Dassault flies Falcon 50EX for first time

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THE FIRST DASSAULT Aviation Falcon 50EX was flown on 10 April at the Bordeaux-Merignac airfield, site of Dassault's final assembly factory. The extended-range version of the original aircraft includes up-rated AlliedSignal TFE 731-40 engines and new Rockwell Collins Pro-Line 4 avionics (as fitted to the new Falcon 2000). The avionics have been tested on a US-based Falcon 50, which was flown on 14 February.

The Falcon 50EX is due for US Federal Aviation Administration and European Joint Aviation Authorities certification at the end of this year, with delivery to the first customer immediately after.

Range of the Falcon 50EX is increased to 6,000km (3,265nm) against the Falcon 50's 5,830km, with the aircraft flying at Mach 0.80 instead of Mach 0.75.

Bombardier ended an eventful April by completing final assembly of the major structural components of the first Global Express long-range business jet, with the mating of the Shorts-produced horizontal tail. Power-on testing began on 21 April and will continue into May. The nose and main landing gear have been pre-fitted and will be fully installed in May. BMW Rolls-Royce is scheduled to deliver BR710 engines in May.

Bombardier has also, flown the third Learjet 45 light business jet, less than three weeks after the maiden flight, of the second aircraft. The 3.2h first flight on 24 April was the first time that a Learjet 45 had been taken to the maximum altitude of 51,000ft (15,500m).

Bombardier ended an eventful April by competing final assembly of the major structural components of the first Global Express long-range business jet with the mating of the Shorts horizontal tail.