|Falconer Online Article|
Issue 28 - 2005 Special Edition
Marcel Bloch (later Dassault) is born.
Young Marcel Bloch sees a Wright biplane fly; decides to devote his life to aviation.
Marcel Bloch graduates from the Ecole Supieure Aonautique as an aeronautical engineer.
"My greatest satisfaction was seeing my propeller on Guynemer's airplane."
First Bloch product: the Eclair propeller. Early models equipped an improved version of the Caudron G3.
An even better Eclair propeller equips Spad VII, XII and XIII series fighters of the type flown by Rickenbacker, Fonck, Guynemer and other early aces.
Bloch and Potez launch the SEA IV. 1000 are ordered but the Armistice halts production.
SEA IV two-place combat biplane.
Postwar interest in aviation is low. Bloch branches into real estate, furniture and auto bodies.
Government encourages aircraft development via prototypes. Bloch advocates a new type of integral, all-metal structure.
Bloch designs and builds MB 60 trimotors, answering need for long-distance airmail transports. They serve with distinction from Algeria to Madagascar.
An improved version of the MB 60, the MB 120 Colonial trimotor, is designed to carry passengers as well as freight.
MB 120 Colonial airliner.
All-metal MB 80 medical evacuation airplanes save countless lives in North Africa and the Middle East.
MB 80 medical evacuation airplane.
High-wing, twin-engine MB 200 was designed as a night bomber; later used as a trainer. Over 300 are produced by Bloch and others, under license, including 35 in Czechoslovakia.
MB 200 night bomber and trainer. For the first time, ease of maintenance is a design criterion.
MB 210 began as a seaplane, which the French Navy did not purchase. Bloch develops land versions with both fixed and retractable gear and sells over 200 to the French, Spanish and Rumanian forces.
MB 210 bomber establishes export markets.
MB 300 Pacific trimotor answers Air France's need for a 30-place "big lifter," but Bloch decides not to produce it. He sees greater opportunities in developing the MB 220.
MB 300 Pacific long-range airliner.
Bloch's concept of the multi-role light bomber, reconnaissance and target-tow aircraft is successful. MB 131 is ordered in quantity and remains in service until World War II.
MB 131 is a versatile, multi-role light bomber.
This modern 16-passenger airliner, the MB 220 (photo at top), is designed for medium-range routes and produced in number. After World War II, some were converted to Wright engines.
France nationalizes its aircraft industry, and Bloch's factories become the nucleus of Sud-Ouest. With the rise of German air power, the need to produce single-seat fighters is especially acute. The state recognizes Bloch's unique talents and allows his design team unusual freedom.
MB 150 makes its first flight. This prototype fighter leads to production versions designated MB 151, MB 152 and MB 155. Over 650 are produced.
MB 150 series fighters equip France until 1940.
Experimental four-engine MB 160 airliner shatters records by carrying 11,000 lb of payload over 1200 miles. Produced as the MB 161 Languedoc, it serves Air France and the Polish airline LOT, as well as the French Navy.
MB 161 airliner is a range/payload leader.
Bloch decides to launch a bomber version of the MB 161 airliner, called the MB 162. It flies in 1940 but development is curtailed by the war.
MB 174 series begins, to date the most famous planes to carry the Bloch name. MB 174-176 are light bomber/attack aircraft with excellent flying qualities and a 280-kt cruise. Over 1000 are produced. A reconnaissance derivative called the MB 175 was used in North Africa, astounding the Germans with its speed and altitude capabilities. During the war, the Germans consider producing their own version. After the war, production is resumed by Sud-Ouest.
280-kt MB 174 was made possible by novel structural concepts (such as oblique wing ribs) proven on MB 150 series fighters.
As war approaches, several bomber designs based on the MB 162 concept are built and tested. MB 134 is a twin-engine high-altitude bomber. Four-engine MB 135 resembles a scaled-down MB 162.
Two MB 480 seaplanes derived from the MB 134 are built and tested.
MB 480 naval scout aircraft.
MB 140 is both the most impressive and least known of Bloch's pre-war aircraft. This four-engine bomber was designed to cruise at 372 kt and was built in great secrecy. The prototype and almost all documents pertaining to it were destroyed to keep it out of German hands.
MB 700 all-wood light fighter.
New derivatives of the MB 150-157 fighter series are launched: MB 1010 and 1011 feature more powerful engines, and MB 1040 is a two-place design with turret gun.Bloch becomes Dassault At the close of World War II and at the age of 53, Marcel Bloch changed his name to Marcel Dassault. He seldom commented on this change, but was said to have taken the name Dassault in honor of his brother, Darius-Paul, a hero of the French resistance, whose code name was "the tank"-or, in France, char d'assault.
MB 800 twin-engine training and liaison aircraft are produced at Saint-Cloud until the occupation. A postwar derivative called the SO 90 is built by Sud-Ouest.
To build the MB 800, Bloch erected a large factory in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud. Today, it is the headquarters of Dassault's design and engineering departments.
The occupation period. During this bleak time, the Vichy government assigns provisional administrators to run the aircraft factories, but Bloch's own men retain a measure of control. And his top engineers continue to work in great secrecy.
Marcel Bloch is deported to Buchenwald. Refusing to build airplanes for the German war machine, he contracts diphtheria and nearly dies.
Liberated by the Americans, Bloch returns to find his factories operating more or less normally! He loses no time in regrouping colleagues from the pre-war period and resuming business.
While developing future aircraft, Dassault's private company does subcontract manufacturing of propellers and other components. Dassault is pragmatic: he halts the MD 1020 program when similar medium-range twins are announced by the state-supported Sud-Est and Sud-Ouest.
MD 303 twin closely follows a design created in secret during the occupation. It leads to the MD 310, MD 311 and famous MD 315 liaison aircraft, of which hundreds are built.
For the MD 315 program, Dassault constructs a large factory in Mignac (near Bordeaux). At the same time, he begins subcontracting some of the manufacture, but never the tooling, final assembly, or flight test-a policy that has continued.
Dassault's plant in Mignac is today the center of Falcon production.
MD 315 liaison aircraft is produced in vast numbers. Many remain in service even today.
MD 315 liaison/training aircraft.
Breguet Deux Ponts (double-decker) transport makes its first appearance. (Breguet will eventually merge with Dassault in 1968.)
Breguet double-decker troop/cargo transport.
MD 450 Ouragan (hurricane) is the first jet fighter designed and built in France. Three prototypes are flown, identical externally but with different engines. Hundreds are produced for French and export markets; a few were still flying in the 1980s.
Breguet Vultur (an experimental naval attack plane) has two engines: a 1000-hp Armstrong-Siddeley turboprop in the nose and a 4800-lb thrust Hispano-Suiza Nturbojet in the tail.
