A26 Dassault Falcon 900
The Dassault Falcon 900 introduced a new method of acquisition to the RAAF, that of leasing aircraft. In response to a November 1988 Request for Tender, the Falcon 900 was chosen in 1989 to replace the two BAC-111s and three Mystere/Falcon 20s of No 34 Squadron.
The five RAAF Falcon 900s were sold by US distributors Falcon Jet Corporation to Hawker Pacific of Sydney, which leases the aircraft to the RAAF. This ten-year lease cost $26 million per year. The older VIP jets were accepted as trade-ins when contracts were signed in December 1988.
The earlier twin-jet Mystere/Falcon 20, which had served in the RAAF under the A11 identifier, had been developed into the three-engine Falcon 50, which flew in 1976. At the 1983 Paris Air Show, Dassault announced its intention to build the Falcon 900, a more powerful, larger cabin version of the Falcon 50. The first Falcon 900, registered F-GIDE, flew on 21 September 1984, and deliveries began in December 1986.
In January 1989, the A24 identification prefix was allocated to the Falcon 900, with the last three digits of the serial number to be made up from the manufacturer's serial number. However, A24 had already been allocated to the Royal Australian Navy for the Seahawk in 1985, and A25 had been allocated to the Blackhawk, so the Falcons' prefix was then changed to A26.
The RAAF Falcon 900s were first flown by Dassault in France and then ferried to Falcon Jet at Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. RAAF pilots and engineers were trained in the US by Flight Safety International. After final fitting-out, the Falcons were flown from the Falcon Jet facility to Sydney using US civil registrations.
After final checks and painting at Hawker Pacific at Mascot, the Falcons were then flown to RAAF Fairbairn using their RAAF serials. The first, A26-070, was ferried via Hawaii and Nadi and was accepted by the RAAF on 21 September 1989. A26-073 arrived in Sydney on 19 September and was accepted ten days later. A26-074 arrived in Sydney on 7 October, and was delivered to No 34 Squadron ten days later. A26-076 arrived on 4 November and was handed over to the RAAF on 9 November. The last aircraft, A26-077, arrived in Sydney at the end of November, was accepted by the RAAF in early December, and flew its first No 34 Squadron trip on 12 December.
TECHNICAL DATA: Dassault Falcon 900
15-passenger VIP transport jet.
Three 2041 kg (4500 lb) thrust Garrett TFE731-5A-1C turbofans.
Wing span 19.33 m (63 ft 5 in); length 20.21 m (66 ft 4 in); height 7.55 m (24 ft 9 in).
Empty 10 240 kg (22 755 lb), Max take off 20 640 kg (45 500 lb)
Max speed Mach 0.87 (892 km/h); normal cruise speed 792 km/h (428 kt); max range (45 min reserve) 8020 km (4330 nm); stalling speed 188 km/h (101kt); max cruising altitude 51,000ft (15 545 m); Maximum range 7225 km (3900 nm).Back to top