NetJets Europe’s order for 24 Dassault Falcon 7Xs reflects a powerful declaration of intent for both companies. For Dassault, the deal–valued at $1 billion–is its largest single business jet sale ever and a vital fillip for the 7X program, which now has an order book for 116 copies of the fly-by-wire trijet.
Dassault Falcon 7X
Certification of Dassault’s 69,000-pound (maximum takeoff weight) 7X remains on track for early next year. Although the 7X has yet to be certified, more than 40 of the $39.2 million long-range trijets are already in various stages of production.
Success of Falcon 7X Sales Encourages Dassault’s Expansion Plans at Little Rock
Back in 2003, when then U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice was advising the White House on how to handle the diplomatic fall-out from the transatlantic row over the Iraq war she reportedly urged President Bush to “Punish the French, ignore the Germans and forgive the Russians.”
LABACE, the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition, is a success, at least in terms of scale, but the show is not without its growing pains.
Cosponsored by NBAA and the Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral (ABAG, the Brazilian association of general aviation), it is a modest exhibition, especially when compared with the much larger EBACE and the NBAA Convention.
The Gulfstream G350, FAA certified in November, has received validation by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), enabling operators to register the business jet in any of the 25 European Union countries. The first G350 is scheduled to enter service this fall.
Changes to the Dassault Falcon 7X, now in flight test, could increase its IFR range to as much as 6,000 nm at Mach 0.80, Dassault Aviation said at the NBAA Convention last month. The current guaranteed range of the 7X is 5,700 nm, but the French manufacturer is currently evaluating several range-boosting enhancements. Among the enhancements being considered are Dassault-designed winglets, which would be a first for Falcons.
Since our new business airplane report was finalized, a third Falcon 7X, S/N 03, joined the flight-test program. First flown on September 20, it will be used primarily for avionics, systems and function and reliability testing. At press time the Falcon 7X test fleet had logged 171 hours in 60 sorties. Certification is expected late next year for the fly-by-wire trijet.
A decade ago, any discussion of the private aircraft market in the Middle East was generally limited to members of the royal families as customers, and the airplanes were for the most part executive/VIP versions of widebody airliners.
FBOs at Paris Le Bourget Airport, which makes a strong claim to be Europe’s biggest dedicated business aviation gateway, are experiencing growth with a steady increase in business aviation movements. At the same time competition is heating up, with the arrival of a new operator, a merger between two existing bases and the prospect of a completely new executive terminal.