French airframer Dassault is expected to launch a stretched version of its Falcon 7X at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in May. According to a source close to the programme, the aircraft – likely to be called the 8X – will be around 1m (3.2ft) longer than the 7X. The type will have a range of around 6,500nm (12,000km). Dassault has no plans to replace the 7X, the source says, although the company is mindful that the new model could cannibalise sales of the trijet – of which the airframer delivered a record 43 aircraft last year.
The 7X entered service in 2007 as Dassault’s flagship business jet. Over the intervening years, however, rivals Gulfstream and Bombardier have launched large-cabin, longer-range competitors –the G650, and Global 7000 and 8000, respectively. Dassault is hoping to take on these competitors with its all-new top-of-the-range jet, called either the 9X or 10X. The aircraft – based on the new 5X launched last November – could be revealed in around three years, the source says. ■