Spanish Air Force designation: T.16
TYPE: Business tri-jet.
PROGRAMME: First flight of prototype Falcon 50 (F-WAMD) 7 November 1976; second prototype 18 February 1978; first (and only) preproduction 13 June 1978. French certification 27 February 1979; FAA certification 7 March 1979; deliveries began July 1979. Available in sigint version from 1994.
Falcon 50EX announced 26 April 1995. Long-range variant: uprated turbofans provide a 7 per cent improvement in fuel consumption and improved initial cruising altitude of 12,500 m (41.000 ft). Production of initial batch of 40 Falcon 50EX airframes began 1995. First flight (F-WOND, c/n 251) 10 April 1996; new avionics suite installed in Falcon 50 c/n 252 for integration flight testing leading to avionics certification by FAA on 15 July 1996; DGAC certification achieved 15 November 1996, followed by FAA approval 20 December; initial production aircraft (F-WWHA, c/n 253) first flight October 1996; flown in 'green' condition Le Bourget, Palis, to Teterboro, New Jersey. 16 November, thence to Orlando, Florida, for US debut at National Business Aircraft Association Convention; first customer delivery (to Volkswagen of Germany) February 1997. Estimated market for 150 to 200 of EX version over unspecified period.
CURRENT VERSIONS: Falcon 50: Previous version, now superseded by Falcon 50EX.
Falcon 50-40: Retrofit of earlier version with Honeywell TFE731-40 engines, each 16.46 kN (3,700 lb).
Falcon 50EX: As described.
Falcon 50M Surmar: Maritime surveillance version. Order for French Navy announced 12 November 1996 covering four aircraft (compared with five in original June 1995 statement) at estimated total cost of FFr750 million. Sensors include a Thomson-CSF Ocean Master 100 search radar and Thomson-TTD Chlio FLIR. Three mission specialist/console stations, two at front of cabin, one at rear; airdrop door; provision for carriage of up to eight 25-person airdroppable liferafts; two observation windows. Capabilities include 4 hours on station at 400 n miles (740 km; 460 miles) from base, cruising at 200 kt (370 km/h; 230 mph) at 915 m (3,000 ft).
First flight (No. 36/F-ZWTA) November 1998; first delivery in January 2000; operational with Flottille 24 at Lann-Bihoue from September 2000. Fourth delivery in early 2002.
Falcon 50 Sigint: Model of a potential signals intelligence Falcon 50 displayed at Dubai Air Show in November 1997.
CUSTOMERS: Total 336 Falcon 50s and 50EXs delivered for outfitting by 1 April 2003, including 18 in 2000, 13 (all 50EXs) in 2001, 10 in 2002, and one in the first three months of 2003. Adopted by governments of Burundi, Djibouti, France, Iraq (later Iran), Italy, Jordan. Libya, Morocco, Portugal, Rwanda, South Africa, Spain, Sudan and Yugoslavia; three of Italian Air Force convertible for medevac.
COSTS: US$18.23 million (2001).
DESIGN FEATURES: Three-engine layout permits overflight of oceans and desert areas within public transport regulations. Sharply waisted rear fuselage and engine pod designed by computational fluid dynamics; wing has compound leading-edge sweep (24° 50' to 29° at quarter-chord) and optimised section.
FLYING CONTROLS: Fully powered controls with pushrods, dual-barrel hydraulic actuators and artificial feel; variable incidence anhedral tailplane with dual electrical actuation by screwjack; drooped leading-edge inboard and slats outboard; double-slotted flaps; three two-position airbrake/spoiler panels on each wing.
STRUCTURE: All-metal, circular-section fuselage with rear baggage compartment inside pressure cabin; wing boxes are integral fuel tanks bolted to carry-through box. Carbon fibre horizontal tail surfaces introduced during 2001. Latecoere, Potez, Reims Aviation, SEFCA and Socata are subcontractors on the programme; other suppliers include Dassault Equipements (flight controls, flaps, slats and airbrakes), Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse (engine bleed air system); SARMA (flight control actuating rods) and Sully Produits Speciaux (windscreen panels).
