Changes to the Dassault Falcon 7X, now in flight test, could increase its IFR range to as much as 6,000 nm at Mach 0.80, Dassault Aviation said at the NBAA Convention last month. The current guaranteed range of the 7X is 5,700 nm, but the French manufacturer is currently evaluating several range-boosting enhancements. Among the enhancements being considered are Dassault-designed winglets, which would be a first for Falcons.
Dassault Falcon 900
In an unusual public airing of a disagreement between a customer and supplier, Dassault Aviation has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $60 million from Honeywell over delays with the integrated avionics systems in the Falcon 900EX and 2000EX.
Dassault has begun deliveries of the Falcon 900EX equipped with the fully operational EASy flight deck. The so-called “Step 3” of EASy includes new features, such as video display capability. It also corrects some minor imperfections and offers, at last, some functions the French manufacturer had promoted heavily when it announced the product.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) implicated crew training in the crash of a Bermuda-registered Falcon 900EX at Stansted Airport on Feb. 9, 2004. The Falcon arrived at Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania, from London Luton, with an intermittent hydr#1 pump 3 display. The crew studied the minimum equipment list and determined that it could fly with only two operable hydraulic pumps.
Executive Airlines, Spain’s second largest executive charter operator, in the last few months has added three business jets
to its fleet, bringing its total to seven, four of which are owned. The company expects to add more next year.
GE Honda Aero Engines, though it has yet to announce an airframe application for its engine, continues to develop its HF118 1,700-pound-thrust turbofan. The company validated durability and performance enhancements on rig tests held in March at Honda’s facility in Japan.
In the 16-day period between April 27 and May 13, three OEMs started flight testing four of their latest aircraft. Two of the aircraft–the Falcon 7X and the Airbus A380–are equipped with fly-by-wire (FBW) primary control systems, but it is the Falcon 7X that is introducing this advanced technology to corporate aviation in a clean-sheet business jet design.
Dassault will decide by early next year whether to launch a smaller Falcon, chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne said shortly before the Paris Air Show last month. Production of the small, sleek Falcon 10 ended in 1983. The apparently twin-engine jet Dassault is now considering would be priced at less than $20 million and would be about the size of the Falcon 50 trijet but have less range.
Charter operator Executive Jet Management has broken the 100 managed-aircraft threshold. With the recent addition of a Citation X in Chicago and a Falcon 900EX in San Francisco, the Cincinnati-based company now manages 101 aircraft at more than 60 U.S. airports.
Midcoast Aviation has a new supplemental type certificate for a solid-surface pocket door for the Falcon 900 and Falcon 900EX. The original mid-cabin divider in the Falcon 900 was typically a curtain partition. The new manually operated door, with independent upper and lower sections, can be secured in the open position for taxi, takeoff and landing, and an annunciator alerts the flight crew when the door is closed.