Dassault Aviation has flown the first production Falcon 50EX business jet. The aircraft is due to be displayed at the US National Business Aircraft Association show in Orlando, Florida, on 19-21 November, before being delivered to Dassault's Little Rock, Arkansas, completion centre for interior installation.

French certification of the upgraded version of the Falcon 50 trijet, which has increased range, higher climb speed, improved avionics and lower operating costs, is imminent, with US approval expected to follow "within weeks", says Dassault.

A Falcon 50EX used for certification flight-testing will be delivered to a European customer in January 1997, with production deliveries beginning in May. A modified Falcon 50 used to test the EX's Rockwell-Collins Pro Line 4 avionics was also to be displayed at Orlando before delivery to a Mexican customer.

Dassault, meanwhile, has delivered the first extended-range Falcon 900EX. The 8,300km (4,500nm)-range tri-jet is now the longest-range business jet in service, the firm claims. Dassault continues to build the basic Falcon 900B and planned to exhibit both types at Orlando alongside a Falcon 2000 - the company says that some 30 of these "medium-large" twinjets are in service.


Source: Flight International