Falcon 900DX Takes Flight...

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Dassault Aviation's facility in Bordeaux Merignac, France, was once again the site -- on May 13, 2005 -- of a first flight, this time of the company's new Falcon 900DX trijet. Test pilots Etienne Faurdessus and Philippe Narbey were at the controls for the flight, which lasted more than three hours. The -DX, the latest derivative of Dassault's venerable flagship bizjet, climbed to FL410 and reached a maximum speed of 370 knots. Low-speed handling qualities down to 130 knots in the clean configuration were checked as well as performance down to 100 knots with the landing gear lowered. "All systems performed flawlessly," explained Faurdessus. "We verified aircraft and navigation systems. The new fuel system was tested with several fuel transfers to check correct pump operation and to make sure the newly designed fuel tanks properly fed the engines." The Falcon 900DX fills an important niche between the 3,800-nm Falcon 2000EX and 4,500-nm Falcon 900EX. The 4,100 nm range of the new 900DX enables nonstop flights across the globe, matching city pairs like Geneva and Detroit or New York and Athens. "The Falcon 900DX offers tremendous value to our customers," said John Rosanvallon, president and CEO of Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. "New production processes allow us to offer a new airplane with many new features including the award winning EASy flight deck without significantly increasing the price over its predecessor." With the exception of the fuel tanks' structure and the forward section, the Falcon 900DX shares the same basic design as the 900EX, including engines (Honeywell TFE31-60), avionics and other cockpit and cabin equipment. Also, all 900DX copies will come with the EASy flight deck as standard equipment. More than ten 900DXs are in various stages of production. Certification is and first deliveries are planned for late 2005.