Dassault Aviation’s new ultra-long range Falcon 8X is making its public Middle East debut here at MEBAA, leading a display of the company’s long-range, large-cabin jets. Following certification by the FAA and EASA in June, the 8X entered service in October, the French manufacturer (Stand A11) delivered the first 8X ordered by a Gulf customer last month.
“The delivery of a Falcon 8X to a regional operator barely a month after the entry into service of the first aircraft says a lot about the important role the Middle East is expected to play in the success of our new flagship,” said Renaud Cloatre, Dassault’s international sales director for the Middle East region. “The aircraft’s first showing at the MEBAA show in Dubai is also expected to generate a great deal of excitement among Gulf operators,” he added.
The UAE and Brazil’s ANAC also recently approved the 8X, and it’s expected to receive certification in China shortly. As with the Falcon 7X, Dassault’s most popular platform in the Middle East, the company expects the larger 8X (which like the 7X, from which it’s derived, carries a maximum of 19 passengers) to be a big seller in the region, due to its combination of range, cabin comfort and operating efficiency. Over the past seven years, the Falcon fleet in the region has almost doubled, to more than 70 jets, according to the company.
Dassault demonstrated the new jet’s capabilities during a recent month-long global proving trial, which revealed that some performance parameters, including takeoff distance and cabin noise levels, surpass design objectives.
New Falcon 8X operators in the region can also take advantage of service options offered by Dassault’s global support organization, customized to the needs of individual operators. The company has authorized service centers in both Dubai and Jeddah, and recently introduced Falcon Response, a comprehensive AOG support service that includes a pair of Dassault-owned and -operated Falcon 900s dedicated to resolving AOG (aircraft on ground) situations.
With a range of 6,450 nm/11,945 km, the 8X can fly non-stop between Dubai and New York, Dubai and Adelaide, or Jeddah and Chicago. It also features the largest selection of standard cabin configurations of any large business jet, according to Dassault, and a wide range of cabin options, including an onboard shower, a large entryway that can serve as a fourth cabin section, and a spacious VIP suite. Cockpit options include Dassault’s new FalconEye Combined Vision System (the first Head Up Display to combine synthetic and enhanced vision capabilities), and Falcon Sphere II, a new Electronic Flight Bag.
Dassault is also displaying here at the show a Falcon 2000 LXS, the newest iteration of the company’s Falcon 2000 line, recently approved for installation of the FalconEye Combined Vision System. With a range of 4,000 nm/7,410 km, the Falcon 2000 LXS boasts a short-field capability comparable to smaller midsize and super midsize jets, but with more range and flexibility, able to land at 90 percent of its maximum takeoff weight.
The Falcon 2000 LXS is also certified for steep approaches, allowing operations at restricted airfields such as London City Airport.