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Advise-Flying a Falcon 20

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Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001

I could use some advice on what I need to know to fly a Falcon 20. I've flown a heavy jet, and a helo, but never a smaller bis jet.

What is it like? What quirks, etc. does the plane have?

Any advice/suggestions would be appreciated.

What model Falcon 20? Basic, C, D, E, F? Which Engines? GE-CF-700's or Garrett TFE-731's?

Falcon makes a good airplane, the 20 was the first Falcon... its downfalls were the engines (GE's) and the leading edges on the non-F models (they only had DLE's, Droop Leading Edges) The F model had full wing Leading Edge Slats...

I flew the GE powered C & F models... you were always out of gas and out of runway... burned 3,000 the first hour and 2,000 each for the next 2 hours then you landed.... You typically cruised in the low to mid 30's doing M0.72, if you needed anti-ice on in the climb, you could rarely get above about 18,000 ft until you turned off the anti-ice...

The Garrett models from what I understand are much improved in range, speed and altitude capabilities...

Hope this helps... If you have any specific questions I would be happy to answer them for you...

Falcon Capt.
great plane

I've flown the 731 converted 20 for the past few years. They are fantastic airplanes! Nothing like the GE powered aircraft. They basically operate like a 50 without the 3rd engine. 2300 lbs the first hour, 1900 the second, etc etc. .82 or so in the high 30's
What do you need to know? Their old. Even the ones with Collins proline glass cockpits are old. The technology and systems are 1960's 1970's era. They handle great. One thing that sticks out is that big old wing does NOT want to slow down. Flight idle is a common descent power setting!! Use the speed brakes and use em early.

What else?
One of the things I remember the most about the Falcon 20 with the CF700's is, flying in Ice.

The tail section is not anti-iced (even though it looks like it). I've seen a ton of ice up there, but you'd never known it by the way the plane flew. It was great.

Also, an arrival that I used to have to fly into my airport (PWK) often had us a 3,000' for the last 80 miles of the flight. If you were in ice, you had to keep the power close to 90% in order to produce enough heat to keep the wings warm. That required speedbrakes to keep you below 250 knots. If you were lucky and in the F model (9100# fuel capacity) and you needed every drop because, at 3,000' and 90% power you are burning around 6,000# per hour! Cuts your range significantly!!!

And, as Falcon Capt said, don't plan on climbing with the anti-ice on!

Just like any airplane, they have their good points and bad points. Pilots often complain about an airplane when you try to do things the plane just isn't capable of doing, ie short runways, long legs, hot/high operations, etc. Unfortunately, owners often buy an airplane that is not capable of doing what they want to do, mostly due to bad advice from brokers.

Even a C model with CF700's is a good airplane if you are using a 6,500' runway (S.L.), and going distances around 800 miles or less. If that is your mission, it is a lot of airplane for around $2 Million.

Hmm.. I never considered the Falcon 20 a hard airplane to get down. It has very effective speedbrakes. Every now and then, when we were flying empty into El Paso late at night, we would stay at FL350 until 35 dme out on the localizer and make it straight in no problem. From 350, we were at 10,000 in under 3 minutes. We would basically simulate an emergency descent... turn the ignitors on, power to idle, extend the brakes & it would take an initial nose down attitude of about 25 degrees to get the airspeed up to 350 knots, and about 18-20 degrees to keep it there, if I remember correctly. It was lots of fun & very impressive. DISCLAIMER.. don't try that with the boss on board!

With the CF700's I usually found that about 83% - 85% would keep the green lights on for the anti-ice.. about the same power to maintain 250 knots below 10,000. If you are in the ice below 10,000 use the speedbrakes to descend and keep the power up.

If you are shooting an approach in the ice, the technique I used was to get stabalized on the G/S, fully configured with speedbrakes extended. At about 500' I would stow the speedbrakes and pull off lots of power to maintain speed.. it worked pretty well when you got used to it, but it is just technique.

Also, when extending/retracting the speedbrakes trim the same direction (ie speedbrakes up, trip up) for about a 2 count & it makes it much smoother.
Don't expect to do idle descents in the freighter DA-20's. It won't hold a cabin with all that air blowing out that big cargo door.

To Falcon Capt posting above:

The previous 2 posters filled me in. The Falcon 20 model is:

"C's and D's with Cf700 engines on them".

Thanks to all who have posted, and more experiences are greatly appreciated!!!


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