A Surprising Super Midsize Contender

By Fred George
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
August 05, 2013
Credit: Dassault FalconJet

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.

Dassault 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 Bombardier 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.

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