Dassault has returned to the super-midsize business jet arena - a sector it vacated with closure of its Falcon 50EX line - and thrown down the gauntlet to the sector's leading players with its new 2000S.
The 10-passenger aircraft will sit at the bottom of Dassault's product line and will be pitched against the Bombardier Challenger 300, Hawker 4000 and Gulfstream G250, which is scheduled to enter service later this year.
"The twinjet brings the large cabin of the 2000 to the super-midsized business jet market," said Dassault. It will offer "category-leading payload, range, performance and efficiency", Dassault adds, when it enters service in early 2013.
The Falcon 2000S will feature inboard slats, high-Mach blended winglets; new generation 7,000lb-thrust (31kN) Pratt & Whitney PW308C engines which produce 20% fewer NOx emissions than their predecessor without any penalty in power; a new BMW DesignworksUSA interior, redesigned cockpit aesthetics and the EASy II flightdeck - now in the final stages of certification.
"After speaking with our customers and performing a thorough market study, our research confirmed that the ideal platform for a widebody business jet in this range segment was indeed our very successful widebody Falcon 2000," said Dassault Falcon president John Rosanvallon.
"We optimised the platform with a long list of standard options, cutting edge technology and industry leading features with the Falcon 2000S. Our proudest accomplishment, though, was designing an aircraft that burns 10% less fuel than aircraft 20% smaller while offering a very competitive price."
With full fuel, the Falcon 2000S will have the largest payload in its class at 840kg (1,850lb), Dassault said and a maximum take-off weight of 18,600kg with a balanced field length of 4,450ft (1,355m).
At M0.80, the Falcon 2000S will have a range of 3,350nm (6,200km) with six passengers. It will climb directly to 41,000ft in 19min, reach a mid-cruise altitude of 45,000ft and offer a certificated ceiling of 47,000ft. The aircraft will also be able to land at 95% of its MTOW, or about 17,825kg, enabling it to tanker more fuel.
Additionally, with an approach speed of 108kt (200km/h) and an advanced autobraking system, the Falcon 2000S will be capable of landing at airports with steep approaches and shorter runways such as London City airport in the UK.
"By building on the Falcon 2000 platform, we were able to substantially reduce development costs which will benefit our customers with a very competitive acquisition price," said Rosanvallon. The aircraft will also have as standard a Rockwell Collins cabin management system and an AirCell Axxess II satcom system.
The first Falcon 2000S flew on 17 February from Dassault's facility in Mérignac, southwest France. The aircraft has logged 100 flight test hours over 40 sorties - one-fifth of the planned test flights, which should culminate in certification during the second half of 2012.
- Read our exclusive flight test and cutaway of Dassault's new Falcon 2000S
Source: Flight International