Dassault Aviation’s new Falcon 8X is off to a solid start in its quest to establish a new benchmark at the top of the large cabin business jet sector.
The company’s new flagship entered service last October and today, the ultra-long range jet is flying in virtually all major business markets, from the Americas to the Middle East and India. Production facilities in France and the United States are in full production mode and initial deliveries to customers in Russia and Asia are scheduled in the coming weeks.
“The smooth introduction of our new Falcon 8X, combined with its reinforced operational capabilities, suggests it will be a big success in the marketplace,” said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. “This bodes well not only for the future of the program but, most importantly, for the operational benefits it will bring to our customers.”
The 6,450 nm/11,945 km Falcon 8X provides customers with increased range and cabin volume compared to the Falcon 7X from which it was derived. The additional range allows it to comfortably fly ultra-long intercontinental routes from Asia to Europe in a single hop. In early May, a Falcon 8X demonstration aircraft performed a non-stop flight from Singapore to London connecting two of the largest business hubs in Asia and Europe.
The 8X also offers the best handling, fuel economy, cabin sound levels and short field capability of any large cabin business jet, along with the broadest selection of cabin configurations available in the industry – all paramount considerations in today’s aggressive business world.
Extensive Testing Equals Superior Reliability
Moreover, thanks to extensive operational feedback from the 7X and a rigorous two-year test campaign, the Falcon 8X has come to market with fully mature systems and an exceptional level of reliability. Proving trials utilized new endurance test methods, that subject aircraft equipment and systems to extremes of vibration, humidity, temperature, pressure changes and other in-flight phenomena designed to verify optimum operation over time.
Reliability was additionally validated during a month long around-the-world test campaign in spring 2016. The 65 flight 55,000 nm campaign put the Falcon 8X through every conceivable flight condition an operator could expect to encounter, from blistering desert heat to extreme cold and humidity, with a special emphasis on cabin comfort and connectivity. Test results showed the aircraft performed even better than expected in several key areas, including takeoff distance. The global tour also achieved a perfect 100% dispatch rate.
“Our new Falcon 8X flagship provides the perfect solution for operators who are looking for an optimum mix of range, operating economy and flying flexibility,” said Trappier. “We are convinced this will be a very desirable aircraft.”
Reinforced Operational Capabilities
In the six months the Falcon 8X has been in service, operational capability has been continuously upgraded, most recently through new approvals covering flight in severe crosswind conditions (up to 30 knots) and operation at London City Airport, one of the world’s most restrictive airfields.
The 8X has also been qualified with new equipment and service options that yet further expand its flight capabilities. These include:
- Dassault’s revolutionary FalconEye Combined Vision System, the first head-up display (HUD) system in business aviation to combine synthetic and enhanced vision capabilities in a single view. In addition to ensuring increased situational awareness in all conditions of operation, day and night, FalconEye will yield substantial operational improvements, including a 100-ft decision height. Almost all Falcon 8X customers have signed up to use the FalconEye HUD;
- Falcon Sphere II integrated electronic flight bag solutions. Delivered with a lightweight, ultra-thin, portable display and a vast array of new app functionalities, including Weight and Balance Module, Electronic Cruise Computation and Falcon Performance, Falcon Sphere II greatly reduces the time and effort necessary to prepare, manage and restitute business jet missions and moves operators even closer to the truly paperless cockpit;
- The new JetWave high-speed broadband antenna, which enables passengers to browse the internet, stream videos or videoconference anywhere in the world, over land or over water, as if they were in their office or at home, using Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-band satellite network.