Dassault Falcon 900EX, France
Dassault's Falcon 900EX long-range business tri-jet completed its first flight in June 1995, and in September 1995 it demonstrated its long-range capability with an 8,705km non-stop flight from Luton in the UK to Las Vegas.
The aircraft can achieve an airspeed of Mach 0.84 or 890km/h. FAA approval was granted in July 1995 and the aircraft entered service in November 1996 with Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.
Dassault announced the development of the 900EX in October 1994. Dassault entered the development program with risk sharing partners, Alenia, Hellenic Aircraft Industries, Honeywell, Latecoere and SABCA, which provided 20% of the funding.
In May 2005, the Falcon 900DX, with a range of 7,600km, made its maiden flight. It is based on the 900EX with a redesigned fuel system and is fitted with EASy avionics as standard. Certification was received in November 2005 and deliveries began shortly after. It replaced the 900C.Dassault announced the Falcon 900LX in May 2008.
The Falcon 900LX is based on the EX but has winglets and a range extended to 8,800km (4,7500nm). The new aircraft obtained certifications from both FAA and EASA by July 2010 and eventually replaced the 900EX.
900EX orders and deliveries
Dassault has delivered more than 500 Falcon 900 aircraft globally, including 200 Falcon 900EX, DX and LX versions.
The first 900EX aircraft was delivered in May 1996 and about 10 were delivered by September 2007. The 100th 900EX EASy aircraft was delivered in October 2009.
Dassault Falcon 900EX design
The Falcon 900LX is a replacement for the Falcon 900EX, which was introduced in 1996.
The damage tolerant design of the Falcon 900EX is derived from the Falcon 900. The long-range 900EX version has higher powered and more efficient engines compared to the 900, which provide an increase in the specific fuel consumption of 8%.
The engine nacelles and mounts have been redesigned to accommodate the new engines and the capacity of the central fuel tank has been increased and a new rear tank added.
Low-weight and high-strength composite materials have been used extensively including Kevlar and carbon fibre materials.
Kevlar has been used for the radome, tailcone and nosewheel doors. The air inlet trunk on the centre engine is also of Kevlar construction.
Carbon fibre has been used in the manufacture of the main landing gear doors and for the centre section of the three-engine cowlings. The aircraft's horizontal tail surface is of titanium box construction with resin spars and carbon fibre panels.
The two pilot flight deck is equipped with five 20cm x 17.75cm (8in x 7in) colour electronic flight information system (EFIS) displays and a Flight Dynamics HGS-2850 head up display. The Honeywell Primus 2000 avionics suite includes three IC-800 avionics computers and two, or optionally three, flight management systems, type FMZ-2000.
The aircraft is equipped with dual autopilots and autothrottle from take-off to the landing phase of flight. The autothrottle keeps the aircraft on a glidepath by providing power control of the engines linked electromechanically to the automatic flight control system and automatic landing system.
The Falcon 900EX can be fitted with the new EASy (Enhanced Avionics System) flight deck, which received European and US certification in November 2003 and entered service shortly after.
Developed by Honeywell, EASy is based on the Primus Epic avionics suite. EASy provides heightened situational awareness for the pilots. It features four 14.1in liquid-crystal displays (LCD) in traditional "T" formation, controlled by trackball-type Cursor Control Devices.
The Falcon 900EX EASy also has a new brake-by-wire system with hydraulic actuators and two independent circuits with anti-skid function. The computer integrates a deceleration control law and automatic airbrake activation.
EASy includes a new Fuel Quantity Management computer (FQMC), more precise gauges and flow rate meters. The pressurization system is fitted with a powerful new Cabin Pressure Controller (CPC), for additional cabin comfort.
The aircraft's navigation systems include a Honeywell electronic ground proximity warning system, dual or optionally triple Laseref III inertial reference systems, a single or dual 12-channel global positioning system and a Primus colour weather radar. The communications suite including a satellite communications system is linked to a communications management unit.
When production and assembly has been completed the aircraft is transferred to the finishing facility for outfitting. The passenger cabin can be customised to the operator's requirements. The passenger cabin is configured in three VIP lounge areas.
The forward area has tables and four recliner sleeping chairs. The central dining area seats six people and is furnished with a dining table, two double seats, a foldaway bench and a cabinet. The rear passenger area can be fitted as a bedroom with a convertible bed/three-seat settee and two armchairs.
The engines are Honeywell TFE731-60 turbofan engines each providing 22.24kN of thrust. The two engines are pod mounted on the rear of the fuselage and the third is installed above the narrow rear fuselage by two top mounts. The engine pylons are supplied by Latecoere and the engine nacelles by Alenia. The cowling on the centre engine intake was supplied by SABCA. The centre engine is fitted with an Alenia thrust reverser.
The aircraft has 5,787 litre wing tanks and 2,976 litre fuselage tanks. The fuel distribution system and gauges are supplied by Intertechnique.
The Messier-Dowty hydraulically operated tricycle type landing gear comprises inward retracting main gear and the forwards retracting nosewheel. The landing gear is equipped with oleo-pneumatic shock absorbers, Messier Bugatti carbon brakes and an anti-skid system.
The nose wheel is steerable through +60° to -60°, which provides a ground turning radius about the nose unit of 23.55m. For towing the nosewheel is steerable through 360°.