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.
The three-engine, 5,950-nm-range Falcon 7X, certified on April 30, is Dassault Falcon’s proudest achievement (see story on page 6) and certainly it will be the Falcon model attracting the most visitors here at EBACE. But the French airframer also took time at its press conference yesterday to announce an upgraded version of the Falcon 2000, its popular twin-engine business jet.
Duncan Aviation of Lincoln, Neb., is working on a redesign of its current offering of interior packages. The Duncan Design Collection, as it is known, will be officially launched this October at the NBAA Convention. The initial Falcon 50 interior from the collection is scheduled for completion this month.
More than 1,000 Falcon operators are expected to attend Dassault’s 25th maintenance and operations seminar June 13 to 15 in Boca Raton, Fla. To expedite registration for the event and make hotel reservations, Falcon operators can go to www.cvent.com, click the “RSVP for event” tab and enter the event code contained in invitation packages previously mailed to all known Falcon operators.
A line technician died on February 14 after the tug he was driving backed into the wing of a Falcon 900EX at Naples Airport in Florida. Dave Biltz, 44, had been on the job two months, working for the Naples Airport Authority, the airport’s FBO. Biltz had been working as a spotter, but was asked to service the Falcon’s lavatory. While towing a lavatory cart, he backed toward the Falcon’s left wing, said a spokeswoman.
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.
A proposed AD calls for inspections to detect improperly installed wiring for optional cabin lighting that could cause fires in Falcon 50s. The FAA, which cited no incidents attributed to the alleged problem, said the wiring may be directly connected to the battery bus instead of through a dedicated circuit breaker.
Honeywell SPZ 8000 symbol generators in more than 90 Falcon 900s would have to be replaced if the FAA enacts a proposed AD. The FAA said that during approach, the quantity of data being processed may cause the EFIS display to flash or go blank.
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.
You might want to think twice about taking off at 10 a.m. in the months of May, August, September or October, because the U.S. Air Force’s copious statistics (http://afsafety.af.mil/AFSC/Bash/ home.html) on the birdstrikes it has suffered from 1973 through January this year show those to be the peak risk periods.