A Surprising Super Midsize Contender

By Fred George
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

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.

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