Myste I combines an Ouragan fuselage with a new 30swept-back wing. In 1952, a Myste II flown by an American pilot becomes the first French supersonic aircraft. Over 150 are built.
Dassault propelled France into the jet age with the Ouragan.
Myste II, the first French aircraft to go supersonic.
Dassault daringly proposes a medium-range jet transport to Air France, but the Viscount is ordered instead.
Several experimental developments of the MD 315 are built and tested.
Single-tailed MD 316 is Dassault's last piston airplane.
Myste IV appears with more thrust and a higher (32 wing sweep than Myste II. American experts fly it and recommend the French Air Force purchase several hundred.
421 Myste IVs were built, 40% for export.
Super-Myste B2 is the first European jet supersonic at low altitudes. Has even more sweep (45 and larger combat radius than Myste IV. Nearly 300 are ordered.
Super-Myste B2 day interceptor.
MD 550 Myste Delta (later named Mirage I) is built to answer the need for very fast and fast-climbing interceptors. Powered by two Dassault-built Viper engines and an auxiliary rocket motor, the prototype reaches 1.3 Mach in level flight.The genesis of the Mirage III began with the Korean War, when Russian MiG 15s, simpler and lighter than American F-86s, revealed certain operational advantages. Light fighters thus came into vogue, and for this purpose Dassault had already designed its first delta-winged aircraft, the MD 550 or Mirage I. Then, using essentially the same wing but with a larger fuselage housing a more powerful SNECMA engine, a small design team had the first Mirage III ready to fly on Nov. 18, 1956. Its astonishing performance was evident from the beginning. Many nations ordered it in many versions-interceptor, ground attack, reconnaissance, training. With the Mirage III, the French Air Force became the world's first to have Mach 2 aircraft in all of these roles.
MD 550 Myste Delta becomes the first Mirage.
When the French Air Force asks for a multi-role aircraft, the Mirage II interceptor prototype is halted, and the fabulous Mirage III is born. Ultimately over 1500 are manufactured, 80% for export.
Dassault's first business jet design The Miterran, created on paper in 1954, featured two jet engines under the wing. Few realize that the engines as well as the airframe were a Dassault design, based on the Armstrong-Siddeley Viper (which Dassault produced under license), but with an added compression stage to produce over 3000 lb of thrust. Outboard of the engines, underwing fuel pods provided a range of about 1500 nm. The idea was abandoned for reasons of cost and fuel consumption. Though ahead of its time, the Miterran did lead to later developments.
Breguet Aliz(tradewind) carries torpedoes, mines, depth charges, rockets and missiles. It will remain operational into the 1990s.
Breguet Alizis a single-engine derivative of the Vultur.
Both single and twin prototypes of the Breguet 1001 light fighter/bomber, built with honeycomb structural panels, are flown. The designation Taon (horsefly) is a clever anagram of NATO.
Breguet 1001 sets a closed-course record of 668 mph for 1000 km. A carrier-borne naval fighter was one of the few things missing in Dassault's repertoire. To this end, three parallel development programs were undertaken in the mid-1950s. The twin-engine Myste XXII (later named Etendard II) and the single-engine Etendard VI were not particularly successful due to engine limitations. However, the single-engine Myste XXIV, originally designed for the air force, led to the extremely successful Etendard IVM and Super Etendard series. In 1957 the company won a contract to develop the Etendard IVM on a rigorous schedule that was timed to coincide with the launching of the Clemenceau, France's first aircraft carrier. It was a complete success. Several different prototypes and experimental versions were built, including one with a "blown" wing.
Etendard IVM production begins, totaling 90 aircraft for the carriers Clemenceau and Foch.
Etendard IVM carrier-based attack aircraft.
MD 415 Communautis an experimental turboprop liaison aircraft.
Two-place training version of Mirage III is introduced.
Another version of the Miterran concept is studied, using fuselage-mounted as opposed to underwing engines.
First flight of Mirage IV strategic bomber, the first European aircraft with sustained Mach 2 capability. Becoming operational in 1964, Mirage IV is also well adapted to low-altitude, high-speed penetration missions.
MD 410 Spirale is an experimental close-support turboprop using the MD 415 wing.
Mirage IIIC is the first full-scale production model of the Mirage III series. Its roles are all-weather interception and day ground attack.New navigation and weapons systems Existing French sources could not develop such equipment to an acceptable performance/reliability level within the time available. So Dassault expanded its in-house electronics department into a full-fledged electronics company, which today is known as Dassault Electronique. In addition to aerospace products, the company developed new automatic teller and transit fare machines; these were later spun off into Dassault Automatismes et Telecommunications.
Mirage IIIC enters production.
Winner of a NATO design competition in 1959, Breguet Atlantic 1 begins flight tests. Its customers include France, West Germany, Holland, Italy and Pakistan.
Atlantic 1 is not a converted civil aircraft, but designed from scratch for long-range maritime patrol.
Mirage IIIE is an attack version capable of low-level IFR penetration. Its fuselage is longer to accommodate special electronics, including the Cyrano 2B radar. It is built not only in France, but also in Australia and Switzerland under license.
Mirage IIIR reconnaissance version has five cameras in its nose, replacing a tactical radar unit.
Lindbergh (wearing hat) wired Juan Trippe: "We have our plane."
Mirage IIIV takes off and lands vertically, using eight RB 162 engines for vertical thrust and one TF104 for forward propulsion. Two prototypes fly beautifully, but lack of suitable engines prevent development of an operational version.
After almost 40 years, the Mirage IIIV is still the only VTOL fighter to fly beyond Mach 2!
Myste 20, father to the Falcon 20 series, flies on May 4. Dassault designed and constructed the prototype at its own expense.
Pan Am establishes its Business Jets Division in July 1963, and places an order for 40 Falcon 20s with an option for another 120.
Breguet 941 STOL (short takeoff and landing) transport prototype is demonstrated. Four pre-production aircraft are also built.
Falcon 20 deliveries begin as U.S. and French type certificates are granted. Until very recently, the first Falcon delivered in the U.S. was still in service with its original operator.
Flagship of Pan Am's Business Jets Division.
Mirage F2 demonstrates that a very thin wing with high-lift devices allows both low approach speeds and high L/D at Mach 2. But no suitable production engines exist.
Mirage F2 penetration fighter.
As a private venture, Dassault scales down the F2 to take advantage of the available Atar 9K engine. The result is the Mirage F1. Over 650 are built for a variety of combat roles.
Mirage F1s are flown by 11 countries.
Air France begins using Falcon 20s for intensified flight training (up to 5 landings per hour), a program later continued by Japan Airlines and the French DGAC (FAA counterpart).
Europe Falcon Service (now called Dassault Falcon Service) is founded at Le Bourget as a major service center and FBO.
Dassault Falcon Service.
