Dubai Airshow

Dassault Promotes Falcon Flagships in Dubai

 - November 12, 2021, 3:00 AM
Dassault’s Falcon 8X and 900LX returned to this year’s Dubai Airshow, but the 8X is now equipped with a new interior reflecting features inspired by the in-development Falcon 6X, including new LED lighting, improved acoustics, and a new cabin-management system.

Dassault Aviation (Chalet A27-A29, Stand 860) is showcasing the business side of its military and civilian fleets, led by its current and forthcoming business jet flagships: the newly updated Falcon 8X tri-jet and its next-generation fleet leaders, the Falcon 6X and 10X twin-jets. Dubai Airshow attendees can experience the Falcon cabins’ signature “French Touch” aboard the 8X and the 900LX tri-jet on display at the static park.

The eight-passenger Falcon 8X arrived at Dubai World Central with a new interior design, premiered last month at NBAA-BACE in the U.S., and inspired by the forthcoming larger 6X. It offers what Dassault calls “the most sophisticated and well-designed cabin available in any ultra-long-range business jet,” featuring flowing lines and uninterrupted surfaces that enhance the interior’s spaciousness.

The updated standard 8X cabin now includes new LED lighting that incorporates sunrise/sunset functions among other features, and upgraded acoustic insulation, lowering the sound level in what is already the quietest cabin on the market, according to the French company. A new cabin management system makes controlling cabin entertainment and environmental systems fingertip simple, it adds.

Looking ahead, the Falcon 6X, scheduled for service entry in late 2022, features the largest cross-section dimensions of any purpose-built business jet. In fact, both the 6X and 10X, with their super-sized circumferences, mark a sharp departure from the Falcon line’s traditional modest ramp scale, reflecting a change in customer demands.

“Passengers want space and the comforts of home, especially on long flights,” said Carlos Brana, Dassault’s executive vice-president for civil aviation. “They very much want to stroll up and down the aisle, to freely visit and mingle with passengers in other sections of the aircraft, and not be hunched over because of low ceiling height.”

Configuration options for the 16-passenger 6X’s interior include a large entryway, a crew rest area, spacious rear lounge, and expanded galley. With its range of 5,500 nm, the cabin altitude pressurization of 3,900 feet at 41,000 feet will help keep passengers refreshed on long journeys.

Announced just last December, the 6X first flew in March, and with three aircraft now in certification flight tests, the program has logged more than 300 hours and 100 flights. Company test pilots “have given the 6X high marks for its excellent handling,” Dassault chairman and CEO Eric Trappier said, comparing their maneuverability favorably to the company’s fighter jets. While “considerable test activity [remains] to be completed,” Trappier continued, the 6X is "achieving milestones at a pace that our test engineers are really happy with."

Dassault and engine maker Pratt & Whitney expects Transport Canada certification of the airplane’s PW812D engine by year-end, along with first flight of the fourth 6X airframe and first production model, scheduled for delivery to Dassault’s Little Rock, Arkansas, completion facility early next year. The 6X will embark on a world demonstration tour in the second quarter of 2022 following full interior installation. Concurrently, Dassault is preparing its global service facilities to ensure maximum support for flight departments from the first day of its operations.

The Falcon 10X, announced in May, is even larger than the 6X, and at 9-feet, 1-inch wide and 6-feet, 8-inches high, will eclipse the cabin cross-sections of the competing ultra-long-range Gulfstream G700 and Bombardier Global 7500, said Dassault. All three jets carry a cabin volume of about 2,700 cubic feet and a list price of around $75 million to go with their long legs — some 7,500 nm of range for the 10X.

Although looking much like a traditional Falcon, the 10X will differ structurally, with a composite carbon-fiber wing of similar composition to those used in Dassault’s Rafale fighter; meanwhile, its T-tail-configured empennage represents a switch from prior Falcons’ distinctive cruciform and downward-canted horizontal stabilizers.

A new neXus flight deck featuring touchscreens and a single power-lever Smart Throttle will allow the addition of Recovery Mode on the 10X, a first for Falcon jets. Powered by purpose-built Rolls-Royce Pearl 10X engines on the pylons, the 10X will also become the first Falcon powered by the British company’s turbines.

The 13-passenger Falcon 900LX, launched in 2016, incorporates FalconEye head-up displays and an electronic flight bag (EFB) in the cockpit, and offers more than 35 percent better operational efficiency than other jets in its class, according to Dassault. Its 4,750 nm range can connect Paris to Beijing, Mumbai to London, or New York to Moscow, while its tri-jet configuration delivers the short field and high/hot performance for which Falcons are known.