In this month’s Aircraft Comparative Analysis- we provide information on a selection of Pre-Owned business jets in the $4.0 million-or-less price range for the purpose of valuing the pre-owned Dassault Falcon 50. We’ll consider the productivity parameters - payload/range- speed and cabin size- and cover current and future market values. The field in this study includes the Dassault Falcon 50 and the Cessna Citation X. In this comparison we will see how the Falcon 50 fares against the world’s faste
Aircraft Comparative Analysis – Dassault Falcon 50
Dassault Falcon 50
In this month’s Aircraft Comparative Analysis- we provide information on a selection of Pre-Owned business jets in the $4.0 million-or-less price range for the purpose of valuing the Dassault Falcon 50 jet for sale. We’ll consider the productivity parameters - payload/range- speed and cabin size- and cover current and future market values. The field in this study includes the Dassault Falcon 50 and the Cessna Citation X. In this comparison we will see how the Falcon 50 fares against the world’s fastest aircraft- the Citation X. Prices are for 1996 models.
The Falcon 50 is a French-built super midsize- long-range business aircraft with three jet engines. It was first certified in February 1979 in France and a month later in the United States. Production of the Falcon 50 ended in 1996. Aviation Partners has since developed winglets for the Falcon 50 as a retrofit kit.
Following the Falcon 50 came the Falcon 50EX which made its first flight in 1996. The Falcon 50EX offered improved engines over the Falcon 50 among other improvements that enabled this popular business jet more range. There have been 352 Falcon 50- 50-40 (engine upgrade)- and 50EX aircraft delivered since 1979- and rather remarkably there have been only eight Falcon 50s retired from the fleet. Production of the Falcon 50 series ended in 2007.
Chart A represents the in-operation aircraft Market Share as of February 2013 for the Dassault Falcon 50- 50-40- and 50EX fleet combined (53%) and the Cessna Citation X (47%). There are currently 653 total aircraft in operation for these models.
PAYLOAD AND RANGE
The data contained in Table A is published in the B&CA- May 2012 issue- but is also sourced from Conklin & de Decker. As we have mentioned in past articles- a potential operator should focus on payload capability as a key factor. The Falcon 50’s ‘Available payload with Maximum Fuel’ at 1-280 pounds is less than the Citation X.
According to Conklin & de Decker- the cabin volume of the Falcon 50EX- at 700 cubic feet is greater than the Citation X (593 cu ft)- as shown in Chart B.
As mentioned previously- the Falcon 50 aircraft has three Honeywell TFE731-3-1C engines each offering 3-704 pounds of thrust (total = 11-112 lbst). By comparison- the Citation X is powered by two Rolls-Royce AE 3007 engines - offering substantially more thrust at 6-764 pounds (13-528 lbst total).
Using data published in the May 2012 B&CA Planning and Purchasing Handbook and the August 2012 B&CA Operations Planning Guide we will compare our aircraft. The nationwide average Jet-A fuel cost in the August 2012 edition was $6.30 per gallon at press time- so for the sake of comparison we’ll chart the numbers as published.
Note: Fuel price used from this source does not represent an average price for the year.
Table B- sourced from the Aircraft Cost Calculator- shows the fuel usage of each aircraft in our field of study. The Dassault Falcon 50 - at 330 gallons per hour (GPH) and the Cessna Citation X burn the exact same gallons per hour- but both use 20 gallons per hour (or 6.5%) more fuel than the Dassault Falcon 50EX (at 310 GPH).
COST PER MILE COMPARISONS
Chart C- which details “Cost per Mile”- compares the Falcon 50 to its competition factoring direct costs and with all aircraft flying a 1-000 nm mission with an 800 pound (four passengers) payload. The Falcon 50’s cost per mile comparisons at $8.02 is more expensive per mile compared to the Citation X. (It should be noted that the Falcon 50 aircraft was developed in the late 1970s while the Citation X was developed a decade or more later.) The Citation X cost per mile is significantly lower at $5.48 per nm.
TOTAL VARIABLE COST COMPARISONS
The ‘Total Variable Cost’ illustrated in Chart D - is defined as the cost of Fuel Expense- Maintenance Labor Expense- Scheduled Parts Expense and Miscellaneous trip expense. The total variable cost for the Falcon 50 at $3-275 per hour is more expensive to operate than the Citation X at $2-708.
The points in Chart E center on the same group of aircraft. Pricing used in the vertical axis is as published in the B&CA 2012 Purchase Planning Handbook and Vref. The productivity index requires further discussion in that the factors used can be somewhat arbitrary. Productivity can be defined (and it is here) as the multiple of three factors:
1. Range with full payload and available fuel;
2. The long range cruise speed flown to achieve that range;
3. The cabin volume available for passengers and amenities.
The result is a very large number so for the purpose of charting- each result is divided by one billion. The examples plotted are confined to the aircraft in this study. A computed curve fit on this plot would not be very tight- but when all business jet aircraft are considered the “r” squared factor would equal a number above 0.9. Others may choose different parameters- but serious business aircraft buyers are usually impressed with Price- Range- Speed and Cabin Size.
After consideration of the Price- Range- Speed and Cabin Size- we can conclude that the Falcon 50 as shown on the productivity index Chart E is competitive with the Citation X. The Falcon 50- which was in-operation almost 20 years ahead of the Citation X shows a better productivity value. It offers a larger cabin- more range and a slightly lower retail price – although it is slower- and costs more to operate than the Citation X- which will offset the price advantage over a period of time.
Table C contains the relative retail prices from B&CA and from Vref for each aircraft (1996 production model). The number of aircraft in-operation- percentage “For Sale” and the number “Sold” over the past 12 months are from JETNET. As presented- the Falcon 50 has a high percentage of the existing fleet “For Sale” at 19.4% (buyer’s market). The total Dassault Falcon Business Jet Fleet “For Sale” percentage is at 12.7%- and the in operation Dassault Falcon Business Jet Fleet has surpassed the 2-000 mark at 2-021 units.
LOCATION BY CONTINENT
The major ‘based-at’ location of the Falcon 50 fleet is the United States (76%) followed by Europe (17%) according to information compiled by JETNET in its STAR reporting system. Such data can be valuable information for dealer/broker repeat business.
Within the preceding paragraphs we have touched upon several of the attributes that business aircraft operators value. There are other qualities such as airport performance- terminal area performance- and time-toclimb performance that might factor in a buying decision too- however.
The Dassault Falcon 50 aircraft fares well against its competition- so those operators in the market should find the preceding comparison of value. Our expectations are that the Falcon 50- which started delivering in 1979- will continue to do relatively well in the pre-owned market for the immediate future.
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