Kate Sarsfield/LONDON

Dassault Aviation is replacing its Falcon 900B triple-turbofan business jet with an upgraded variant of the aircraft known as the 900C.

The Falcon 900C offers the same performance and cabin features as those of the 900B, but has the avionics of the extended range 900EX. The cockpit will include the Honeywell Primus 2000 integrated avionics system, instead of the existing SPZ-800, and a five-tube electronic flight instrument system, dual flight management systems and an enhanced ground proximity warning system.

The 900C variant is the third upgrade of the Falcon 900 business jet in 15 years. The 900 was introduced in 1983 and replaced eight years later by the re-engined 900B. In 1994, the extended range 900EX was added to the line-up. "We think we will receive a favourable commercial impact with the 900C," says the French corporate jet builder.

The certification process is expected to start in July, using an upgraded 900B as the prototype. "We cannot tell you exactly when we will switch from the B to the first 900C, but it is being offered for sale now," says Dassault.

The manufacturer is due to receive US and French certification in the second quarter of 1999, with first deliveries planned for the following year. Dassault will not disclose total orders for the 900 range, but claims to have delivered nearly 200 aircraft to date.

Source: Flight International