Mirage 5 is launched as a simplified version of the Mirage IIIC for low-level attack missions.During the Six-Day War, Israeli Mirage IIICJs proved so successful that Dassault created, at Israel's request, a follow-on called the Mirage 5. This was an optimized ground-support version of the Mirage IIIC. The electronics were simplified (no radar) and additional fuel was provided, making a superbly adapted low-level attack aircraft with high payload capability. Mirage 5s were exported to Belgium, Peru, Colombia, Libya, Venezuela and Pakistan. Ironically, those ordered by Israel were never delivered and were bought by the French Air Force.
Variable-geometry Mirage G achieves 2.1 Mach on only its 11th flight with wings at 70 In-flight sweep changes are demonstrated at up to 1.6 Mach. Later, twin-engine versions, the G4 and G8, are built.
Mirage G8 sustained 2.34 Mach at 49,000 feet.
Like the Falcon 20, the MD 320 Hirondelle (swallow) with Astazou engines has integral fuel and is designed on fail-safe principles.
MD 320 Hirondelle was conceived as a possible replacement for the MD 315.
Falcon 20D introduced higher-thrust engines, heavier three-disc brakes and other improvements.
Falcon 20D was the first of several enhancements to the original Falcon 20.
A little-known developmental program called the Milan featured retractable "whiskers" (a canard-type surface) on two prototypes, a Mirage 5 and a Mirage IIIR. Shorter takeoff runs, tighter turns and lower approach speeds were demonstrated. As a result, canards were later featured on the Mirage 2000, Mirage 4000, Mirage IIING and Rafale.
Breguet Aviation is merged into the Dassault empire, now known as Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation.
The Jaguar strike aircraft now becomes part of the Dassault-Breguet family. Over 400 have been delivered to France, Britain and other countries.
The Jaguar is designed for low-altitude combat, tactical support and deep penetration.
A proposed "Mini Falcon" design has two small Larzac jet engines on the Hirondelle turboprop airframe.
Falcon 20E (identical to 20F except for slats) is produced in limited numbers, mostly for the European markets.
Falcon 20F with CF700-2D2 engines and full-span slats has more range and payload, uses shorter runways and meets FAR 36 noise requirements.Name games The Falcon 20 began as the Myste 20 (actually, Myste XX). As the prototype was built jointly by Dassault and Sud-Aviation, both manufacturers' names appeared on the certification documents. In 1966, Pan Am decided to use an American name, judging it more attractive for its clientele. After briefly considering (and rejecting) "Baby Jet," it decided on Fan Jet Falcon, which later became, simply, Falcon 20. The Falcon designation took hold in the U.S.A. and in most parts of the world-Falcon 10, Falcon 50, Falcon 100, Falcon 200 and Falcon 900 soon followed in a family-like imitation of the Falcon 20 nomenclature. In Europe, the tendency is to follow the American style of calling the aircraft Falcons when speaking English, but not necessarily when speaking French. The French generally use Myste 20 for the time-honored Falcon 20, but call the others Myste-Falcon 10, Myste-Falcon 50, etc., in an apparent attempt to keep everyone satisfied.
Most numerous Falcon 20 model is the 20F.
Falcon 10 prototype flies with CJ610 engines. Three-dimensional aerodynamic analysis leads to higher speed by changing wing thickness, sweep and incidence. A second prototype flies in 1971, with a Larzac engine on one side and a Garrett on the other.
First prototype of Falcon 10 flew a 1000-km closed course at over 500 kt.
150-passenger Mercure airliner is launched. Eleven are built and enter service with Air Inter. Featuring a 3-D, supercritical-type wing and HUD (head-up display), Mercure cruises at over 500 kt and is certified for Category II all-weather operation.
150-passenger Mercure airliner.
Large-cabin Falcon 20T airliner is designed to fly 500-nm legs with up to 24 passengers at lower seat-mile costs than the Nord 262 and similar turboprops. It is shelved for lack of suitable engines.
Mockup of Falcon 20T short-haul airliner.
Falcon 20 Freighters begin flying for Federal Express. Thirty-three are purchased by FedEx and modified with large cargo doors.
99.5% dispatch reliability led to the Federal Express pledge of "absolutely, positively."
With over a hundred Falcons in service, Pan Am and Dassault jointly establish Falcon Jet Corporation.
The Falcon 20 was ideal for Federal Express It could reach any point in the continental U.S. from the company's Memphis base, its cabin was large, its payload was excellent and-especially important to the small-package business-it didn't "weigh out" before it "cubed out," or vice-versa. Beginning in 1971, Federal Express purchased a fleet of 33 Falcon 20s and modified them for cargo use. Cargo doors were fitted, special flooring with tie-downs was installed and cabin windows were covered. This work was performed by Little Rock Airmotive, which was later purchased by Falcon Jet to form the nucleus of its own production/completion operation.
Falcon 10 with Garrett TFE731-2 engines sets 495-kt speed record for 2000 km. In 1973, U.S. and French type certificates are issued.
Falcon 10 is certified in 1973.
A Falcon 20 is modified to exhibit a variety of stable and unstable characteristics for flight research. This unusual aircraft is capable of simultaneous acceleration in all six axes and planes of flight!
"Variable Characteristics" Falcon 20, modified for flight research.
Slightly larger Falcon 40 is offered in two versions at the Paris Air Show. Orders are taken, but the program succumbs to the fuel crisis of 1973-74.
Falcon 30 short-haul airliner prototype with Lycoming ALF 502 engines is demonstrated, combining a wider and longer fuselage with Falcon 20 wings.
Falcon 30 airliner could fly 30 passengers 950 nm. Those forgotten larger Falcons Structural and performance margins were so great on the Falcon 20 series that Dassault became intrigued with the notion of building a larger-cabin aircraft based on the Falcon 20 wing, empennage, nacelles, landing gear, and other components. Three such designs saw light during the early 1970s. First was the Falcon 20T, a widebody short-haul airliner shown as a mockup in 1971. It was shelved due to thrust limitations of the CF700 then available. In 1973, the Falcon 30 appeared. Powered by two Lycoming ALF-502 engines, it could carry 30 passengers 950 nm and operate from 4000 ft runways. After flight tests began, the fuselage was stretched to carry up to 40 passengers, which proved even more satisfactory. However, the need for a new wing center section and new landing gear increased the cost. To broaden the market base, it was then decided to offer two versions, based on the same fuselage but differing in range and payload: the Falcon 30 (30 passengers, 950 nm), and the Falcon 40 (40 passengers, 620 nm).
Alpha Jet trainer program begins as a cooperative effort of Dassault and Dornier. Approximately 500 have been manufactured, mostly for France and West Germany.
Twin-engine Alpha Jets serve several countries in both training and light attack roles.
