Although 20% larger than typical super midsize (SMS) business jets, the new Falcon 2000S is designed and priced to compete in that market. It can fly six passengers 3,350 nm at Mach 0.80, or 8-10 people on transcontinental U.S. trips.
believes those interested in an SMS would prefer its larger aircraft—if economically competitive. Accordingly, it has priced the S-model at $27.1 million, or $1.3 million above the Challenger 350 and about $2 million above a typically equipped Gulfstream G280. And since the 2000S has an impressively low empty weight for its size, Dassault says its fuel consumption and direct operating costs are nearly the same as those two SMS competitors.
The new model thus puts to rest speculation as to when the French manufacturer will launch its clean-sheet SMS since the 2000S will be the smallest, lightest, most economical Falcon for the foreseeable future.
The 2000 Classic's partial-span leading-edge slats provided less than optimal runway performance. So Dassault fitted the 2000S with the Falcon 900LX's full-span slats and high-lift trailing-edge flaps, plus blended winglets from Aviation Partners Inc. In addition, the new model has an EASy II cockpit and a BMW Group DesignworksUSA interior.
Constructed mainly with high-strength aluminum alloys, the aircraft has a 20,000-cycle/30,000-hr. basic design life, but service can be extended almost indefinitely with stepped-up maintenance. With its supercritical airfoil sporting drag-reducing winglets, the 2000S can climb higher and cruise at Mach 0.789 with virtually no loss in fuel efficiency.
Total fuel capacity is 14,600 lb. and upgraded Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C engines supply the power.
Two 3,000-psi hydraulic systems power the flight-control actuators, leading-edge slats, trailing-edge flaps and wheel brakes, along with the nosewheel steering, landing gear, airbrakes and thrust reversers. The four main wheel brakes are fitted with carbon heat packs. An autobrake system was deemed unnecessary.
The primary flight controls are fully hydraulically powered and a speed-proportionate artificial control feel system handles roll. Position of the horizontal stab varies the amount of control feel force in pitch. The result is a nearly constant stick force per G of vertical acceleration. The rudder has a simple spring box for artificial feel.
The slats and three-position flaps work together as high-lift devices, with the former providing most of the slow-speed lift augmentation. When compared to older Falcon 2000 models with partial-span slats, the full-span design increases stalling angle of attack (AOA) by as much as 4 deg., thereby cutting stall speed by as much as 8 kt.
The slats extend before and retract after the flaps. The outboard slats also extend automatically below 265 kt. indicated airspeed (KIAS) at high AOA to enhance handling characteristics at stall. Conversely, when all the slats are extended for takeoff or landing, the inboard slats automatically retract at high AOA to assure benign stall characteristics. With the slats extended, aerodynamic stall behavior and recovery characteristics are arguably the best of any business jet.
The winglets, high-lift system and more standard equipment add empty weight to the airframe, but a typically equipped aircraft still has a 1,600-lb. payload with full fuel tanks.
Falcon's 1,024-cu.-ft. cabin is longer, wider and higher than typical SMS cabins. The standardized, 10-seat interior on the first 20 production units features a four-seat club section up front and six chairs in the aft cabin, arranged as a four-chair conference grouping on the left with two facing chairs on the right. For 2014, two additional, eight-passenger seating configurations will be offered.
The forward vestibule has a 15-in.-long galley annex and a 46-in.-long main galley on the right side with a tap and sink, ice drawers, coffee maker and storage areas. A closet/entertainment cabinet is on the left side, aft of the airstair entry door.
Aft of the main seating section, is a full-width lavatory. A rear door provides inflight access to the 131-cu.-ft. baggage compartment, which also has an external airstair door.
TheFalcon HD cabin management system supports a media center with a 19-in. high-definition monitor on the forward cabin bulkhead, along with individual LED monitors, an AirCell Axxess II Iridium satellite phone and eight power outlets. Internet connectivity will be available via an optional AirCell air-to-ground high-speed data link or medium-speed Inmarsat system.
As to putting the aircraft through its paces,in late June we climbed into the left seat of S/N 702 at Vancouver International Airport. Dassault Falcon Jet Chief Pilot Franco “Valentino” Nese belted into the right seat as our instructor and demonstration pilot, Peder Sarsten, rode on the jump seat.
The aircraft was loaded with optional equipment including the Rockwell Collins HGS head-up display and CMC Electronics EVS infrared camera, raising the basic operating weight to 25,280 lb. Thus, the aircraft had a 1,320-lb. tanks-full payload. With a 600-lb. payload and 8,440 lb. of fuel, our ramp weight was 34,500 lb. and computed takeoff weight was 34,000 lb.
Why the 500-lb. difference? We needed time and instruction to reacquaint ourselves with Dassault's EASy II cockpit. Although not intuitive for pilots accustomed to more traditional cockpits—including me—EASy II is the most capable avionics system to be installed in a Falcon.
