Dassault Falcon Jet started construction on a $60 million expansion and upgrade of its Little Rock, Arkansas, completion facility dedicated to two new models, the Falcon 5X very large body twin jet and ultra-long range Falcon 8X trijet.
Introduced in October 2013 and May 2014 respectively, the new models will significantly expand the Falcon fleet and meet customer demand for additional range and cabin space. Scheduled to be completed by early 2016, for initial 5X and 8X deliveries, the project will add 250,000 sq ft of new production and completion space, bringing the total facility footprint to 1.25 million square feet. The cabinet, upholstery and headliner shops will also be refurbished and older hangars upgraded.
The expansion follows a $20 million 116,000 sq ft upgrade in 2008 that added four new state of the art paint bays, along with new production, design and warehouse space, to accommodate the very long range Falcon 7X.
“This undertaking demonstrates a commitment to continue our investment in Little Rock and to ensure the facility will remain at the forefront of completion technology,” said Dassault Aviation Chairman/CEO Eric Trappier. “Little Rock is not only the company’s largest industrial plant, it is also an industry leader in digital completion techniques, which Dassault pioneered.”
“Dassault has been completing Falcons in Little Rock for more than 40 years,” Dassault Falcon Jet President/CEO John Rosanvallon. “Over that time span it has built up a wealth of completion know how and experience that is unrivalled in the industry and is so critical to the quality and reputation of Falcon aircraft.”
A leading aerospace company with a presence in over 80 countries across five continents, Dassault Aviation produces the Rafale fighter jet as well as the complete line of Falcons. The company employs a workforce of over 11,000 and has assembly and production plants in both France and the United States and service facilities around the globe. Since the rollout of the first Falcon 20 in 1963, over 2,250 Falcon jets have been delivered. Dassault offers a range of six business jets from the twin-engine 3,350 nm large-cabin Falcon 2000S to its new flagship, the tri-engine 6,450 nm ultra-long-range Falcon 8X.
“Dassault’s Little Rock facility brings international attention to the strength of our state’s aerospace sector,” Governor Mike Beebe said. “We are proud to include Dassault among the world-class companies that call Arkansas home, and we appreciate its Little Rock workforce whose skill and hard work made this expansion possible.”