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that passengers --- 6-8 on luxury tours and up to six for medevac
missions --- can move freely about a cabin that's quite large. It is
6ft 2in high 7ft 7in wide and 26ft 3in long. Then there is of course
the rear baggage compartment that's fully pressurised and heated
and which is also accessible in flight through the fully enclosed aft
lavatory. It provides a whopping 134ft of baggage space (800kg so
luggage restrictions rarely apply to passengers. The luggage com-
partment is also accessible outside via a large cargo door below the
port-side engine. Mitran further adds that the F2000's cabin layout
on-board amenities and performance capabilities all combine to
create a very pleasant inflight experience for guests; elements which
are ideal for the tour packages the company o ers but also for the
regular corporate/executive charters it provides too.
" The passengers are absolutely thrilled when they fly in this aircraft
because of the comfort the low noise levels and it's fitted as an air-
liner when it comes to comfort " Mitran says. "The F2000 has all the
food containers you would find with the airliners so it's very handy for
catering. In many other aircraft you don't really find an oven you find
a microwave or you find an icebox but in this one there is an icebox
and a real fridge. It has an oven and fridge on top of the ice boxes. So
it's ideal for the tours we o er.
"With our tours we take Chinese groups
ranging from 6-8 people and we give them
five-day tours of Western Australia flying
them to the best destinations in the state
and providing them with the best accom-
modation. It's called VIP WA Luxury tours.
We've got one tour in the south when its
summer and one tour in the north when
its winter. The Falcon stays five days on
the road and we stop at destinations like
Busselton Albany Esperance Carnarvon
Geraldton Exmouth and Shark Bay. And we
also work with other Chinese tour operators
and fly Chinese tourists over to Tasmania. We depart from Perth fly to
Busselton or Albany and from there we fly to Kangaroo Island in South
Australia then over to Hobart in Tasmania and then back to Perth."
Mitran explains that in the all-important medevac space the
company F2000 is regularly called on to perform standard patient
retrievals within Australia and internationally; such flights include
flying up to Papua New Guinea and Southeast Asia or over to New
Zealand. However in certain instances the FJO F2000 will perform
other medevac flights which are more extended in nature.
"Some of our medevac flights involve a point of entry in the
Maldives which is a base for our 'wing to wing' operations " Mitran
explains. "For these ops patients will arrive from Africa Europe
or India and the meeting point will be in Male where the other
medevac aircraft flies to and we wait for it there. That's the entry
point to then bring the patient from the Maldives to Perth Brisbane
Melbourne or Sydney."
With such long missions regularly appearing on the company's
radar it's the long-range capable French jet that's frequently dis-
patched to assist. Mitran says the jet "actually can fly from any
capital city to any city in Australia without stopping" and cites just
a few lengthy city-pairs to further illustrate his point. He says the
F2000 can chomp through a Perth --- Brisbane sector (1 900 miles
in four hours; a Perth --- Bali run (1 400 miles in three; and a Perth
--- Singapore leg (2 000 miles in 4.5 hours. On such sectors the
jet normally cruises at Mach 0.82 at 41 000-42 000 feet although
during the course of some tours the pilots will sometimes conduct
scenic flights which can see the jet cruising at an average altitude
of only 2 000 feet.
Performance figures aside the jet also has an appealing design. It
has two rear-mounted turbofan engines (General Electric/Honeywell
CFE738-1-1B engines each producing 5 918lb of thrust ; a cruciform
tail (i.e. with the horizontal stabiliser located part way up the vertical
stabiliser and a distinctive swept low-mounted anhedral (i.e. down-
ward-angled main wing (the jet's tailplane also being anhedral ; the
overall design making for an extremely fast e icient and capable jet.
Interestingly after commercial deliveries of the F2000 commenced
in 1995 the aircraft went on to gain a solid foothold in the large-cabin
segment where operators required an executive transport capable
of flying transcontinental distances at high speed with a respectable
payload. It proved its mettle in those key areas and something in the
order of 230 of the aircraft have been built so far.
"I have also flown Gulfstreams BBJs Boeing 737s Boeing 747s
Phenoms etc. The F2000 is really the best of all and a real pilot's
aircraft " Mitran says. " The plane is so well shaped nothing is heavy
with this plane. The MTOW of the aircraft is 36 500lbs and if you
look at the MTOWs of some other jets in its class they're more than
double that of the F2000 with one or two more passengers.
" The F2000 has flaps and slats that are very well positioned so
it can lose speed very fast and gain speed very fast. It cannot stall
many pilots have tried me included but it doesn't behave like other
jets. It doesn't do that because of the aerodynamics of the plane.
It will just lose altitude it's incredible. It's also completely unique
in that it can land in 35-knot crosswinds so it's a fantastic jet no
question about it."
I h e l o flo G l tre m J oei 737 oei
747 Phe om etc. The F2000 i re ll the be t o ll
d re l ilot ircr t. The l e i o ell h ed
othi i he ith thi l e. The MTO o the ircr t
i 36 500lb d i o look t the MTO o ome other
jet i it cl the re more th do ble th t o the F2000
ith o e or t o more e er .
CAPTAIN ERIC MITRAN, FALCON JET OPERATION
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