Avions Marcel Dassault Falcon 20 - (scan - 1997)

Falcon, French executive jet, introduced into US 1972 by Pan American through subsidiary, Falcon Jet Corporation. When Fred Smith started looking for aircraft for newly formed Federal Express, selected Falcon because of size, relatively low cost, speed, and easy convertability to cargo- carrying configuration. After conversion, could carry 6500 lb of cargo in accordance with FAA rules for contemplated operations; size of Falcon was perfect fit--larger size would have wasted cargo capacity. Major change to basic executive version was replacement of standard door by larger hydraulically-actuated cargo door; conversion increased all-up weight from 25,300 to 28,660 pounds. Frst 2 Falcons delivered to Federal Express Jun 72. Later, 30 more ordered. (Fred Smith numbered his first three Falcons 8, 9, and 10.) As Federal Express grew, Falcons eventually replaced with Boeing 727s and Douglas DC-10s. Falcon was significant addition to museum because it was built in France and is first commercial jet to have become available. (Foreign-built commercial aircraft have been extremely difficult to obtain).

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