Dassault is considering using a large proportion of composite materials on the next generation of Falcons. “Hopefully we will have a full composite wing 10 years from now,” an executive at the company’s Biarritz factory, which has expertise in composites manufacturing, told AIN.
The rationale is that the expected weight reduction will provide fuel savings. Another executive at the Bordeaux Martignas plant, which specializes in wings–so far made of aluminum alloys–confirmed the new path.
The in-development Falcon 5X and the certified Falcon 7X have the same amount of composites as other production Falcons. Nevertheless, Dassault has been using a variety of composite production techniques that it could apply to major airframe components in the future.
For example, automated fiber placement is used on the Falcon 5X’s tail cone–S/Ns 2 and 3 of which are now being manufactured–and resin transfer molding was chosen for winglets. A Falcon 20 flew in 1985 with a wing largely made of composites, though this never progressed beyond the prototype stage.