Dassault Falcon 20
The Dassault Falcon 20 is a French business jet developed and manufactured by Dassault Aviation. The first business jet developed by the firm, it became the first of a family of business jets to be produced under the same name; of these, both the smaller Falcon 10 and the larger trijet Falcon 50 were direct derivatives of the Falcon 20.
Initially known as the Dassault-Breguet Mystère 20, approval to proceed with development of the aircraft was issued during December 1961. It is a low-wing monoplane design, powered by a pair of rear-mounted General Electric CF700 turbofan engines. On 4 May 1963, the prototype made its maiden flight. The first production aircraft was introduced on 3 June 1965. On 10 June 1965, French aviator Jacqueline Auriol achieved the women's world speed record using the first prototype.
An improved model of the aircraft, designated the Falcon 200, was developed. This variant, powered by a pair of Garrett ATF3 engines, featured several major improvements to increase its range, capacity, and comfort. Additionally, a number of Falcon 20s that had been originally powered by the CF700 engines were later re-engined with Garrett TFE731 turbofan engines. The aircraft proved to be so popular that production did not end until 1988, when it had been superseded by more advanced developments of the Falcon family. Due to the increasing implementation of noise-abatement regulations, the Falcon 20 has either been subject to restrictions on its use in some nations, or been retrofitted with Stage 3 noise-compliant engines or hush kits upon its non-compliant engines. The type has also been used as a flying test bed and aerial laboratory by a number of operators, including NASA and Draken Europe. In November 2012, a Falcon 20 had the distinction of becoming the first civilian jet to fly on 100% biofuel.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) operated a model of the Falcon 20, designated as the HU-25 Guardian. The Guardian was operated as a high-speed spotter aircraft to locate shipwreck survivors and direct slower-moving aircraft and rescue vessels, and to interdict aerial and shipborne drug trafficking. In 1982, the first HU-25 was delivered to the USCG; by December 1983, a total of 41 aircraft had been acquired.