The Dassault Falcon 20-E5 (D-CMET) is based at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Research Flight Department in Oberpfaffenhofen. The aircraft is used by DLR institutes and numerous external customers as a carrier system for flight tests and experiments, mainly in the area of atmospheric research.
For experiments in environmental and climate research
The many possible applications offered by this large-scale facility make it unique. For instance, the hard-points on the aircraft's fuselage and the wings allow external loads such as air inlets, sensors or particle measurement instruments to be attached. During flights, international research teams measure trace gases and aerosols and collect air samples, which are then analysed in the laboratory. The twin-engine aircraft is based on a business jet manufactured by the French company Dassault and flies at altitudes of up to 12,800 metres.
Two large openings in the cabin floor of the Dassault Falcon 20-E5 provide an unobstructed view of Earth's surface and allow the use of equipment for remote sensing. Additionally, the aircraft is equipped with a package of sensors for collecting meteorological data (for example, temperature, pressure, humidity and wind).
The aircraft is extremely manoeuvrable thanks to its compact design and layout; the landing gear and aircraft structure are also designed to be highly robust. As the engines do not have thrust reversers, the Falcon is equipped with a brake parachute.
The Falcon 20-E5 has supported DLR's research flight operations for more than 40 years and has proven to be robust and reliable. The aircraft's equipment has been continually modernised and developed over the years; as a result the platform will be used to cover a wide range of applications in the future.