Dassault Falcons Swoop on Singapore Airshow
Whatever else may be causing health worries in the Asia-Pacific region, it is not the sales potential of Dassault Aviation’s family of business jets. The French company is turning out in force at the Singapore Airshow this week to publicize the potential of current and forthcoming Falcon variants, with the 8X and 2000LXS here “in the flesh” and the future 6X represented in the static display by a full-size cabin mockup.
Currently, more than 100 Falcons are based in Asia-Pacific, half of them being late-generation models like the Falcon 8X and Falcon 7X. That fact encourages Dassault to anticipate a major market for the Falcon 6X, which, the company says, will be the most spacious, modern and versatile twin in its class.
“We expect the Asia-Pacific region to be a major driver for our ultra-widebody Falcon 6X, as it is already proving to be for our Falcon 8X flagship,” said Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Éric Trappier. “The region has always been a key market for Falcon aircraft, whose efficiency, cabin comfort, and safety level are important criteria for local operators.”
Development of the 6X is on schedule, and final assembly of the first aircraft will begin early this year. The first flight is set for 2021, and certification and initial delivery are planned for 2022.
Falcon 6X will offer the largest cross-section of any purpose-built business jet: 2.58 meters (102 in.) wide and 1.98 meters (6 ft. 6 in.) high. Cabin length is 12.30 meters (40 ft. 4 in.). With a range of 10,186 km (5,500 nm), the aircraft will be capable of flying directly from Singapore to Paris.
It will be equipped with a new-generation digital flight control system that provides better maneuverability by controlling all moving surfaces, including a new control surface, called a flaperon, adapted from Dassault fighter aircraft.
The 11,945-km (6,450-nm) Falcon 8X has been a market leader in Asia-Pacific since the first was delivered to the region three years ago. Falcon 8X can fly nonstop from Hong Kong to London, Singapore to Zurich or Beijing to New York, but has the versatility to land at restricted airports, like London City, that are typically inaccessible to large business jets. The spacious cabin is claimed to be the quietest of any business jet on the market and offers a shower option and a large entryway with a certified crew rest for very long flights.
The shorter-legged (7,410 km/4,000 nm) Falcon 2000LXS has also proven popular with corporate customers in Asia-Pacific. Equipped with full-length inboard slats and high-Mach blended winglets that enhance approach and landing capabilities as well as balanced field length, the 2000LXS offers a short-field capability comparable to that of smaller midsize business jet models, but with a range and comfort level far better than those of those aircraft. It can fly from Singapore direct to Sydney, or Singapore to Dubai.
Dassault is keen to stress that its advanced systems expand Falcon aircraft capabilities, productivity and safety. Falcon 8X, 2000LXS and other top-line Falcons are available with a number of advanced systems that considerably enhance aircraft capability and safety.
These include FalconConnect, a new inflight broadband service that keeps passengers fully connected at all times, everywhere in the world. FalconConnect integrates all cockpit and cabin ground-based and satellite communications into a single bundled offering, making onboard connectivity systems easy to use and consumption simple to manage and control.
Falcons are also available with Dassault’s revolutionary FalconEye combined vision system, which is the first head-up display (HUD) system in business aviation to combine synthetic and enhanced vision capabilities in a single view. Such a combination allows pilots to fly approaches in poor visibility with an unprecedented level of situational awareness, providing broad safety and reliability margins. FalconEye is now approved for an enhanced flight vision system capability that gives operational credit for poor visibility approaches down to 30 meters (100 ft.), greatly improving access to airports in all-weather conditions at day or night.
Dassault has further reinforced its aftermarket support with the acquisition of a series of large maintenance, repair and overhaul businesses – in particular ExecuJet – which have enabled the company to expand its company-owned MRO network in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and Europe and to move closer to operators in these areas. ExecuJet MRO Services’ Kuala Lumpur facility is expected to become a major hub for Falcon after-sales service.