Dassault Falcon 7X to join ultra-long-range market

 - October 3, 2007, 11:06 AM

Dassault Aviation late last month revealed more information about its all-new airplane, which was code-named FNX when announced at the Paris Air Show in June. The French manufacturer’s contender in the ultra-long-range business jet market now has an official name–the Falcon 7X. Dassault said the airplane’s four-crew, eight-passenger 5,700-nm IFR range is optimum because it “delivers the major U.S. West Coast cities when going west from Paris, or Tokyo going east from Paris. From the U.S. West Coast, it gives you Tokyo going west and all of Europe going east.”

The key to the Falcon 7X’s range, its Mach 0.90 Mmo and its 370-kt Vmo is an “optimized high-transonic wing design with a double-digit improvement in L/D over present-day Falcon wings.” Dassault said that most flights will be able to be conducted at Mach 0.85 and above. The new wing will have a higher aspect ratio and more sweepback than current Falcon wings, allowing more efficient high-speed cruise performance.

Three Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307As, rated at 6,100 lb thrust each, will power the Falcon 7X, and the engine’s TBO will be better than 7,000 hr “out of the box.” The 7X will also meet new, lower noise standards, even those anticipated for the next two decades, Dassault said.

Honeywell has been selected to equip the Falcon 7X with a diverse group of components, including the Primus Epic platform for Dassault’s EASy flight deck. Four 14.1-in displays provide “everything from flight planning and automated checklists to presenting the aircraft’s precise position, situation and environment.” The Falcon 7X will also introduce fly-by-wire primary controls and sidestick controllers to the traditional business jet community.

The cabin of the Falcon 7X will be the same width as the Falcon 900EX’s but eight feet longer. Dassault said a new cabin pressurization system will provide a 6,000-ft cabin altitude at the 51,000-ft ceiling. Although the Falcon 7X will be larger and deliver 26 percent more range than the Falcon 900EX, it will need less runway for both takeoff and landing.

Dassault said it holds more than 40 deposits for the Falcon 7X. First flight is scheduled for 2005 and first deliveries in 2006. Dassault reiterated that the target price is 12 percent over the price of a Falcon 900EX in mid-2001 dollars, or about $36 million completed.