Falcon 20-3 is an early trijet design based on the Falcon 20 airframe. Its name was changed to Falcon 50 to show that it was newer than the Falcon 30-40. This particular version, called the Falcon 50A, was dropped in favor of the Falcon 50B with a new supercritical wing to optimize its speed and range.
Falcon 20-3 trijet design.
Super Etendard appears with improved engines and advanced navigation and weapons systems. Eventually 71 are built for the French and other navies.
Versatile Super Etendard provides air cover, defends against surface vessels, attacks ground targets and performs reconnaissance. Falcon 20 special versions Many Falcons, especially of the 20 series, have seen unusual types of service. The following is a partial list:
Seven special Falcon 10 Mer (sea) aircraft are ordered by the French Navy and are qualified for single-pilot operation.
French Navy Falcon 10 liaison/training version.
Falcon Jet acquires Little Rock Airmotive, which had long been doing completions and modifications. This facility became instrumental in the U.S. Coast Guard HU-25A program as well as civil Falcon completions. Today Falcon Jet Little Rock is a vast and modern completions center for all Falcons sold in the Western Hemisphere, and an important major maintenance facility.
Falcon Jet Little Rock occupies over 300,000 sq ft and employs nearly 1000.
Falcon 20 fleet logs 1,000,000th flight hour as the high-time aircraft passes the 10,000-hour mark.
Mirage 50 is an improved follow-on to the Mirage 5 using the excellent SNECMA 9K50 engine and either the Cyrano radar of the Mirage F1 or the Agave radar of the Super Etendard, depending on the mission.
Mirage 50 can reach 55,000 ft in eight minutes from brake release. Alphabet soup, Falcon 20 style The Falcon 20 was produced in a number of evolutionary variations. The first delivered to customers was the Falcon 20 Standard, beginning in 1965. (The Standard is often referred to, quite erroneously, as Falcon 20C. Actually, only one true C model was built and it was converted to a D. All the other so-called Cs are really Standards.) In 1968, the Falcon 20D was introduced, with more powerful engines and brakes. It did not replace the Standard, but joined it side-by-side on the assembly line. In 1970, the relatively rare Falcon 20E was introduced, with CF700-2D2 engines, larger fuel capacity and higher operating weights-all the features of the later Falcon 20F except full-span leading-edge slats (the 20E had drooped leading edges like the Standard and D). The Falcon 20F was also introduced in 1970, beginning with s/n 236. At first, the D, E and F models were produced simultaneously, but after 1976 only the F was built. The Falcon 20G, built and tested in 1977, was essentially a Falcon 20F modified to accept the Garrett ATF3 engine under consideration for the U.S. Coast Guard's HU-25A medium-range surveillance program. In 1978, the Falcon 20H carried the 20G concept one step further, with more integral fuel, higher payload and modern Falcon 50-type electrical and hydraulic systems. Though temporarily shelved during the HU-25A competition, the 20H was refined with EFIS, a large baggage compartment and other changes in 1981, and became the Falcon 200.
Falcon 50 first flight takes place on Nov. 7 with a preliminary, non-supercritical wing. Initial tests verify the design concept.
Falcon 20G flies in preparation for the U.S. Coast Guard competition leading to the HU-25A. The 20G is essentially a Falcon 20F modified to accept the more powerful and efficient ATF3 engines.
The faster, lower-drag Falcon 50 with supercritical wing is presented at the Paris Air Show. World records fall as the three certification aircraft make one spectacular long-range flight after another.
Falcon 50s link Teterboro to Paris at 483 kt, and fly nonstop from Chicago to Paris with payloads equivalent to eight passengers.
Another evolution of the Falcon 20 called the 20H is proposed, with ATF3 engines, more integral fuel, higher payload and low-maintenance Falcon 50-type systems. It is shelved temporarily while the HU-25A is developed.
Mirage 2000 begins tests. Maximum speed exceeds 2.2 Mach. Systems include multifunction radar, INS, digital computers, active/passive ECM, multiple armaments. It is produced in several versions for the French Air Force and export markets.
Mirage 2000 features fly-by-wire controls, extensive use of carbon fiber composites.
Falcon 50 receives U.S. type certificate and deliveries begin on schedule.
Falcon 50 becomes first civil jet to be certified with a vital component made of composite material (carbon fiber ailerons).
First flight of HU-25A "Guardian," one of 41 such aircraft ordered by the Coast Guard for maritime surveillance. Units become operational in 1982.
HU-25A "Guardians" are used in maritime surveillance missions ranging from search and rescue to the interdiction of contraband.
Super Mirage 4000 is developed as a private-venture, proof-of-concept prototype. Larger than a Mirage 2000, it has a larger combat radius with higher payload and a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than 1:1.
Computed performance of the Super Mirage 4000 surpassed all contemporary aircraft, including the comparably sized Tornado, F-14, F-15 and F-18.
Dassault acquires Pan Am's share of Falcon Jet Corporation and becomes sole owner.
First outside applications of CATIA(r), the three-dimensional CAD/CAM system created by Dassault. CATIA is marketed worldwide by IBM and supported by Dassault systems. Major users include Boeing, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Lockheed, Martin-Marietta and others.
CATIA is Dassault's own CAD/CAM system (Computer Assisted Design and Manufacture). Unlike systems that are two-dimensional, CATIA thinks in all three dimensions.
Falcon 200 is announced as successor to the earlier Falcon 20H concept. Performance and economy "like a Falcon 50 with two engines" win high reviews from operators.
Falcon 200 has coast-to-coast range and a larger cabin than so-called "mid-size" jets. It was type-certified in 1982.
Falcon 100 is announced as a follow-on to the Falcon 10, with an external baggage compartment, an extra cabin window and electronic flight instruments as standard equipment.
Falcon 100 was the first business jet certified with EFIS (and it was standard).
Falcon 900 rollout-promises made, promises kept.
Five Falcon 200s are ordered by the French Navy for maritime surveillance. Their designation "Gardian" refers to the cowboys of the Camargue, the Rhone Delta in the South of France.
French Navy "Gardians" have many of the same features as U.S. Coast Guard HU-25As, but are Falcon 200s as opposed to 20Gs.
Mirage IIING (new generation) is a Mirage III/5/50 modified with improved air intakes, fixed canard surfaces and a fly-by-wire control system to improve maneuverability and relieve pilot workload.
The Mirage IIING was offered to export-market countries as a lower-cost alternative to the Mirage 2000.
Falcon 900 is announced at the Paris Air Show. Its design has been frozen to reflect the findings of an in-depth study of U.S. "big iron" operators. Range, cabin size and other parameters are optimized to exceed market requirements.
Falcon 200 and Falcon 50 receive larger-screen (5 x 6 in.) EFIS with advanced symbology. Airspeed and trend information are provided on the ADI.
Falcon 200 and Falcon 50 introduced the first advanced-symbology EFIS in a business jet.