Vancouver International, elevation 14 ft., was reporting winds 080 at 7 kt., temperature 15C and altimeter 29.70 in. Based on SF2 [slats plus flaps 20 deg.], the V1 takeoff decision speed was 107 KIAS, rotation was 112 KIAS, the V2 one-engine-inoperative takeoff safety speed was 116 KIAS and “clean the wing” slat/flap retraction speed was 141 KIAS. Computed takeoff field length was 3,427 ft.
To start, we turned on all boost pumps, advanced the right power lever to idle and twisted the engine start switch. In 35 sec., the first engine stabilized at idle and we repeated the process for the next. Total fuel burn at idle was 720 lb./hr.
It took little more than idle thrust to start rolling. Braking action was very smooth. Nosewheel steering is controlled only by the tiller, not the rudder pedals.
Cleared for takeoff, we advanced the thrust levers and at the 2000S's relatively light 17 tons, it accelerated like a light jet. Ground roll was about 1,500 ft.
Vancouver Departure Control quickly cleared us to climb directly to 16,000 ft., our final requested altitude, and vectored us to intercept V317 to the northwest. Nese says normal climb is 300 KIAS/Mach 0.80. We used a 260-KIAS climb to conserve fuel.
After level off at 16,000 ft., we used the autothrottle to maintain 300 KIAS until we neared Vancouver Island. In ISA+3C conditions at 33,500 lb., the aircraft cruised at 379 kt. true airspeed (KTAS) on 2,650 lb/hr. In contrast, had we been up at FL 450, the aircraft would have cruised at 456 KTAS on 800 lb./hr. total fuel flow, assuming the same weight and ISA deviation.
Once in clear air, we flew a couple of 360-deg. steep turns. Pitch-control force was comparatively light for a large-cabin aircraft. The HUD's flightpath marker and thrust director took the work out of maintaining a 45-deg. bank angle and 300 KIAS.
Next, we slowed the aircraft at idle in the clean configuration with the autopilot engaged to sample the Falcon's automatic speed protection. The stall-warning system generated a sideways magenta tear-drop at 135 kt., or 5 kt. above the yellow low-speed-cue tape as we maintained 1g flight.
At 135 KIAS, the autothrottles engaged and advanced the thrust levers to prevent it from slowing further and the aircraft flew itself out of the high AOA state.
We then disengaged both the autopilot and autothrottles, again slowing the aircraft at idle. Nese selected SF2 and the stall-warning teardrop went to 111 KIAS, again 5 kt. above the yellow low-speed-warning tape. Aircraft weight was 32,700 lb. We slowed to less than 106 KIAS, 5-plus kt. below the 111-KIAS tear drop and then flew a series of shallow turns in the yellow band, occasionally allowing the aircraft to slow to the red tape signifying approach to stall. The Falcon remained completely docile. Our only clear indication of the excessive AOA was a constant “Stall! Stall! Stall” synthetic voice alert as we flew at 100 KIAS.
As we have experienced on other Falcon Jet demo flights, full-span leading-edge slats make these among the most gentle-handling business jets.
We accelerated, cleaned the wing and headed southeast to Abbotsford [elev. 194 ft.] for pattern work, setting up for the instrument landing-system Runway 7 approach. Using EASy II's graphic user interface, Nese rolled the cursor to the appropriate icons and items in the flight-planning window on the multi-function display, rapidly loading the approach procedure.
With slats and flaps 3 [40 deg.] for a 31,200-lb. landing weight, Vref was 113 KIAS, approach speed 118 KIAS and computed landing distance 2,450 ft.
We flew touch-and-goes, then set up for a maximum effort, full-stop landing. Runway 7 was wet and not grooved. After a normal flare and touchdown, the ground spoilers automatically deployed and we applied maximum brakes. Judging from our windshield cam video, the aircraft came to a stop 1,810 ft. after touchdown.
Our flight back and landing at Vancouver were uneventful.
Conclusions? The Falcon 2000S is so nice to hand-fly, it is difficult to cede control to the autopilot. EASy II provides a wealth of information to the flight crew, particularly with the optional synthetic vision package, but requires a considerable investment in time and training to make full use of it all.
Large-cabin aircraft orders are resurging and with the 2000S, Dassault is betting it can attract customers lusting for a large cabin, but shopping with super-midsize-type budgets. Now, it is up to the market to decide.
Fly along with Fred George as he evaluates the Falcon 2000S at AviationWeek.com/video
|Wing Loading||77.7 lb./sq. ft.|
|Power Loading||2.93 lb. A/C mass per lbf. of thrust|
|Internal Dimensions (ft./meters)|
|Engine||2 PWC PW308C|
|Output/Flat Rating OATC||6,998 lb. thrust ea./ISA+15C|
|Payload With Max Fuel||1,600/726|
|Fuel With Max Payload||11,500/5,216|
|Fuel With Executive Payload||14,200/6,441|
|Time to FL 370||14 min.|
|FAR Part 25 OEI Rate (ft./meters per min.)||535/163|
|FAR Part 25 OEI Gradient (ft./nm)||261/42|
|Sea Level Cabin||25,300/7,712|
|Certification||FAR 25/CS 25|