Some outlines of Dassault’s future super-midsize Falcon, codenamed SMS, are beginning to emerge, although the French manufacturer said it has no plan to unveil the aircraft here. Nevertheless, among industry observers there is still plenty of speculation about price and cabin size.
Dassault Falcon (Booth No. 235) has created a “virtual reality room” that lets aircraft designers step into the digital creations they have crafted on their Catia design screens to make sure every detail is right before ever building the real thing.
Remote-controlled model specialist Aviation Design has started offering 1/7th model kits of the Dassault Falcon 7X business jet and expects many of the customers to be pilots of full-size aircraft. EBACE Convention News was able to see the E10,000 ($15,500) model flying at Lausanne airport, on the north side of Lake Geneva, on Sunday.
The Falcon 7X will be the first Dassault business jet to be designed in a “plateau” organization, with all risk-sharing partners working in the same office for one year. Dassault executives expect this process to provide a smoother entry into production. Bruno Revellin-Falcoz, Dassault senior vice president, said maintenance requirements were also being integrated into the design from the start.
AIN has learned that Dassault has reduced the size of the Falcon 7X-dedicated facility extension the company plans to build at its Bordeaux-Mérignac plant. In September, Dassault announced plans for an 18-position assembly hall. The plant was to be built in two phases for a total area of 290,000 sq ft (excluding offices).
For years one of the most difficult aspects of creating a business aircraft interior has been providing a realistic representation of the finished product to the client. This is the first stage of the completion process, and it is critical to the on-time delivery of the finished airplane, within budget and meeting or exceeding the client’s expectations.
Eurocopter design engineers continue ground testing the main gearbox of the EC 175 medium twin. “Trials started in Marignane, France late last year–on time,” program manager Francis Combes told AIN. The company has allotted two years to main gearbox development.
A system that robotically inspects the skin and immediate interior structures of an aircraft–which has been likened to an MRI of the human body–is catching the attention of the aviation industry, including the Defense Department, at least one fractional-ownership provider and safety agencies.
Bertrand Piccard, initiator of the Solar Impulse program calling for a flight around the world with an aircraft powered exclusively by solar energy, showcased the state of his venture in a media conference at the Duebendorf airfield near Zurich, Switzerland, on November 6.
Dassault Aviation has completed assembly of the first Falcon 7X business jet and is aiming to fly it in March. The construction process for the Falcon 7X took just seven months, about half the time it took the company to build the first example of its current flagship, the Falcon 900EX. The manufacturer was aiming to have the aircraft powered up by the end of last month, with a view to conducting a ground run by year-end.