Falcon 900 is rolled out and flight-tested on schedule. Computer technology enables Dassault to adhere precisely to initially projected weights, dates and performance figures.
French certification obtained on Falcon 10 with carbon fiber wing. This proof-of-concept aircraft is still assigned to Dassault Falcon Service and flies approximately 1000 hours per year on charter flights.
This experimental wing is the first primary structural element made of carbon fiber to be certified on a business jet.
Falcon 900 flies customers and press in January and again at the Paris Air Show. The No. 2 certification aircraft is built, flown and demonstrated at NBAA in New Orleans in September.
Falcon 900 (No. 2 certification aircraft).
Long-range Atlantic 2 features more capable on-board systems than Atlantic 1. Missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, intelligence, mining, strike aircraft guidance, bombing, SAR and environmental surveillance.
Atlantic 2 can fly 1000 nm from base, patrol for 8 hours and return.
Lancier is a tactical extension of the Alpha Jet concept: two crew, two engines, high maneuverability and low operating costs...plus the multirole Agave/Anemone radar system.
Alpha Jet Lancier capabilities include day-night attack, anti-ship, anti-helicopter, airspace denial and defense missions.
Falcon 900 receives U.S. and French type certificates. Customer deliveries begin.
Newly completed Falcon 900 s/n 3 is delivered and put in service in December, 1986.
Rafale's flight demonstrations steal the show at Farnborough and Paris.
Rafale inaugurates a new generation of combat aircraft with advanced design concepts, materials, control system and cockpit ergonomics.
On April 18, the world awakens to news of Marcel Dassault's passing. He was 94 years of age. In October, his son, Serge Dassault, is elected Chairman of Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation.
Falcon 100 receives Category II instrument landing certification and two such aircraft are delivered to a charter company in France.
Under the partnership agreement for France's Herm space plane, Dassault is responsible for aerodynamics and atmospheric flight testing, while Aerospatiale is responsible for manufacturing. The concept of a space plane (as opposed to spacecraft) goes back to the early 1980s and is already a major Dassault contribution.
Dassault plays a major role in the Herm space plane program.
On June 18, Falcon 900 s/n 62 is rolled out at Dassault's Mignac production facility, becoming the 1000th Falcon.
The 1000th Falcon in flight over the Bordeaux wine country.
Falcon Jet Corporation sells a total of eight Falcon 900s to governments in its Pacific Rim sales territory; these aircraft are fully operational by 1989. Five are in VIP transport configuration for the Royal Australian Air Force; two are specially modified for ocean patrol by the Japan Maritime Safety Agency; and the last is a VIP transport for the Royal Malaysian Air Force.
First flight of a Falcon 20 retrofitted with Garrett TFE731-5AR engines-designated the Falcon 20-5.
The Falcon 20-5 program greatly improves the performance of a world-favorite business jet.
Midway Aircraft Instrument Co. is founded as a subsidiary of Industrial Procurement Services (IPS), a unit of Dassault Industries.
Located on the perimeter of Teterboro Airport, Midway performs instrument work for Falcon Jet Corporation as well as many other corporate and airline customers.
Results of naturally laminar airfoil tests point to potential reductions of 20-25% in skin friction drag.
Experimental laminar airfoil (top of fin) was flown on this Falcon 50 as early as 1986.
APRO (Aero Precision Repair and Overhaul Co.), in Deerfield Beach, FL, is born as a joint venture of Falcon Jet Corporation and Messier-Bugatti.
APRO services all Dassault flight control systems as well as Messier-Bugatti landing gear, brakes and associated equipment.
Development starts on the Falcon 2000, shown here on a flight test in 1993.
First of a new category of business jets, the "medium-large" Falcon 2000 is announced at the Paris Show and previewed at NBAA. Featuring the same cabin cross section as the Falcon 900, the slightly smaller Falcon 2000 will be powered by two CFE738 turbofan engines and will have an NBAA IFR range of 3000 nm at .80 Mach.
On Feb. 22, the worldwide Falcon fleet passes 5,000,000 flight hours.
Alenia becomes a 25% risk-sharing partner in the Falcon 2000, responsible for the aft fuselage section.
The Falcon program celebrates its Silver Anniversary, marking 25 years since the first Falcon 20 entered service in 1965.
Updated Falcon 900B powered by new TFE731-5B engines is announced at Paris Air Show, promising "higher, farther, faster" performance than the original -5A powered model. NBAA IFR range is 4000 nm with 8 passengers.
The slight bulge aft of the main entry door on this Falcon 900B is a satcom (satellite communications) antenna, allowing real-time telephone and fax communications worldwide.
Two identically equipped Falcon 900s modified for long-range offshore patrol enter service with the Japan Maritime Safety Agency.
Dassault's powerful CATIA(r) three-dimensional CAD/CAM system is used to plan the layout, installation, and maintenance accessibility of all Falcon 2000 systems.
The computer replaces mockups for systems installation in the Falcon 2000.
First flight of the pre-production Rafale C01 (air force multirole fighter version).
Rafale C01 is slightly smaller than the Rafale A prototype which first flew in 1986.
Dassault announces plans to develop an optional Cat. III (b) all-weather capability for the Falcon 2000, using a fail-passive autopilot combined with a Head-up Guidance System (HGS).
First fuselage sections built by Alenia are delivered to Mignac for assembly of the No. 1 Falcon 2000.
Ultra-long-range Falcon 9000 design is announced at the NBAA meeting in Dallas. Highly efficient CFE738 engines plus a totally new laminar-flow wing would allow a non-stop range of 6000 nm at high speeds. Though technically excellent, the project is later shelved over the market-size concerns.
Falcon 9000, if built, could have connected Dallas with Moscow and Buenos Aires at .85 Mach.
Falcon 2000 rolls out on schedule on Feb. 10 at Mignac. Some 50 options and/or orders have been signed by customers in a dozen countries.
The new Falcon 2000 at rollout.
Five Rafales have now logged more than 200 flying hours. They are (top to bottom): Rafale A prototype, Rafale C01 air force single-place version, Rafale M01 first navy demonstrator, Rafale B01 air force two-place version, and Rafale M02 second navy demonstrator.
Falcon 2000 flies on March 4, hailed by its pilots as "the best new Falcon ever."
Chairman Serge Dassault congratulating pilots Jean P and Guy Mitaux-Maurouard.
Mirage 2000-5, a versatile multirole fighter featuring the advanced RDY multimode/multitarget Doppler radar system, scores a major market success with Taipei's confirmed order for 60 aircraft.
Mirage 2000-5 scores export success.
Rafale M01, the navy prototype, becomes the first delta-canard aircraft ever to be operated from an aircraft carrier. It passed its sea trials on board the Foch after successfully completing a series of catapult launches and arrested landings at U.S. Navy facilities at Patuxent River and Lakehurst. This version of the Rafale, which will be the first to enter service, utilizes the same nose-gear catapult launch system as U.S. fighters, enhanced with jump-strut and ski-jump capability.
