Dassault has turned up the heat in the competitive ultra-long range sector with the launch at EBACE of its longest range and largest cabin Falcon – the 8X.
The unveiling of the 19-seat tri-jet comes just seven months after the French airframer took the wraps of its all-new and widest cabin Falcon, the 5X. The 8X is a stretched version of the 7X which entered service seven years ago and the 250th example of which is in completion.
“The Falcon 8X will be our new flagship and a great complement to our product line,” Dassault Aviation chairman, Eric Trappier at the show.
The 8X will be pitched against Gulfstream’s G550, G650 and Bombardier’s in-development Global 7000 and 8000. With a range of 6,450nm (11,950 km) – 500nm more than the 7X – it will offer a more extensive list of one-leg missions than its stablemate, such as Beijing to New York, Hong Kong to Seattle, Paris to Singapore and Sao Paulo to Moscow.
Eric Trappier unveils the new Falcon flagship today
Dassault has introduced a number of refinements and enhancements to the aircraft’s design including an extra fuel tank within the centre fuselage section, which enables the 8X to carry up to 15,800kg (34,900lb) fuel – compared with 14,500kg carried by the 7X. It will also feature a redesigned ultra-efficient wing derived from the Falcon 7X. “The wing structure has been redesigned to minimise the overall aircraft drag during cruise while achieving 600lb weight saving,” says Olivier Villa, senior vice president, civil aircraft. “It will also feature an optimised leading edge profile and winglets. These improvements will increase significantly the lift to drag ratio.”
The 8X will be equipped with three Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307D engines, each delivering 6,720lb (30kN) of thrust – a 5% increase compared to the PW307As that power the Falcon 7X. These engines will offer a new full authority digital engine control system, as well as a significant reduction in fuel consumption, noise and nitrogen oxide emissions, says Dassault.
The 8X has the same cabin cross-section as the 7X, but is around 1.1m longer bringing the total cabin length to 13m. “This extra space has enabled us to offer the most diverse selection of cabin layouts on the market,” says Dassault. “More than 30 configurations will be available and three galley sizes, two with a crew-rest options,” it continues. The 8X cabin also features up to 33 windows, depending on the configuration, compared with a maximum of 29 windows on the 7X.
Priced at around $57 million, first flight is expected in early 2015 with certification in the middle of 2016 and initial deliveries before the end of the year.