TYPE: VIP & head of state transport & maritime patrol
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: France
POWERPLANTS: 900 - Three 20.0kN (4500lb) Garrett TFE731-5AR-1C turbofans. 900B -Three 21.1kN (4750lb) Garrett TFE731-5BRs.
PERFORMANCE: 900 - Max cruising speed 927km/h (500kt), economical cruising speed Mach 0.75. Max cruising altitude 51,000ft. Range with max payload and reserves 6412km (3460nm), range with 15 passengers and reserves 6968km (3760nm), with eight pax and reserves 7227km (3900nm). 900B - Same except for range with 15 pax and reserves 7115km (3840nm).
WEIGHTS: 900 - Empty equipped 10,545kg (23,248lb), max takeoff 20,640kg (45,500lb). 900B - Empty equipped 10,240kg (22,575kg), max takeoff 20,640kg (45,500lb).
DIMENSIONS: Wing span 19.33m (63ft 5in), length 20.21m (66ft 4in), height 7.55m (24ft 9in). Wing area 49.0m2 (527.4sq ft).
ACCOMMODATION: Flightcrew of two. Main passenger cabin accommodation for between eight or 15 passengers, or as many as 18 in a high density configuration.
OPERATORS: Algeria, Australia, France, Gabon, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, Syria, United Arab Emirates.
HISTORY: Of the more than 150 transcontinental Falcon 900s built so far, a significant number are operated as military VIP transports. Dassault announced it was developing a new intercontinental range large size business jet based on its Falcon 50 trijet at the 1983 Paris Airshow. Development culminated in the prototype, Spirit of Lafayette, flying for the first time on September 21 1984. A second prototype flew on August 30 1985, and this aircraft demonstrated the type's long range potential by flying nonstop from Paris to Little Rock, Arkansas in the USA for a demonstration tour. While of similar overall configuration to the Falcon 50, the Falcon 900 features an all new widebody fuselage, which can seat three passengers abreast, and is also considerably longer and wider. The main commonality with the Falcon 50 is the wing, which despite being originally designed for a considerably lighter aircraft, was adapted almost directly unchanged (and incidentally also appears on the new Falcon 2000 twin). Design of the Falcon 900 made extensive use of computer aided design, while the aircraft's structure incorporates a high degree of composite material. From 1991 the standard production model was the Falcon 900B, which differs from the earlier 900 in having more powerful engines, increased range and the ability to operate from unprepared strips and Category II visibility approach clearance. A further improved development is the 900EX with longer range. Like the smaller Falcons (Mystères in France), the 900 has proven popular with a number of countries as military VIP transports, particularly so for its large cabin and transcontinental range. Japan operates a unique maritime surveillance version of the Falcon 900 with a US sourced search radar, HU-25 Guardian/Gardian like large observation windows, a dedicated operator station, and a hatch to drop sonobuoys, markers and flares. Two are in JASDF service.