A modified Falcon 900B with laminar-flow wings is designed to demonstrate the performance of this drag-reducing technology in real-world operating conditions. This experimental wing uses a modified airfoil in combination with a very modest amount of suction for boundary-layer stabilization-an approach based on earlier flight tests and Dassault's pioneering studies in CFD (Computerized Fluid Dynamics).
Dassault's Falcon 900 laminar-flow testbed, certified for passenger flights in 1994, now joins the charter fleet of Dassault Falcon Service.
The 4500 nm Falcon 900EX (for EXciting performance, EXpanded avionics and EXtended range) is announced at the NBAA meeting in New Orleans. The first aircraft rolls out on March 13, 1995. Shortly after, its AlliedSignal TFE731-60 engines are certified. Dassault is producing the Falcon 900EX in cooperation with six industrial partners: Alenia (Italy), AlliedSignal (United States), Hellenic Aircraft Industries (Greece), Honeywell (United States), Latoe (France) and SABCA (Belgium). Together, the six partners have a 20% financial interest in the program. The longest-range Falcon is slated to enter service in late 1996.
The Falcon 900EX: 4500 nm nonstop range, or "9000 nm with only one stop!"
In accordance with a date announced in 1989, the Falcon 2000 is certified Nov. 30 by the European Joint Airworthiness Authority, or JAA. This is the first certification by the JAA of any new business jet type.
FAA certification of the Falcon 2000 comes on Feb. 2. This historic approval marks the first time that the United States FAA has approved a new business jet type previously certified by the JAA. The Falcon 2000 is now fully certified as a new Transport Category Aircraft type under both FAR 25 and the parallel European JAR 25, through Amendment 42.
Now certified, Falcon 2000s begin entering corporate service. Measured reductions in airframe drag and stall speeds give Falcon 2000 "better than advertised" performance in virtually every category-range, climb, initial cruise altitude, temperature margins and airfield performance. The Falcon 2000 can reach 41,000 ft in under 25 minutes from max takeoff weight and accelerate to .80 Mach cruise at a higher temperature (ISA + 6) than any other large business jet.
The first Falcon 2000 is delivered to a South African retail company; the second, to a forest products company in Oregon.
On April 26, Serge Dassault discloses development of an advanced Falcon 50 derivative called the Falcon 50EX, which differs from the Falcon 50 in engines and avionics but retains the same basic airframe. Major enhancements include climb capability (41,000 ft in 23 minutes at max takeoff weight) and an increase in range of approximately 400 nm at .80 Mach. Three new AlliedSignal TFE731-40 engines provide 24% more cruise thrust with a 7% improvement in specific fuel consumption. Avionics include a Falcon 2000-like system with Collins Pro Line 4 EFIS and Sextant EIEDs.
Recognizing Dassault's Rafale program experience, Boeing awards the company a contract to ascertain the maximum degree of structural and parts commonality for air force and navy versions of a new-generation fighter (JAST).
Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. is formed, replacing Falcon Jet Corporation. This change reflects the closer ties between the Western Hemisphere subsidiary and the parent. Worldwide marketing and support functions are now managed from Dassault Falcon Jet headquarters in New Jersey.
The Falcon 900EX trijet makes its maiden flight on June 1 at the Bordeaux- Mignac Airport. During this initial flight, lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes, pilots Guy Mitaux-Maurouard and Jean-Louis Dumas fly the Falcon 900EX at up to 41,000 ft in altitude and .82 Mach in speed. The aircraft's three AlliedSignal TFE731-60 engines and all on-board systems are tested in a variety of modes and perform flawlessly during the flight.
"This is going to be an incredible airplane," pilot Guy Mitaux-Maurouard (right) remarks upon landing. "What a Falcon!"
Continuing the consolidation effort, Dassault Falcon Jet now completes all new Falcon business jets at its plant in Little Rock, where a major expansion will begin in 1996. Certain special-mission government aircraft, however, will still be completed at Bordeaux-Mignac.
Quality Little Rock completions are now standard for Falcon customers in both hemispheres. The first Falcon 20-a restored national treasure. Three decades after the Falcon 20's historic certification, a team of enthusiastic volunteers organized by Dassault Falcon Service return the very first Falcon 20, the F-WLKB, to its original condition. "Kilo Bravo" currently stands outside the Mus de l'Air at Le Bourget as a permanent salute to the Falcon business jet family.
Falcon 2000 becomes the largest business jet approved to operate in and out of London City Airport (downtown, along the Thames), where noise sensitivity requires an unusually steep (5.5 glideslope.
Falcon 50EX test flights begin. In February, s/n 252 flies at Little Rock with the Collins Pro Line 4 avionics suite; in April, s/n 251 flies with the AlliedSignal TFE731-40 engines and Sextant EIEDs. Using two development aircraft helps Dassault achieve certification sooner and at lower cost. Performance gains are impressive: with its higher thrust and improved fuel specifics, the 50EX can fly typical Falcon 50 missions at .80 instead of .75 Mach.
The Falcon 2000s optional Flight Dynamics HGS-2000 Head-up Guidance System is unique in providing full guidance to touch down capability. HGS proves to be a popular option for all operators, not just those interested in CAT. III all-weather landing capability. Dassault offers a similar HGS-2000 installation on the Falcon 900EX as well.
Falcon 900EX flies from Paris to Singapore in only 12:50 flying time, with a stop in Abu Dhabi, setting world speed records on each leg.
Falcon 900EX achieves French DGAC certification in May, followed by U.S. FAA certification in July. Customer deliveries begin in the fourth quarter, following closely the program schedule announced two years ago. With a nonstop range of 4500 nm (8335 km), the 900EX can fly significantly farther than any other certified business jet. As a trijet, it can fly transatlantic and transpacific routes within airline safety standards.
Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. begins the year by moving into new 140,000 sq ft headquarters overlooking Teterboro Airport, convenient to visiting customers and Falcon operators.
Dassault Falcon Jet's general management, customer service and marketing departments are housed in new headquarters overlooking Teterboro Airport.
Dassault discloses preliminary design work toward possible launch of a supersonic Falcon. Later, detailed information on the aircraft's size, configuration, systems and mission capabilities (cruise speed of 1.8 Mach and NBAA IFR range of 4000 nautical miles) would be announced. Sadly, the project would be put on hold in 1999 for lack of suitable engines.
If built, the Falcon SST could fly from Los Angeles to Sydney in about eight hours, including a fuel stop in Tahiti.
Major expansion brings Dassault Falcon Jet Little Rock to almost half a million square feet-and boosts the center's production capacity to over 60 new aircraft completions per year. Little Rock is now the main completion center for all Falcon jets worldwide.
