Envoy IV is a military transport aircraft in service with the UK Royal Air Force (RAF). It is used for the secure and timely air transportation of high-priority military personnel and small mission-critical cargo to from and within operational areas.
The RAF has two Envoy IV CC Mk1 aircraft. Developed by Dassault Aviation, the two new Envoy IV aircraft replaced the fleet of four BAe146 aircraft in the RAF that retired from service in April 2022.
Envoy IV plays the command support air transport (CSAT) role in the RAF and is crucial for defence diplomacy.
Envoy IV transport aircraft development details
Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) procurement arm, signed a £80m ($108.2m) contract with UK-based private jet provider Centreline AV (Centreline) to deliver two Dassault Falcon 900LX aircraft and provide initial support for two years with option to extend the contract by three years, in February 2022.
The first Dassault 900LX aircraft entered the RAF’s newest fleet and was named Envoy IV in May 2022.
The Envoy IV aircraft made its first operational flight in June 2022.
The RAF’s newest fleet reached its full-service capability with the delivery of a second aircraft in August 2022.
The new Envoy IV aircraft is operated by No 32 (The Royal) Squadron from the RAF Northolt base. It will be operated by mixed crews of the RAF and the staff of Centreline for the initial two years and will later be upgraded to a full military and operational capability in April 2024 to be only operated by RAF crews from 32 (The Royal) Squadron.
Envoy IV transport aircraft design and features
The Envoy IV aircraft has a length of 66ft 4in (20.21m), a height of 24ft 9in (7.55m), and a wingspan of 70ft 2in (21.38m).
It can fly with a maximum take-off weight of 49,000lb (22,225kg) and a maximum landing weight of 44,500lb (20,185kg). It can carry a maximum fuel weight of 20,905lb (9,480kg).
The internal cabin measures 33ft 2in (10.11m) in length, excluding the cockpit and baggage area, 74in (1.88m) in height and 92in (2.34m) in width, and has a baggage volume of 127ft³ (3.6m³). A typical configuration of the aircraft can accommodate 12 passengers and two crew members.
Cockpit and avionics
The cockpit features EASy II flight deck, an advanced smart, integrated avionics system implemented on the hardware platform of Honeywell Primus Epic system.
The EASy cockpit features four 14.1in screens arranged in a T configuration. The cockpit architecture includes two cursor control devices (CCDs) and two multifunction keyboards (MKBs) on the pedestal.
The cockpit promotes intuitive flying and improves the situational awareness of the pilot, maximising their performance and safety as well as navigation, surveillance and communication capabilities.
The improved primary flight display, SmartView™ synthetic vision system, SmartRunway™ runway awareness and advisory system, advanced take-off/go around (TOGA) mode, second electronic checklist, auto descent mode, dual Jeppesen charts and XM® Weather in the integrated navigation (INAV), a navigation-enabled flight control software, enhances the pilot safety and situational awareness.
The flight deck features FalconEye, which is the world’s first combined vision system that provides unprecedented situational awareness to the crew members in all weather conditions, both during day and night.
The navigation capabilities include satellite-based augmentation system global positioning system (SBAS GPS), Baro vertical navigation (VNAV) temperature compensation, localiser performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches and required navigation performance with authorisation required (RNP AR) approaches.
The pilots communicate over ATN-B1 datalink, which is a protected mode controller pilot data link communication (CPDLC), and future air navigation system (FANS) 1/A+ datalink.
Performance and engine details
The aircraft has a maximum range of 4,750nm (8,800km) and a maximum speed of Mach 0.87. It requires a take-off distance of 5,360ft (1,633m) and a typical landing distance of 2,415ft (736m).
The transport aircraft has an approach speed of 204km/h and can reach a maximum altitude of 51,000ft (15,545m).
It is equipped with three Honeywell TFE731-60 turbofan engines. The engine has a length of 82.3in and a diameter of 42.4in and provides a take-off thrust of 5,000 pounds of force (lbf).
Powered by a gearbox, the engine fan consists of 22 fan blades, 52 exit-guide vanes, and ten struts. The engine has a five-stage compressor with four axial (LP) stages and one radial or centrifugal (HP) stage. The efficient engine consumes less fuel and requires less maintenance.