Falcon 2000S

By By Fred George fred.george@aviationweek.com
Source: Business & Commercial Aviation

Dassault's last attempt at this was with the Falcon 2000DX, a shorter-range version of the 2007 Falcon 2000EX. The DX's sales foundered because it had 20% less range than the EX, but it only was only $2.2 million less expensive. The value equation didn't work for buyers, so Dassault was forced to discontinue the model after two years.

Fast forward six years. The 2000S has about 20% less range than the 2000LX or LXS, but it's priced $5 million to $6 million less than the longer-range models. So, Dassault can squeeze the 2000S into the upper end of the SMS segment rather than have it compete directly in the large-cabin class. Dassault, as a result, has high hopes for a much longer and more robust production run than it experienced with the 2000DX.

To control manufacturing costs and thus purchase price, the French firm focused on three main areas. First, four years ago the demand for business aircraft, even large-cabin models, was softer than a soufflé at Guy Savoy. This was a powerful bargaining chip for Dassault to put the squeeze on vendors to reduce parts prices. Next, the firm refined its planning processes and continued to improve lean manufacturing on production lines, thereby reducing labor and energy costs. And finally, Falcon 2000S buyers would be offered a choice of three standard cabin layouts, enabling Dassault to speed completions by shifting more of the furnishing and finishing processes to the green aircraft production line.

Honing the Legacy of 450+ Falcon 2000 Jets

All Falcon jets have been built mainly with high-strength aluminum alloys since the mid-1960s. The Falcon 2000S uses the same time-proven, damage-tolerant, aluminum monocoque construction. Titanium and steel also are used in the primary airframe structure. The horizontal stabilizer and APU firebox are constructed from carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Fiberglass and Kevlar are used for secondary structures, such as the radome and certain aerodynamic fairings. The aircraft has a 20,000-cycle/30,000-hr. basic design life, but its service life can be extended almost indefinitely with stepped-up maintenance.

The fuselage has a nose section housing avionics and radar, a center pressurized section and aft section containing systems components, the engine carry-through structure and APU, among other components. The pressurized section is circular for structural efficiency under pressurization loads. The seven cockpit windows are glass laminate with a left-side, opening weather window. Stretched acrylic is used for the 18 cabin windows.

All model 900 and 2000 aircraft, including the 2000S, use Dassault's first-generation supercritical airfoil dating back to the mid-1970s Falcon 50 tri-jet. It has an inboard quarter-chord sweep of 29 deg. and modest outboard sweep of 24.5 deg. and is designed for efficient cruise at Mach 0.73 to 0.76, as illustrated by the accompanying Specific Range chart.

But the addition of Aviation Partners' winglets enhances its performance by reducing induced drag both by increasing span and therefore wing aspect ratio from 7.62:1 to 9.34:1, and by redirecting most of the tip vortices as thrust vectors. Thus the aircraft can climb higher and cruise up there at Mach 0.789 with virtually no loss in fuel efficiency, while the same aircraft without winglets would fly lower and slower.

When examining Falcon Jet perform–ance, it's essential to distinguish between indicated Mach number (MI) and true Mach number, which determines true airspeed (TAS) at a specific outside air temperature. Dassault publishes both MI and TAS in its performance manuals. A comparison of the two values reveals a 0.005 to 0.015 difference between indicated and true Mach numbers, depending upon indicated speed. That's why MI 0.80 cruise, when corrected equivalent to 0.789 true Mach, results in a 453 KTAS cruise speed at ISA temperature in the stratosphere.

The wing employs a classic ladder structure of milled aluminum spars and ribs sandwiched between upper and lower machined skins. Visit Dassault's Merignac factory and you'll see that robots do most of the assembly with great precision. Few aircraft have better metal work than Falcons.

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