Dassault Falcon Jet Little Rock occupies almost half a million square feet and employs more workers than any single Dassault Aviation plant in France.
Flown by Patrick Experton and Jean-Louis Dumas, Falcon 900C makes its first flight on schedule. 900C combines comfort and value of 900B, which it replaces, with 900EX's advanced avionics. DGAC and FAA certification will follow in mid-1999.
An HGS-equipped Falcon 2000 demonstrator lands at Tessera International Airport in Venice in actual Cat. III conditions of 50 ft decision height and 700 ft runway visual range-something no other business jet has ever done.
First of many Falcon 2000s is delivered to Executive Jet Aviation in a ceremony at Little Rock. Initial orders for NetJetsTM and NetJets Europe fractional programs will make EJA the world's largest Falcon operator.Fractional ownership, total success Falcon 2000 is the first (and only) business jet to be selected for fractional ownership programs on three continents-North America, Europe and the Middle East. Following EJA's initial order for NetJetsTM in the United States, follow-on orders were announced for NetJets Europe and a similar program owned by National Aircraft Services (NAS) in Saudi Arabia, whose aircraft will be operated by EJA and equipped to match the NetJets Falcons. Each of these orders has since been expanded, raising the total number of Falcons sold to fractional ownership programs to 60 by the year 2000.
The first Falcon 2000 is delivered to NetJets.
Falcon 900EX earns "Step One" certification from French DGAC and United States FAA for operation with HGS (full certification for Cat. III manual operations will follow). A majority of Falcon 2000 and Falcon 900EX corporate buyers now specify HGS.
Italy's SNAM, with its Falcon 2000, becomes the world's first corporate operator to earn approval for Cat. III manual operations in a business jet. By year's end, several U.S. operators follow suit.
Blockbuster sales results in 1997, 1998 and 1999 bring over 240 orders for new Falcon jets. Dassault's market share in the prestigious top end of the market ($17+ million price category) is now between 40% and 50%.
French Navy takes delivery of first of four Falcon 50M maritime surveillance aircraft. An outstanding search-and-rescue platform, it can drop eight 30-passenger rescue buoys in a single operation. Worldwide, some 260 Falcon jets (21% of the total fleet) are performing military/government functions.
Falcon 50M maritime surveillance aircraft.
A new carbon fiber horizontal stabilizer will soon be fitted to Falcon 2000 and 900 series aircraft. Though dimensionally identical to the original tailplane, the new structure is lighter and simpler to manufacture and maintain. Parts count is reduced from 240 to only 60, and fasteners from 11,784 to 3800.
Dassault establishes factory-owned East Coast service center by acquiring Atlantic Aviation's facility at New Castle Airport in Wilmington, Delaware.
EASy Flight Deck
Think of EASy as Dassault's philosophy implemented on the hardware platform of Honeywell's Primus Epic system, because that's exactly what it is. Dassault and Honeywell worked closely together on the project, each in its own area of expertise. Dassault, as the primary system architect, concentrated mainly on human-factors philosophy, achieving a new type of man-machine interface, one that is both highly intuitive and highly interactive. This is an important key to improving situational awareness. Honeywell worked on adaptingthe Primus Epic system in subtle ways that met Dassault's unique objectives. Stepping into an EASy cockpit, the first thing one sees is the four large screens (14.1 inches diagonal measurement) that are the hallmark of Honeywell's Primus Epic system. These screens can display all information from aircraft sensors affecting systems, communications, navigation and flight management. Moreover, these screens are the key to the pilots' control over all those functions, and it is in this respect that EASy sets itself apart from other avionics systems using the same Primus Epic platform.
Dassault introduces EASy (Enhanced Avionics System) at NBAA. Developed in partnership with Honeywell and in close cooperation with pilots and certification authorities, EASy is a new man-machine interface designed to improve flight safety by placing greater emphasis on human factors.
Dassault launches the "FNX" at the Paris Air Show. The new tri-jet will fly 5700 nm and will be the first business jet equipped with fly-by-wire technology. Less than one week after the announcement, over 20 orders had been received.
Charles Edelstenne and Serge Dassault after announcing the "FNX" at the Paris Air Show.
For optimal efficiency, all "FNX" partners and Dassault engineers are co-located in Saint Cloud, near Paris, where a "plateau"- a common workplace - is set up for the Preliminary Design Stage. At the peak of the development effort, about 400 people from 27 companies and seven countries are involved. As a trijet, it can fly transatlantic and transpacific routes within airline safety standards.
The "FNX" was renamed the Falcon 7X. Its first flight was scheduled for 2005, only four years after launching the program, despite its complexity and scale.Seven Key Features that Define the Falcon 7X as Extraordinary 1. Non-stop range capability of 5700 nm. 2. The ideal cabin - as wide as the spacious 900EX's 7'8" cross-section, yet 20% longer, combined with an even more quiet and healthful cabin environment. 3. Unprecedented value - a combination of a compelling price and low cost of operation, while maintaining Dassault's renowned standards for quality. 4. Innovative design - a highly swept, advanced technology wing, fly-by-wire controls and Dassault's new EASy Flight Deck. 5. Unmatched reliability from "Day One." Using a new, rigorous development approach, the first 7X is designed to deliver flawless operation, easier maintainability and reduced downtime from the first day of service. 6. Dassault's signature three-engine design, with all its inherent advantages. 7. Inspired Flight Performance. Agility. Versatility. Safety. All that you would expect from a Falcon.
Dassault's first Falcon 900EX (s/n 97) with a fully integrated EASy flight deck makes its maiden flight from Bordeaux-Mignac. Dassault test pilots Jean-Louis Dumas and Philippe Deleume were at the controls of the one-hour-plus flight. The EASy flight deck was in development since the mid-1990s when Dassault recognized the need for a fully integrated cockpit management system. The EASy flight deck was designed to foster improved situational awareness in the cockpit.
The 10 million flight-hour mark is reached. Every 45 seconds, a Falcon is taking off somewhere around the globe.
The Falcon 2000 becomes the best-selling large cabin business jet in the industry. The Falcon 2000 family still holds this position today.
The Preliminary Design Stage for the Falcon 7X comes to an end and a "virtual plateau" is established to allow all partners, regardless of their location, real-time access to a single shared database. In effect, a seamless collaborative process is put into place. The 3D digital mock-up of the Falcon 7X allows perfect visualization of all components.
Dassault Aviation is named primary contractor for Europe's UCAV demonstrator, Neuron, which will fly in 2009. The Neuron project will develop new technologies and rules that will be used to develop combat aircraft (manned and unmanned) in the future. It will open a wide range of possibilities including a team of UCAVs flying in concert with Rafale fighters.
