The Falcon 900 intercontinental range trijet is a substantially revised development of the Falcon 50.
Dassault announced it was developing a new intercontinental range large size business jet based on the Falcon 50 on May 27 1983 at the Paris Airshow. The prototype, “Spirit of Lafayette”, flew 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. French certification was awarded on March 14 1986, FAA certification followed on March 21, and first customer deliveries occurred in December that year.
While of similar overall configuration to the Falcon 50, the Falcon 900 intoduced an all new wider and longer fuselage which can seat three passengers abreast. The main commonality with the Falcon 50 is the wing, which despite being designed for a considerably lighter aircraft, was adapted almost directly unchanged. In designing the Falcon 900 Dassault made use of computer aided modelling, while the aircraft’s structure incorporates a degree of composite materials.
Two Falcon 900s entered service with the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency for the long-range maritime surveillance role as the Falcon 900MSA, equipped with search radar, special communications equipment, observation windows, a control station, and a drop hatch.
From 1991 the standard production model was the Falcon 900B, which differs from the earlier 900 in having more powerful engines, increased range, the ability to operate from unprepared strips and Category II visibility approach clearance. Earlier production 900s can be retrofitted to 900B standard.
The Falcon 900EX is a longer range development launched in October 1994. It features TFE731-60 engines, a Honeywell Primus 2000 EFIS avionics suite, optional Flight Dynamics head-up displays, increased fuel capacity and greater range. Its first flight was on June 1 1995 and first delivery was in May 1996.
The latest Falcon 900 model is the 900C. Revealed in 1998, the C is a development of the B but incorporates the advanced Honeywell Primus avionics of the 900EX, but without autothrottles. The 900C replaced the 900B in the Falcon product line with first deliveries in early 2000.