Though barely one year into flight testing, Dassault’s newest aircraft, the twin-engine Falcon 2000S, is already demonstrating performance figures substantially higher than the capabilities announced when the program was launched on the eve of last year’s show.
To date, the test aircraft has accumulated more than 300 flight hours in over 130 flights and opened up the full flight envelope and demonstrated excellent handling qualities.
The last phase of the campaign revealed that low-speed performance will be significantly better than targeted figures, up to 10% for landing distances. Low-speed performance is not only a key factor for safety, but also determines range/payload characteristics when operating out of or into short or constricted airfields.
The 2000S is outfitted with inboard slats and winglets that work together to reduce landing speed and, together with a unique auto brake system, make it possible to access shorter and more challenging runways than any other airplane in its category. The better-than-expected low-speed performance will greatly expand the number of secondary airports the aircraft can serve.
“We’re extremely satisfied with the test results. The increased performances are testimony to the excellent aerodynamic characteristics of the Falcon 2000″ said Olivier Villa, Senior Vice President, Civil Aircraft of Dassault Aviation.
Meanwhile, the test campaign for the aircraft’s Pratt & Whitney Canada enhanced PW308C engine, which has undergone 80 hours of flight testing on its flying test bed and 250 hours of ground testing, is proving that the Falcon 2000S will also be economical to operate and environmentally friendly, too. The engine’s compact TALON II(TM) combustor will allow the engine to meet Zurich V emissions standards with margin to spare.
In later phases of the flight test process, the enhanced PW308C engines will fly on the Falcon 2000S to complete the elements required to achieve certification later this year. The new engines have arrived at Dassault’s Istres test facility near Marseille and will be installed in the next few days. The new capabilities built into the enhanced PW308C engine will leverage the excellent in-service performance of the PW308C series which has accumulated more than 892,000 hours of flying time.
Also still to come are integration and flight tests certification of the Falcon 2000S’s EASy II flight deck. EASy II, the second generation of Dassault’s proprietary, award-winning avionics suite, will offer features such a Synthetic Vision System; a Runway Awareness and Advisory System; WAAS- LPV and RNP SAAAR; Automatic Decent Mode; XM Graphical Weather and ADS-B Out.
The first green production aircraft is fully assembled at Dassault’s Bordeaux production plant. It will be ferried to the company’s Little Rock, Ark., completion center in June for outfitting and painting.
Aircraft certification is anticipated by the end of the fourth quarter of 2012.