Meet Dassault Aviation’s Ultra-Long-Range Jet–The Falcon 10X
Dassault Aviation has unveiled its newest business jet–the Dassault Falcon 10X–a clean-sheet 7,500-nm, four-zone, ultra-long-range aircraft that is the company’s largest jet to date.
The Falcon 10X has a cruise speed of Mach 0.85 and a top speed of Mach 0.925. It will fly nonstop from New York to Shanghai, Los Angeles to Sydney, Hong Kong to New York or Paris to Santiago, Chile, the company said.
Dassault Aviation announced the aircraft on May 6. Entry-into-service of the Falcon 10X, priced at $75 million in 2021 dollars, is expected in late 2025.
The Falcon 10X will compete head-on with Bombardier’s Global 7500 and the Gulfstream G700.
The new aircraft had been called the Falcon 9X, but that changed.
“I am quite happy to announce that the new Falcon is going to be the Falcon 10X,” Eric Trappier, Dassault chairman and CEO, said during the aircraft’s announcement. “Today, we are introducing a new benchmark in business aviation. The 10X will offer an unrivaled passenger experience over both short- and long-duration flights, along with breakthrough safety features derived from frontline fighter technology. We have optimized every aspect of the aircraft with the passenger in mind and established a new level of capability for ultra-long-range aircraft.”
The aircraft began with conversations with customers, Trappier said. They asked for a long-range aircraft designed for comfort.
A 7,500-nm trip, which can last more than 15 hr., presents unique challenges to passengers and pilots. Passengers should be able to enjoy the flight and start their day when they depart the aircraft, said Carlos Brana, Dassault Aviation executive vice president of civil aircraft.
After a 15-hr. flight, the pilots are tired as well, even though three pilots will be on board and can take turns resting. The question is “how can we alleviate their workload at critical times of the flight,” Brana said.
Dassault Aviation has now launched two new cross-sections of business aircraft with the Falcon 10X and Falcon 6X, establishing the basis for a 40-year product strategy, said Rolland Vincent, head of the Plano, Texas-based market research and analysis firm bearing the same name.
“This is intriguing and pace-setting,” Vincent said. “More to come here, that’s for sure.”
The company is making impressive levels of investment in the civil side of its business. “Dassault Aviation is an innovative leader and this latest news suggests that, as expected, they intend to take a back seat, however beautifully designed and spaciously appointed, to no one.”
With the Falcon 10X, “the aficionado customer who has been exceptionally loyal to Dassault will be pleased with this option to stay in the family,” Vincent said. “Buyers who seek the superlatives will surely be attracted. The game at the very top of the market is, like never before, afoot.”
Eric Martel, Bombardier president and CEO, said on a financial call with analysts on May 6 that the company has been aware of what its competition has been planning.
“We are feeling very good and very strong about our (Global) 7500 flagship,” Martel said. First, there are 50 currently in service, “and we’re going to have even more backlog and airplanes in service” by the time the Falcon 10X enters service.
The Global 7500 is a reliable aircraft, while at the same time Bombardier has a history of improving its products, Martel said. “So, if there’s a possibility for us in the next coming years to continue to improve and raise the bar on the 7500, we will ... We are in a very, very good place, and the response is very good.”
In the design of the Falcon 10X cabin, the team started with an open free space with curved walls and input from customers and focus groups. The cabin interior, which will measure 9 ft. 1 in. wide by 6 ft. 8 in. high, is larger than some regional jets, the company says, and is wider and taller than its direct competitors.
A ‘Penthouse In The Sky’
“We were able to question everything,” Agnes Gervais, Dassault Aviation industrial design manager, new program innovation, said about its design. “First, it starts with comfort and how to guarantee physical comfort.” With such a long flight “we need to take care of the body during that time.” The lounges, custom furniture, humidity, noise, comfort–“everything needs to be perfect.” Passengers must be free to move easily and pass others in the aisle.
“You never feel cramped or crowded, even when the aircraft is full,” she said. Inspired by trends in architecture and beautiful materials, the interior was designed for elegance, comfort and function aimed at reproducing a feeling of home with a “French touch.”
“It is timeless,” Gervais said. “It is your penthouse in the sky.”
Buyers may choose a standard four-zone cabin configuration with a lounge area, a four-zone area with a large bathroom and private home cinema or office, or a VIP configuration with an ultra-wide dining area and private stateroom with a queen-size bed or a large bathroom with a private stand-up shower.
The cabin will be equipped with a “Sky Lounge” crew rest area across from the spacious kitchen. It will also include 38 extra-large windows, nearly 50% larger than those on the Falcon 8X, to fill the cabin with light, and a new feature–a seat that converts into a compartment for privacy. The 24-in.-wide electric seat turns into a 30-in. by 80-in.-long bed.
The aircraft will also offer passengers a 3,000-ft. cabin altitude when flying at 41,000 ft. to combat fatigue and 100% pure air, thanks to a new generation of ozone and volatile organic compound (VOC) filters, the company said.
The wing will be built from carbon fiber composites rather than aluminum for increased strength, reduced weight and minimum drag, the company said. The high aspect ratio wing will be equipped with advanced retractable high-lift devices for ease of maneuverability at low approach speeds.
Powered By Pearl 10X Engine
The Pearl 10X engine in development by Rolls-Royce is the company’s largest and most powerful version of the company’s Pearl line of engines. Gulfstream’s G700 is powered by the Pearl 700 and Bombardier’s Global 7500 is powered by the GE Passport.
The Pearl 10X has achieved more than 1,000 test cycles and more than 500 testing hours to date, said Dirk Geisinger, Rolls-Royce Deutschland CEO and chair of business aviation. Rolls-Royce’s new Boeing 747-400 testbed will be first used to test the Pearl 10X engine.
The engine will deliver more than 18,000 lb. of thrust, 5% better efficiency, and, with a look to the future, is capable of running on 100% unblended sustainable aviation fuel.
“We are fully committed to laying the groundwork for moving this type of fuel toward certification,” Geisinger said.
The “extra slimline” engine nacelle will be built exclusively by Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita and feature streamlined laminar flow and improved acoustic treatment for low noise.
Rolls-Royce offers around-the-clock technical support and more than 75 authorized service centers. The engines include health monitoring with advanced diagnostics and alerts, Geisinger said.
Flight Deck Technology
The “next generation” flight deck was designed for better flexibility, workload and fatigue reduction, increased crew situational awareness and for the “flawless execution of all … missions—long-haul legs, multiple legs, short-field operations, steep approaches, exotic approaches, including those to come, and all of them in potentially adverse weather,” said Philippe Duchateau, Dassault Aviation chief test pilot and flight crew director.
The flight deck will include touch screens throughout the cockpit, a next-generation digital flight control system taken from Dassault’s military technology, a smart throttle to serve as the primary power control and Dassault’s FalconEye combined vision system, which offers enhanced and synthetic vision capabilities.
It will also include dual head-up displays to serve as primary flight displays, allowing the Falcon 10X to operate in essentially zero ceiling and visibility conditions, the company said.
The flight deck was designed to face the challenges of future air traffic control, including more delegations to aircraft, such as keeping the right spacing in a flow of traffic by increased connectivity, and limiting the aircraft environmental footprint by allowing optimized trajectories, Duchateau said.
“I, as a test pilot lucky enough to still fly Rafale for Dassault Aviation, can tell you this is going to be a winning formula,” Duchateau said.