Dassault announces a $30 million expansion project for the Falcon Service Center in Wilmington, Delaware. This project will eventually include a new state-of-the-art EPA Title V multibay paint hangar. It is the only hangar of its type in the Northeast United States.
The Falcon 2000EX receives FAA and EASA certification. The 2000EX is the highly anticipated sibling of the Falcon 2000 but with a longer-range capability. City pairs include Paris or London to the east coast of the United States - even in stiff winter headwinds - or eastbound from Detroit, Chicago or Minneapolis to Europe.
The EASy flight deck receives certification from the FAA and EASA. Deliveries of the 900EX EASy start almost immediately.
Falcon 900EX EASy.
Design of the Falcon 7X is frozen.
The 900DX is announced at EBACE. It will fill a niche between the 900EX and 2000EX and will feature the EASy flight deck. First flight is scheduled for mid-2005.
In seven short months, the first Falcon 7X is complete and becomes the first airplane ever designed and built in an entirely virtual environment by using Product Lifecycle Management Philosophy (PLM). PLM sets a higher standard for the design and manufacturing process that brings collaborative teams closer together. The first Falcon 7X went together exactly as planned in about half the time required for the first productions airplane.
Falcon 7X Structural Design Analysis using PLM.
Dassault Falcon opens a new 32,200 sq ft flight operations department and hangar at Teterboro Airport. The new facility houses the Falcon demonstration fleet and flight operations department and is located directly across from the Dassault Falcon headquarters.
Falcon 7X s/n 01 is introduced to a crowd of 800 guests in Bordeaux-Mignac. "Today we have made a huge step forward in the industry," said Charles Edelstenne, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. "Due to the new and unique design and manufacturing process called Product Lifecycle Management that we pioneered with our sister company, Dassault Systems, we have started a new industrial revolution that will take us through this century." The ceremony included a real falcon swooping over the crowd.
The Falcon 7X flies for the first time. Test pilots Yves "Bill" Kerherve and Philippe Deleume were at the controls when the airplane lifted from Bordeaux-Mignac for a flight that lasted one hour and thirty-six minutes. Numerous systems test were performed and the flight was considered a great success.
Just days following the first flight of the 7X, the 900DX took to the skies for the first time for a flight that lasted over three hours. The airplane reached an altitude of 41,000 feet and a maximum speed of 370 knots. With the exception of the structure of the fuel tanks and the forward section, the 900DX shares the same engines, avionics and other cockpit and cabin equipment as the 900EX and comes standard with the EASy flight deck.
Dassault celebrates the thirty-year anniversary of the Little Rock Completion Center. Future expansion will grow the physical footprint to over 10 times its original size to 685,000 square feet.
Test pilots Yves "Bill" Kerherve and Philippe Deleume are congratulated upon exiting the airplane. Seen left to right: Vice-Chairman Bruno Revellin-Falcoz:, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charles Edelstenne; Falcon Chief Test Pilot Philippe Deleume; Dassault Aviation Senior Test Pilot Yves "Bill" Kerherve, Serge Dassault, and Deputy Senior Vice-President, Research, Design and Engineering, Jean Claude Hironde. Falcon 7X Flight Test Program Progressing Rapidly
As this timeline went to press, the flight test and fatigue test programs for the Falcon 7X were enjoying rapid progress. In the week following the first flight, the airplane flew five times for a total of 13 hours and 20 minutes of flight time. The aircraft was relocated to the Dassault Flight Test Center in Istres the day following the first flight. The first five flights were dedicated to progressive flight envelope expansion. The flight envelope was opened to 41,000 feet, Mach 0.82 and 280 knots Indicated Air Speed. Turns with bank angles of 80 degrees to test buffet and handling qualities were completed. Slow speed characteristics were verified down to 105 knots. The aircraft pulled 2 gs during various maneuvers. Testing for all of the modes of the fly-by-wire controls, including reversionary modes, were accomplished. The airplane also landed using fly-by-wire back up modes. "Real-time flight data analysis and excellent reliability have allowed us to move forward faster than expected," said Yves "Bill" Kerherve, Senior Chief Test Pilot for Dassault Aviation. "First results of the flight test program confirmed Dassault's predictions: The aircraft is incredibly stable and the fly-by-wire controls are extremely precise. In fact, the development simulator we used prior to the first flight accurately replicated the performance of the real aircraft." As the Falcon 7X s/n 1 embarked on its flight test program, the 7X static test vehicle was being put through its paces at the Toulouse Aeronautical Test Center (CEAT) in Toulouse, France. The testing began in March 2005 and initially concentrated on static testing to support the early stages of flight envelope expansion during the first several flights of the Falcon 7X. Fatigue trials were on their way toward the equivalent of 300 "flights" per day. By June 2005, half of the life of the Falcon 7X (10,000 flights) will have been simulated at CEAT. By mid-2006, two aircraft lives (40,000 flights) will have been "flown." The Falcon 7X static test airframe has been built as a standard airframe, albeit without most of its internal systems that are not a factor during fatigue testing, and is fully representative of the real aircraft in terms of structural resistance. The "aircraft" arrived at CEAT in December 2004 for installation on the dedicated test rig. The test rig is comprised of 64 computer- controlled actuators and four pressurization systems for the main cabin and the fuel tanks. In all, more than 2,000 parameters are recorded simultaneously by 2,000 strain gauges. All static and fatigue tests will be accomplished using just one test article. The flight test program will eventually have three aircraft. The second test aircraft was expected to arrive in Istres by the early summer of 2005, with the third aircraft arriving late summer. Falcon 7X s/n 3 will be outfitted with a full interior and will be used for long-range and endurance tests as well as interior sound level validation. Approximately 1,200 flight test hours have been allotted before final certification, scheduled for late 2006.
Wing flexing at the wingtips for the Falcon 7X test article has reached one meter. During ultimate load static trials, the wings will flex to 1.8 meters.
In one short week, the Falcon 7X flew five times, accumulating 13 hours and 20 minutes of flight time. During the second flight, the aircraft was relocated to the Dassault Flight Test Center in Istres, France.
Dassault Falcon Jet is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dassault Aviation, and is responsible for selling and supporting Falcon business jets throughout North America, South America, and the Pacific Rim countries of Asia (including China). It employs a workforce of more than 2400 professionals who service, support and meet the needs of Falcon operators in the Western Hemisphere. Since the rollout of the first Falcon 20 in 1963, over 1500 Falcon jets have been delivered to more than 65 countries worldwide. The family of Falcon jets includes four tri-jetsthe Falcon 50EX, 900C, 900EX, and the new 7Xas well as the twin-engine Falcon 2000 and 2000EX.
|Engineered with Passion
Dassault Falcon Jet Corp.
Teterboro Airport Box 2000 South Hackensack, NJ 07606
(201) 440-6700 Fax (201) 541-4619 www.dassaultfalcon.com