Dassault Launches Falcon 900DX...

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Attempting to fill a niche between its Falcon 2000EX and 900 EX models, Dassault Aviation this week announced the Falcon 900DX, a large cabin tri-jet powered by three Honeywell TFE-731-60 turbofan engines. The engines, rated at 5,000 pounds of thrust at sea level, will give Falcon 900DX operators 1,120 pounds of cruise thrust at 40,000 feet at Mach 0.8. According to Dassault, the Falcon 900DX is based on the wide-body design of its long-range Falcon 900EX EASy but with a lower purchase price. The Falcon 900DX will be equipped with Dassault's EASy flight deck, using avionics technologies developed jointly with Honeywell. EASy is based on Honeywell's new Primus Epic integrated avionics architecture and features four 14-inch Primus Epic screens in a T arrangement for optimum crew coordination. The first EASy flight deck was certificated in late 2003 on the longer-range 4500-nautical-mile Falcon 900EX. Additionally, its operating costs are projected to be 5% lower than the Falcon 900C it replaces. Certification and first deliveries of the new aircraft are scheduled for December 2005.

Summing it all up, Charles Edelstenne, Dassault Aviation's chairman, said, "The Falcon 900DX offers a unique combination of capabilities and exceptional features to our customers, while providing an unprecedented value in a business jet." According to Dassault, the Falcon 900DX's thrust-to-weight ratio will enable eventual customers to easily use smaller airports previously inaccessible to large-cabin aircraft like the 900 series. The 900DX is projected to have a 4,100-nm range, enabling nonstop trips between city pairs like Geneva and Detroit or New York and Athens. Cost-cutting steps abound. For example, Dassault will use the forward section of the Falcon 2000EX for the 900DX to minimize manufacturing expenses and optimize the assembly process. Dassault made the 900DX announcement in Geneva, during this week's EBACE business aircraft exposition.