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Thu, May 26, 2005

Premier Aircraft Seeks STC for Falcon 50-4 Upgrade

Bases Effort On "Strong Customer Response"

Premier Aircraft has begun the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) process for the Falcon 50-4 Performance Upgrade, based on strong customer response to the company's marketing activity.

To allow customers to coordinate the upgrade with their anticipated Major Periodic Inspections (MPI), Core Zone Inspections (CZI) or C inspections, Premier has authorized Honeywell Aerospace to move forward with N1 DEEC (Digital Electronic Engine Control) and related engineering test requirements for the TFE731-4-1C.  At the same time, Premier has also directed Flight Test Associates in Mojave, California to begin preparation of the Project-Specific Certification Plan for presentation to the FAA.

The Premier program converts the customer's existing TFE731-3/3D engines to the new TFE731-4-1C configuration and, after minor modifications to the Falcon 50 nacelles and engine instruments, installs the new engines on the aircraft.  Nacelle-nozzle integration tests have been completed at Honeywell's engine facilities, and performance improvement targets have been benchmarked.  Flight Test Associates was selected by Premier in April to support aircraft flight test and certification.

The STC award is expected in February of 2006, depending on availability of FAA resources, the pace of the test aircraft (Falcon 50 serial number 28) through the flight test process, and the release of the 50-4 engine to flight status by Honeywell. Premier plans to start customer upgrades in March 2006.  Capacity is three aircraft in March 2006, ramping up to six aircraft per month by May.

Customers will find the upgrade most cost-effective when their aircraft is also due for MPI, CZI or C inspections.  For customers enrolled on MSP, Honeywell is further supporting the program by applying MSP payments against the engine conversion cost, which can significantly reduce the upgrade list price of $2.305 million.

While the earlier TFE-731-3D update offered by Honeywell focuses on improved reliability / durability, the Premier Falcon 50-4 Performance Upgrade offers true performance enhancements such as higher climb and cruise thrust, lower specific fuel consumption, up to 26 percent greater range due to enhanced high-hot performance, reduced time to climb, and higher initial cruise altitude, as well providing further increases in durability, extended 2500/5000 hr MPI/CZI intervals, and special 3yr/1800 hr engine warranty and reduced MSP rates.  Non-MSP customers will be offered the chance to enroll at the reduced -4 hourly rate.

Jim Swehla, Premier president, said the program is developing strong momentum. "We have several customers planning their combined inspection/upgrade dates for early next year, and we expect interest to increase as we move through the certification process."

FMI: www.50Dash4.com

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