LANDING GEAR: Retractable tricycle type by Messier-Dowty, with twin wheels on each unit. Hydraulic retraction, main units inward, nosewheels forward. Nosewheels steerable ±60° for taxying, ±180° for towing. ABS wheels, brakes and braking system. Mainwheel tyres size 26x6.6 (14 ply) or 26x6.6R14 tubeless, pressure 14.55 bar (211 Ib/sq in). Nosewheel tyres size 14.5x5.5-6(14 ply) tubeless, pressure 9.31 bar (135 Ib/sq in). Four-disc brakes designed for 400 landings with normal energy braking. Minimum ground turning radius (about nosewheels) 13.54 m (44 ft 5 in).
POWER PLANT: Three Honeywell TFE731-40 turbofans, each rated at 16.46 kN (3,700 lb st) at ISA + 17°C in Falcon 50EX. Two engines pod-mounted on sides of rear fuselage, third attached by two top mounts. Thrust reverser on centre engine. Fuel in integral tanks, with capacity of 5,787 litres (1,529 US gallons; 1.273 Imp gallons) in wings and 2,976 litres (786 US gallons; 655 Imp gallons) in fuselage tanks. Total fuel capacity 8,763 litres (2,315 US gallons; 1,928 Imp gallons). Single-point pressure fuelling. Intertechnique fuel distribution and gauges.
ACCOMMODATION: Standard accommodation for two crew and nine passengers. In typical arrangement, cabin is divided into a forward section with four armchairs and two fold-out tables, and a rear section with three-seat sofa (convertible into a single bed) and two armchairs separated by a fold-out table; two galleys at forward end of cabin, toilet at rear. Alternative layouts to customer choice, with accommodation for a maximum of 19 passengers. Cabin and rear baggage compartment are pressurised and air conditioned; Barber-Colman temperature controls. Access is by separate door on port side.
SYSTEMS: Air conditioning system utilises bleed air from all three engines or APU. Maximum pressure differential 0.63 bar (9.14 lb/sq in). Pressurisation maintains a maximum cabin altitude of 2,440 m (8,000 ft) to a flight altitude of 14,935 m (49,000 ft). Two independent Messier-Bugatti and Vickers-Sterer hydraulic systems, pressure 207 bar (3.000 lb/sq in), with three engine-driven pumps and one emergency electric pump, actuate primary flying controls, flaps, slats, landing gear, wheel brakes, airbrakes and nosewheel steering. Plain reservoir, pressurised by bleed air at 1.47 bar (21 lb/sq in). 28 V DC electrical system, with a 9 kW 28 V DC Auxilec starter/generator on each engine and two 23 Ah batteries. Labinal electrical harnesses. Wing leading-edge, centre engine S-duct and engine nacelles have engine bleed air anti-icing. Automatic emergency oxygen system. Honeywell 36-150 APU standard.
AVIONICS: Comms: Dual Rockwell Collins VHF and mode S transponders; dual Rockwell Collins HF-9000 HF transceivers with Selcal; Teledyne Controls MagnaStar or Honeywell Flitefone 800 radiotelephones; cockpit voice recorder and ELT standard.
Radar: Rockwell Collins TWR 850 Doppler turbulence detection weather radar.
Flight: Dual Rockwell Collins VIR-432 VOR, ADF-462 and DME-442. Rockwell Collins APS-4000 autopilot, ADC-850C air data systems, dual Honeywell FHS-6100 with integrated GPS receiver, Honeywell EGPWS and dual Honeywell Laseref III laser gyro inertial reference systems standard. Dual Universal UNS-1C FMS optional, replacing GNS-XES.
Instrumentation: Rockwell Collins Pro Line 4 (EFIS-4000) four-tube EFIS; Thales three-tube LCD engine indicating electronic display (EIED).