing their damaged OEM APU firewalls with a significantly strengthened APU firewall repairable for the life of the aircraft.
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).
Dassault recently received Transport Canada type certification for the Falcon 900EX EASy, Falcon 900DX and Falcon 2000. The approval follows several months of simulator and flight testing by Canadian authorities and allows these aircraft to be registered in Canada.
Thunder Aviation in Chesterfield, Mo., and Flight Test Associates of Mojave, Calif., are working on an RVSM solution for Falcon 20s equipped with Honeywell Bendix/King KFC 400 autopilots. A group STC is scheduled before the end of the month. Thunder Aviation is also expecting an amendment to its RVSM STC for Falcon 20s equipped with Collins AP105 autopilots that will add similarly equipped Falcon 10s.
Pratt & Whitney Canada is striving to keep fuel burn on target for its PW307A engine, which will power the Dassault Falcon 7X. Based on results from the first series of engine flight tests, the Longueuil, Quebec-based manufacturer is confident it will avoid the fuel-consumption problem it had on the PW308C for the Falcon 2000EX.
Dassault recently delivered the first Falcon business jet to be registered in China. The Falcon 2000 is being operated by Citic, said to be China’s largest state-owned financial services holding company. Citic expects to take delivery of a Falcon 900DX late next year.
Honeywell (Booth No. 406) has completed 330 TFE731-5BR engine conversions for upgrading Dassault Falcon 900As to 900Bs and for upgrading Falcon 20s to the -5BR that had earlier had their CF700s replaced with -5As. The company did not specify the number of airplanes involved in the conversion program, launched in 1991, but did say that “90 percent of the available Falcon 900A fleet” has been modified.
Thunder Aviation in Chesterfield, Mo., recently won a group RVSM STC for Falcon 10s equipped with the Collins AP-105 autopilot. Kit price, including installation, is $175,000. At press time, the company expected to receive group STCs for Falcon 10s and 20s equipped with the Honeywell SPZ500 autopilot. The company anticipates receiving a group RVSM STC for the dozen or so Falcon 20s equipped with the KFC 400 autopilot.