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Dassault Falcon Jet sees weakening marketDassault Falcon Jet sees weakening market

The market for new business jets in the United States and western Europe is softening, while demand remains strong in Russia and the Middle East, said Charles Edelstenne, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.

Still, the company passed through June with a 500-aircraft backlog. It received 87 orders, including a large one from NetJets, in the first half of 2008.

Dassault executives saw a slowdown in orders “all over” but particularly in the United States and western Europe in the third quarter, said John Rosanvallon, president and CEO of Dassault Falcon Jet. “We are even more cautious in the fourth quarter,” he said. “People are postponing decisions, and we are watching the market day to day.”

Rosanvallon said 2005 was the year the U.S. market became smaller than other international markets. The trend built momentum the following two years and now accounts for 25 percent of Dassault’s business, as does western Europe.

In other Falcon news, Honeywell’s EASy Phase II avionics suite remains on track for certification by the end of 2009 in Falcon 900s, and for Falcons 2000 and 7X by mid-2010. The EASy Phase II includes controller-pilot datalink (CPDL) communications, ADS-B, paperless charts, and synthetic vision. Retrofits for all existing EASy-eqippped Falcons will also be made available.

Dassault also announced that the Falcon 7X has earned approval for the use of a slats-1, flaps-1 takeoff procedure. The new procedure permits longer-range flights out of shorter runways, compared to the original slats-2, flaps-2 takeoff configuration. Using slats-1, flaps-1, a 7X can fly out of the 4,000-foot-long runway at London’s City Airport and fly non-stop to the United States.

A Falcon spokesman also said that the company’s upcoming 900LX would have a fuel consumption 40-percent lower than that of its competitors and weigh 40-percent less. Deliveries are expected to begin in mid-2010.

Dassault also said it would be doubling the size of its assembly plants in Bordeaux-Merignac and Seclin, France.

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